In case you missed the joke, I actually just said, “the devil is a liar” in my Nigerian accent, or as one of my daughters used to put it: ‘mingeria’, when she was a little toddler. But wait, did I say, a lawyer? Perhaps it would interest you as well, to not just check the spelling but the meaning and sense behind words. I know you know, that communication is not in what is said, but in what is heard. It is in creating understanding or meaning in the mind of the listener. I hope I will not try to repeat what your teacher of English and Phonetics mentioned about homonyms, homophones, and so on. (1Corinthians 14: 10-11).
But talking of accents; most if not all people, have acquired a way of pronouncing words on several factors including and not limited to; mother tongue influence, education tutelages, environment, and even religion. A small baby will definitely adapt to their first sound signals regardless of its location; but not a surprise still, that a grown-up will suddenly turn into a ‘twanging’ machine, whenever an opportunity arises to visit some of these English-speaking countries. I am also alive to the fact that the ‘sheng’ slang in Nairobi – Kenya, for instance, and the accent thereof, has become so dynamic among the urban youth that some of the so-called ‘old school,’ will fail to differentiate the East lands’ sheng from the Westland’s’. For the elderly, joining into laughter only to realize they were the subject matter themselves, has become the norm.
Do you not know, that at one point in the Bible, the question of accents became a matter of life and death? Follow the link;
” *The Gileadites captured the fords of the Jordan leading to Ephraim, and whenever a survivor of Ephraim said, ” let me cross over,” the men of Gilead asked him, “Are you an Ephraimite?” If he replied “No,” they said, All right, say ”Shibboleth”. If he said “Sibboleth”, because he could not pronounce the word correctly, they seized him and killed him at the fords of the Jordan Forty-two thousand Ephraimites were killed at that time.” (Judges 12:5-6 NIV)
Well, I’m sure you don’t want to try this out. Do you? I mean, trying to say “Shibboleth.” In this context, Jephthah amassed great victory against Ephraim on account of origin and ethnicity.
While our nation stands at risk as we hear the echoes and drum beats of political antagonism akin to the 2007 – 2008 pre-election animosities. It is vital to sieve the voice behind the words, especially this time, by the politicians. Words are powerful; words can make or kill. But some words are never said, they can only be heard.
More often than not, we bump into the phrase, ‘the devil is a liar,’ as a notice served to affirm that nothing truthful should ever come from the devil. He is indeed; the father, the source, and the brain behind every lie. It sounds great to sing and shout, or to repeat and chant ‘the devil is a liar.’
It sounds even much sweeter when the phrase is used to punctuate the diminuendos and crescendos of the preacher man. But perhaps there’s a need to pay attention to my Nigerian accent of expression; “de devu is a lawyer!”
The devil works, breeds, and preys on the mind of a believer. Just like a good lawyer who will go out of his way to prepare his case/ argument, and to ensure that every clause marches their target explanation and statement, especially on areas where they are bound to meet opposing shades of opinion. They will endeavor to put their ‘motion’ through, to an extent that even when they are lying, they will still find a way to convince you that they are not lying but they are not just saying the truth.
What is the point then!? Let us not underestimate what the devil is capable of. The Apostle Paul couldn’t say it better – we are not to be ignorant of the devil’s *devices*. On some other occasion, he admonishes that we should put on the whole armor of God so that we can ably handle the *wiles* of this ‘senior counsel’. He has been around and knows all the *tricks*. He is a *schemer* and an *accuser* of brethren. We can only borrow a leaf from our master Jesus who overcame him from a ‘legal’ point of view. Christ not only mastered the phrase, “it is written,” but indeed, He knew the exact Cap, Article, and Clause to apply on every unique occasion. We must learn to quote when the devil quotes because he knows the scripture so aptly that today’s believers must seriously enroll back into God’s school of law to deal with him.
The million-dollar question remains: How many scriptural blocks of the Christian foundation are still standing? We seem to have drifted and are getting more fascinated by quoting favorite authors; favorite motivational speakers, philosophers, and psychologists while forgetting that spiritual warfare can only be won by spiritual revelation through prayer and the written word.
Of course, no one can dispute the helpful wealth of wisdom that accrues from the many scholarly statements flooded across the board, but the Bible scripture is so self-sufficient that one can only use it to confirm any other form of literature and not the other way round. Unless the church returns to scripture-based discipleship, the enemy will always have a field day because he is a prolific liar; I mean, he is a ‘learned’ enemy!