Daniel Thwaites | Quackpot prophets
There were five different articles of 'Prophecies' published by The Gleaner earlier this month. Get that? FIVE! Of course, I have studied them avidly to see what the upcoming year holds in store. Trust me, we have some serious stuff coming up.
I should first make it abundantly clear - as if there could be any doubt! - that I am in support of The Gleaner's annual publication of prophecies about the upcoming year at the end of December or beginning of January. That isn't only because of the entertainment value, although that is not insignificant.
Unlike many of my contemporaries who have confidently rubbished magical thinking and a belief in things unseen, although I'm quite sceptical, but I'm also sceptical of the sceptics.
Also, early exposure to the occult has marked me too thoroughly. For instance, my granny was something of a seer, and I used to witness her forecasts come true. Most were mundane, such as "it gwine rain tomorrow", and surely enough there was rain. But some were very consequential, as in the famous "keep up de foolishness and yuh gwine get lick!"
In these dark times of runaway murders, states of emergency, missing police cars, and such, I'm quite anxious to peer into the future and gather any information I can. It's for that reason that I would wish that the prophets would return with some more precise predictions. For example, can I sleep tonight with my windows and doors open and not worry about anything? Please and thanks. I'm also putting it out there that I'm not above getting suggestions for the local lottery sent directly to my email.
So my first observation is that the prophecies are getting more voluminous each year, and for 2018, it's impossible for me to adequately summarise the torrent of divination.
Here's how it started: "Things will be very unpredictable and it will be a mixed year. Many plans that are in place for 2018, whether good or bad, will be disrupted drastically."
That was enough to get my full attention! There's nothing like the prediction of doom and gloom, and unpredictability, to make me perk up.
And so it continued. Year 2018 will be a time of reckoning, shock, and awe. The rich will cry out. There will be a shaking of world systems. There will be widespread divorce. Many will be released from bondage, while others will fall into bondage. More countries will begin to align with the Antichrist system. There will be a great harvest of souls. Plagues and sickness will break out. The Lord will visit and dismantle places of amusement wherein evil takes place. The media will suffer greatly (watch out, Gleaner!). The entire earth will experience a shift. There will be banking hacks in Jamaica that will bring up dirt on politicians. There's to be a wave of murders (no surprise there!). A massive financial scandal will hit the nation.
Six major happenings will hit Jamaica and it will shake the core of the nation. There is major trouble ahead within the nation. The spirit of supplanting will rise within each political party. Then there's the ominous: "Pray for the electoral system in Jamaica, as there are serious plans and problems ahead."
That was all in the first article, published January 1.
There's more! There will be stirring within the Jamaican police force as unrest is brewing (ahem!). The Lord is not pleased with the leader of this nation or the other politicians. A sudden attack will be upon those who are behind the crime and violence locally and internationally (state of emergency?). The Jamaican Government will institute more laws that will cause spiritual and natural oppression upon the people. Orphanages nationwide need much attention. Agriculture is in for troubled times. There are going to be riots.
I really wish I had space to capture the essence of the other prophecies. An extensive list of countries have been warned, and we really should thank our local prophets for being the receivers of foresight related to the USA, France, Switzerland, Norway, Uganda, Germany, India, Pakistan, China, South Korea, Grenada, Dominica, Egypt, Syria, Greece, Italy, Iraq, Iran, Russia, and Turkey.
I understand perfectly how the local shamans should see what's up in Grenada, but I'm impressed by the insight into Switzerland, Pakistan, and Uganda, and I have dispatched suitable warnings to Russian, Turkish, and Greek friends.
What to make of all of this?
Here we must attend to an important disclaimer - a warning - at the end of each of the articles. It's quite direct about erasing all liability for the predictions:
"God can choose to hold His hand back from any form of judgement pending, subject to the repentance of nations and individuals ... . Please remember, God does whatever He pleases ... . He changes times and seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings (Daniel 1: 20-23)."
Fair enough. We wouldn't want to bind God into any action just because one of the prophets may have misinterpreted, exaggerated, understated, misapplied, misunderstood, or otherwise garbled the message to the Jamaican public. This is the inherent danger of giving other people messages to carry, like poor Andrew has to do with Cruel Reid.
Still, let's reflect that the 182 million people in Nigeria, where there will be exposure of a great evil, and the 40 million in Uganda, where there will be a plot to overthrow the government, had better send letters of appreciation to The Gleaner for giving them the heads-up.
The disclaimer is also important for another reason. God reserves the right to frustrate his prophets and make them look foolish in the sight of men foolish enough to believe that the prophets are foolish for merely looking foolish.
- Daniel Thwaites is an attorney-at-law. Email feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.