I Want a Nation: Africa

Africa is truly a remarkable place.

It’s always interesting to me to hear people refer to Africa (unlike any other continent) as one big country.  (No one would ever say “Oh, I’m going to North America.”)  For those of you have haven’t had an African exposure, the diversity is incredible.

However, for the purposes of this blog, continents have a collective sense about them.  Africa is no different.  So in considering how Africa got its name and what that means prophetically, we’ll look at the whole before looking at the parts.

Many of these continent names have quite varied opinions on the etymology of what they are now called.

In one article I researched, the writer made a case that Africa was actually named from the Bible, that the “Queen of Sheba” that came “from the South” (widely accepted as Africa) came to King Solomon.  When she heard his wisdom she converted to following the God of Israel, which her homeland refused to acknowledge.  This particular writer claims that this rejection is why Jesus prophesied in the Gospels that the “Queen of the South” will rise and cast judgment on the unbelieving generation. (Matthew 12:42; Luke 11:31)  The Queen’s name and some of her declarations eventually became the word for “Africa.”

However, most etymological research led me to some more mainstream and consistent beliefs.

Africa

sunny, dusty, the land without cold

I won’t bore you with the names and breakdowns, but these meanings came from Greek and Roman translations.  Walk with me through this:

Here’s what I got when I saw this meaning.  Do you remember The Chronicles of Narnia: the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe?  Do you remember what was said of Narnia?  “It was always winter and never Christmas.”

Why did this matter?  Some people in extreme environments live like this all the time and don’t consider it oppressive, yet in the story, it’s supposed to be see that way.

Now in Africa, the reverse is true (yes, I’ve been in South Africa when it snowed, but it’s still rare).  It’s hot.  Hot a lot of the time.  But beyond the temperature, I want to think about the prophetic meaning wrapped up in the phrase “the land without cold.”

What happens when there are no seasons?  Cold matters.  It’s been an unprecedentedly warm winter in Georgia, but seasons have a place, a purpose.  It’s supposed to get cold, it’s supposed to go dormant.  NEW LIFE DOESN’T HAPPEN WITHOUT THE CHANGE OF SEASONS.

If what we learned in studying our own names is true, then names can be descriptive, redemptive, and containing responsibility.  In looking at the continent of Africa and its fifty-something countries, how has the continent done with embracing the change of seasons?

When we prophesy, we speak and release life, so even though a continent is a “land without cold” it’s the responsibility of a generation of African people to stand up in the face of a name that could be descriptive and declare:

IT’S TIME FOR REDEMPTION!

It’s time to come out of dormancy Africa!  It’s time to spawn new life, to bud, to bloom, to release the life-giving pollination!  You are not destined for drought; you are destined for life!

Many countries in Africa are named after landmarks, but here are a few interesting meanings I found:

Algeria – moonlight               Angola – conquering chief/king

Benin – tribe, home of vexation               Botswana – equal and free

Burkina Faso – land of honest men               Cameroon – shrimp

Comoros – islands of the moon               Gabon – cloak

Democratic Republic of Congo/Republic of Congo – land by the river of the hunters

Ethiopia/Sudan/South Sudan – land of the blacks

Ghana – warrior king               Kenya – land of the White Mountain

Liberia – freedom               Malawi – flaming water, tongues of fire

Mali – hippopotamus               Morocco – sanctuary of God

Namibia – the land where there is nothing               Niger/Nigeria – flowing water

Rwanda – land occupied by a swarm or scattering               Sierra Leone – lion mountains

Tanzania – the island where the waters meet               Uganda – brothers and sisters of God

Zimbabwe  – house of stones

I invite you to join me in prophesying over this continent.  If a particular country is close to your heart, or if you agree in this declaration of hope and life, leave a comment and release it!  I’m very interested to see what you all have learned about prophetic names, so look at the list above and pray into that meaning and see what God may be speaking through these meanings.  Share it with us!

I Want A Nation

As I’ve been praying through how to follow my series on Prophetic Names, I’ve been drawn to another place where my heart finds its passion: the nations of the world.

Many of you who read this blog share this passion. The nations of the world are a mysterious, magical place. The canvas of this earth is covered with every shade of melanin and personality imaginable. The canvas is ripped in some places, taped together in others, some lines have been erased and redrawn more times than can be counted, and the piece itself is in a constant state of being colored and shaded into the masterpiece it was always intended to be.

The world isn’t a puzzle that’s being recreated from a picture on the front of the box. It’s an unveiling we’re all waiting for but are content to watch in progress.

I’ve done some research that I want to unpack with you all on how we should be prophesying over the nations and continents on this earth.

Psalms 2:8 has been an inspiring verse for me as of late. “Ask of me and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.”

If we’re to inherit the earth, the nations and people, the earth in all its beauty and splendor, my recommendation is that we examine what we have coming.

In my next several posts, I want to examine the prophetic names given to the continents on this planet. How did they get these labels? What do they mean? How do we interpret these meanings in light of our present-day reality

I believe in two fundamental truths:

1) This world is full of UNACCEPTABLE REALITIES and we as the body of Christ must accept this fact and the responsibility that comes with it.

2) This world is WORTH FIGHTING FOR and eventually INHERITING. God has always believed this and has promised it to us. He wants us to join in the stewardship of it because He intends for us to participate in the creation of that which we’ll one day inherit…just like he did with Adam in the garden.

Let’s look at the places that are close to our heart. I think you’ll like what we see.

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