oppressed.” For the prophets, poverty and exploitation of a person by another person was an abomination before the Lord and contrary to God's intention for creation. God's world was created good and all its creatures had access to its providence. What the rich, the kings and religious leaders were doing was, therefore, contrary to God's plan for a good and well-balanced creation.
Yet we who live in Sub-Saharan Africa do not know justice, selfsufficiency and interconnectedness in creation. Because our economies are controlled from the West, our people are unemployed, paid mean salaries, uneducated and homeless. We do not experience God's creation as good, well balanced and admirable. Yet in reading Genesis 1:1–10 we have faith in God, faith that the God of creation, the God of our Ancestors, will restore the goodness of our planet. God will look again and it shall be good, for God who is the Creator of Light, or as Setswana theologians would say, Ramasedi-a-poloka (One who is the light of salvation), can bring light onto the darkness and formlessness of the earth. Because God created the earth good and with all people sufficient, we can never accept the poverty that reigns in Sub-Saharan Africa. This gives us courage because we realize that God is on our side. It is not part of God's plan for creation that there should be darkness and formless in any part of the created order. Rather, God wants all people to be interconnected with one another by upholding principles of sharing the riches of the earth with fairness and justice. God wants all people to be closely connected to the earth and to participate in the continuation of creation by conserving its goodness.
Our faith is that in our reading of the Bible we will use resources of our culture and experience to have a new understanding of God's plans for us as creation. With such a fresh reading of the Bible we Batswana will contribute to what other African Christians and Christians elsewhere are trying to do in capturing the message of the text for ourselves, our contexts, and our world.
Buck, H.M. People of the Land, the History, Scriptures, and Faith of Ancient Israel. New York: Macmillan, 1966.
Lessa, W.A. and Voft, E.Z. Reader in Comparative Religion: An Anthropological Approach New York: Harper and Row, 1965.
Parrinder, G. African Mythology. London: Hamlyn, 1967.