Daily Topic for March 06, 2011
All of humanity falls into the category of “sinners” who need to repent. But a little more than half the world’s population lives within people groups that have access to the Scriptures in their own language and/or a fellowship of believers. What about the other half, the other “sinners”? The first group has access to the life-saving gospel, and a relationship with our sin-forgiving Savior. The other half looks to rituals and religion to heal this mortal wound. Don’t we owe them the gospel?
Pray for the gospel to quickly go to the peoples that still have no way to atone for their sins, and do not yet know the One who alone can forgive.
For months the Nivkh villagers fed the bear anything he wanted. Then they killed him with their spears during a ceremony and burned his flesh while the shaman chanted prayers. Dogs were also sacrificed to the beast of Sakhalin.
Such sacrifices were often made when someone died. The Nivkh people believed that Sakhalin Island was a giant beast lying on its back. The island’s trees were the beast’s hair, and earthquakes happened when the beast got mad. They believed sacrifices kept the beast happy and their lives free of disasters.
Like the Ainus that we prayed for two days ago, the Nivkhs live on Russia’s Sakhalin Island and worship the sacred bear. Unlike some people groups on Sakhalin Island, they have clung to many of their customs. During the Soviet era they weren’t relocated like some of their neighbors. Shamans still have a powerful influence on the Nivkhs.Learn more at joshuaproject.net
Ask God to open the hearts of the Nivkhs to the message of salvation. Ask God to lead a mission agency to reach out to this people group. May the Nivkh come to see Jesus Christ as the only One who deserves to be worshiped. Fervant prayers aree needed to break the hold that shamans have on this people group. May the Nivkhs realize that the bear and the beast of Sakhalin are not gods at all.