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Annual ban on drumming and noise-making in Accra

No Noise.jfif No noise-making period represents the spiritual development of the people Ga-Dangme

Mon, 9 May 2022 Source: Jonathan Mensah

The good news in Ghana is that there’s freedom of speech, freedom of movement, and freedom of worship. It is therefore important that Ghanaians respect and maintain this freedom and not abuse it. Accepting someone’s own religious values and rituals shows respect for one another.

Respecting each other’s values and beliefs creates good understanding in a multicultural environment which fosters good relationships and support for one another.

Many Ghanaians do not understand the reason why the Ga-Dagme people impose a ban on drumming and other forms of noise making in Accra in late spring every year.

In fact, Dr. David Bindan’s article shows that he has no idea of the reason why. It is time to put everybody out of their misery and to explain publicly to David Bindan and other Christians why this event takes place every year.

Dr. David Bindan is a Christian and wants the churches to be excluded from the ban. He claims that it is a spiritual disorder and a reproach to the Lord Jesus Christ for any earthly agency to forbid clapping hands, use of instruments, or in any way dictate the form of activities in his church at any time outside the authority of God’s word and the leading of the Holy Spirit.

True believers read the whole scriptures and not certain verses that suit them.

The Ga-Dangme people ban drumming and noise-making in the Accra Region and nowhere else in Ghana. This means that drumming and noise-making can take place in other parts of the country. The critics are unaware that they are not facing the full 49 days or seven weeks as the commandments stated.

As the Ga-Dangme tribe are the descendants of the ancient Hebrew people of Israel, they observe certain festivals ordained by God. Obviously, the Passover (Pesach in Hebrew) is known as the redemption of the people of the covenant, and the festival of the Feast of Harvest (Shavuot in Hebrew) is the spiritual redemption.

The people of the covenant count 49-days to the Feast of Harvest or Shavuot. The Torah states that this period is to be counted, both in days and in weeks. The first day of this is the first grain offering of the new year’s crop which is an Omer of barley or in the case of the Ga-Dangme people an Omer of millet. The day following the 49th day of the period is the festival of the Feast of Harvest. The Omer was an ancient measure of grain.

The Book of Leviticus (23:15-16) commanded: "And from the day on which you bring the offering….you shall count off seven weeks. They must be complete." This commandment led to the traditional practice of “counting the Omer" which links the Exodus from Egypt with the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai.

Symbolically, this period has come to represent the spiritual development of the people of the covenant from slaves in the polytheistic society of ancient Egypt to free monotheistic people worthy of the revelation of the Torah, traditionally said to have occurred on the Feast of Harvest.

The idea of counting each day represents spiritual preparation and anticipation for the giving of the Torah which was given by God on Mount Sinai. The 49 days of the Omer are counted daily for seven weeks.

Basically, the Feast of Harvest is an agricultural festival. Being the descendants of the people of the covenant, the Ga-Dangme tribe is required to count seven complete weeks for a total of 49 days as the Torah commands. At the end of the seven-week period, they celebrate the Feast of Harvest also called the Feast of Weeks or Pentecost as the Greek word for fifty is pentekonta,so the festival also became known as Pentecost.

In Exodus 23:16, the Feast of Harvest indicates the time of the late spring grain harvest. The counting of Omer which takes place each night is preceded by a blessing. It was during that 49-day period that the people of the covenant underwent such a radical transformation.

From the lowest lows to the highest heights in just seven weeks. The commandments of the Torah represent an ongoing life lesson for every person. They view the Torah as freshly received every day of their lives and approach it and its commandments with appropriate vigour.

The lesson of the counting of the Omer must also be digested by all. It is specifically during this time that the people of the covenant strive to grow and mature in their spiritual state. The Torah does not allow them to become satisfied with their current level of spirituality. Instead, it tells them to set high goals for themselves, and then methodically strive to reach that goals.

We see a fulfillment of both the Feast of Harvest and the Passover take place in the same year that Jesus died. Jesus became the Passover Lamb fifty days before the Holy Spirit was given, putting the Torah in the hearts of the house of Israel.

The explicit connection between the spring festivals will also find fulfillment in the same year, starting with the return of Jesus Christ at the sound of the great trumpet on the Festival of Trumpets shortly after the day of Atonement and culminating in the Festival of Booths.

With this in mind, the reading of Psalm 67 every day whilst counting the Omer seems to have a special significance since it speaks of the Lord’s salvation reaching every nation. I hope we encourage the ban on drumming and noise-making as a sign of respect to the people of the covenant in Ghana rather than discourage them because they will not alter the will of God.

Columnist: Jonathan Mensah