THE COVID-19 SCARE: A CALL TO PRAYER
As at the time of writing this article, the count for the COVID-19 virus had hit 245,658 infections with a death toll of 10,048. That’s an alarming statistic for a disease which just seemed to appear on the scene less than three months ago. Some countries especially in the hard-hit areas in Europe have taken measures like closing their borders, quarantining entire regions and even lockdowns in some cases. The effect of the continual spread of this disease on world economies and general life cannot be underestimated. No matter the outcome of this disease, what is clear is that the world will never be the same again. Obviously, the panic button has been pressed, but what should be the reaction from a Christian perspective. In times like these, it is necessary to mute all other voices and find out from the Bible what God has already spoken in His Word concerning similar situations, what He expects from His people and the hope that is available to them when they take solace in the Scripture.
For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, so that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. Romans 15:4 (MKJV)
The Bronze Serpent In Numbers 21:4 – 9, we see an instance of God’s people in the wilderness. They treated the mercies and provisions of the LORD with contempt, by referring to the heavenly bread as light food. Their complaints and disregard for the Grace of God caused Him to send fiery serpents among them. These snakes killed a number of the Israelites until they repented and prayed to God. He graciously directed Moses to find a solution in the form of the Bronze Serpent (a picture of His Redemption that He was going to do several centuries later at Calvary). What lessons can we learn from this story? • God punishes SIN, He never turns a blind eye to it • When we sin, we incur the displeasure and wrath of God upon us • God is gracious, He is ready to forgive His people when they turn back to Him
The Angel of Destruction In 2 Samuel 24:1 – 17, much against God’s displeasure, David’s heart is moved to conduct a census of God’s people. God’s judgement of David’s sin immediately fell upon Israel through the mouth of Prophet Gad. Seventy thousand (70,000) men were killed that day from Dan to Beersheba. Just when the angel was about to strike Jerusalem, the LORD stayed his hand and called for a truce, having seen the repentance of David. Again, are there any lessons that we can learn from this story? • As in the first story, God punishes SIN, He never turns a blind eye to it • When we sin, we incur the displeasure and wrath of God upon us • God is gracious, He is ready to forgive His people when they turn back to Him
The Call to Prayer & Repentance In both passages examined above, we see that God’s judgement against the sin of His people came in the form of plagues. It is obvious that there is so much evil on this earth for the eyes of the LORD to behold. Is the COVID-19 God’s judgement on the earth? I will answer in the negative despite the widespread coverage of the disease. It is perhaps a wake-up call to the Christians and world at large that Jehovah still rules in the affairs of Man.
For so says the high and lofty One who inhabits eternity; whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, even with the contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. For I will not contend forever, nor will I be always angry; for the spirit should fail before Me, and the souls I have made. (Isaiah 57:15 – 16, MKJV)
He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the sons of Israel. Jehovah is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and rich in mercy. He will not always chasten, nor will He keep His anger forever. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so is His mercy toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father pities his children, Jehovah pities those who fear Him. For He knows our form; He remembers that we are dust. (Psalm 103:7 – 14, MKJV)
If I shut up the heavens, and there is no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send a plague among My people; if My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:13 – 14, MKJV)
In both case studies examined earlier, the nation of Israel and David recognized that they had sinned and needed to repent. God is gracious and merciful, His ears are opened to the pleas of the humble. It is time for the true believers to call unto God to heal the land. May this period on the ban on religious gathering be a period where we will come to God and seek His face concerning the current events. What is He up to? What is His divine hand accomplishing in this time. May we not miss our way even as His Holy Spirit. May we come to the point of recognition that Jesus Christ is the only propitiation that pacifies the wrath of God, He is the only way to the Father. SELAH
Come, my people, enter into your rooms and shut your doors around you; hide for a little moment, until the fury has passed by. (Isaiah 26:20 MKJV)