The whole world is fighting against the pandemic by various means. The aspect of isolation and quarantine is frightening people that they will be separated from their dear ones and they are reluctant to understand the risk of spreading the infection to many. Lock-downs are imposed in most of the countries as a measure to implement social distancing.
As a result, the world is facing huge economic downfalls. Many are left without a job, many others are stranded in different places without a proper place to stay and have become penniless within a short time. There is a risk of many starvation related deaths while the government is engaging to curb the death toll.
“Do you now believe?” Jesus replied. “A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me.”John 16:31-32
In the initial stage of the outbreak, many were of the idea that God’s wrath had come upon the ungodly people. This is because of seeing God’s plan through the eyes of the world which is ruled by darkness. Bible says that Jesus came into this world to enlighten every human.
The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.John 1:9
Even the Psalmist spoke about the power of the Living Word.
The revelation of Your words brings light and gives understanding to the inexperienced.Psalm 119:130
Unless and until God enlightens one’s mind to understand His plan no one can understand it. In other words one should have the knowledge of God’s word to understand His actions. In our busy life we do not find time to meditate and understand His word. We are capturing the words by hearing someone’s sermon or by reading it in a banner at crusades or by hearing from our elders or while seeking prayer from someone during our helpless situation.
The word we received by any of the above source stays in our mind. Acquiring the Living Word in the above manner can’t reveal the mind of God to us. This has become a hearsay for us and anything we say on the basis of hearsay will create havoc in the minds of listeners. Many people read the Bible and some other study it but to understand the mind of God we have to meditate upon it.
Who is it he is trying to teach? To whom is he explaining his message? To children weaned from their milk, to those just taken from the breast? For it is: Do this, do that, a rule for this, a rule for that; a little here, a little there.Isaiah 28:9-10
Understanding the Mind of God
Mankind views the current affairs as an unprecedented or accidental one and approaches that in an emergency measure. Most of the time these emergency measures are taken from the lesson learnt from others who had undergone or are undergoing the same situation. The Bible has concrete teachings for every situation we come across in our life time. During a catastrophe how should people behave?
Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus answered, Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way?
I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them, do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.Luke 13:1-5
Whether it is commandments or the word of God, both are used by people to blame others rather than taking it to themselves for correction. In the above passage, Jesus is clearly reminding us to repent in the wake of this pandemic.
Shelter of the Most High
During this pandemic the following verses of the Bible is most quoted by every one as a divine assurance.
You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.Psalm 91:5-7
This protection is assured only if we dwell in the shelter of the Most High and if we boldly claim that “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” When we do not trust in God, we are afraid of the situation and take up lies and darkness as our shelter. In that case the above promise will not be applicable in our lives. Isaiah disclosed our real plight in the following verse.
You boast, “We have entered into a covenant with death, with the realm of the dead we have made an agreement. When an overwhelming scourge sweeps by, it cannot touch us, for we have made a lie our refuge and falsehood our hiding place.”Isaiah 28:15
Do not pretend that we know the word while we really do not know and understand it. Repent and make a covenant with our God. If we do so, the fear of being infected or the fear of death or insecure feeling about our jobs and future will vanish from our minds.
So this is what the Sovereign Lord says: See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who relies on it will never be stricken with panic.Isaiah 28:16
Moving ahead of Prophecies
Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets.Amos 3:7
The outbreak of this pandemic would have been revealed to many community leaders, evangelists and pastors. But this is not the time to re-quote those things to ascertain that we are the prophets. Rather, we should realize that the time given to announce this happening has gone and now it is the time to repent. Let people recall those prophecies and come back to Jesus repenting for their past mistakes.
Remember that Jonah was worried about his own image rather than accomplishing the purpose of God in the lives of the people of Nineveh. In spite of his reluctant attitude, God made the people of Nineveh come back to Him.
Social distancing is the only safeguard that is advised to everyone. God always expects us to come near Him, keeping our other priorities at distance. All the time, after His ministry, Jesus adhered this social distancing to get united with His Father. In the garden of Gethsemane too, Jesus maintained a distance from his disciples to strengthen Him in order to accomplish His Father’s will.
In our churches the meaning of fellowship with God is reduced to a level of social gathering and missing the very purpose of lifting Jesus’ name high. As gatherings are prohibited, this is the apt time to come near Him. When we go near Him we will get to know many things.
The second most recommended preventive measure is washing of hands. Jesus had shed His blood on the cross to wash our sins. Constant awareness of this will give us holiness as a preparation for eternity.
On that day a well of water will be opened for the family of David and for the people of Jerusalem to make them clean from their sin.Zechariah 13:1
Parallels from the Pandemic
Our God is in control of the universe and everything in it. Pray that we should understand this situation from God’s perspective. There is an old saying ‘Necessity is the mother of invention.’ This pandemic may enable the scientists to invent medicines to eradicate all lungs related diseases. It may be a call to care for others more than us, as Jesus cared for the sinners more than about himself when he left his throne for the painful cross.
Every one is now conscious that we should not spread the infection to others. Are we conscious that our speech, action and body language should not transmit sin in other’s life?
Last but not the least, it may be a sign for His second coming and Judgement so that we may be ready to face Him.
Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.Mathew 24:30-31
Lord open our eyes to see this pandemic in your light and help us understand this chaotic situation in your perspective.