The pandemic has taken the world by surprise, and daily information about its cause and remedy has poured forth from every direction. Conflicting opinions abound, making it difficult to know what to believe. How can we know the truth?
Instead of looking to the world, let’s search for answers by refreshing ourselves in the only source of Truth–God’s Word. What can we learn about such a time as this? I guarantee you’ll find a delightful surprise that will lift your spirits with hope and joy.
It is good to give thanks to the Lord,Psalm 92:1-2 NKJV
And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High;
To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning,
And Your faithfulness every night
The Lord God is so faithful. He promises to always care for us, to never leave nor forsake us. The Old Testament tells one story after another of God’s care for His children through perilous times. Let’s review a few of them.
Story #1: Noah and the Ark
The Lord shut up Noah’s righteous family for forty rain-filled days and nights while He destroyed all life on the earth with a flood. Do you think those six persons got a bit claustrophobic as they waited several additional months for the waters to recede? What joy when they could set foot on dry ground and free the animals who must have also wearied of their confinement. Afterward, God made an eternal covenant with Noah.
It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud; and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.Genesis 9:14-15 NKJV
What a blessed ending to such a long trial! People around the world have been shut up at home for a month or more, making us all the more empathetic for Noah. Fortunately, like the ark, our pandemic has an ending in sight.
Story #2: Moses and the Passover
“Let my people go!” Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt. Destination: the Promised Land.
But before Pharoah finally agreed to free the Jewish slaves, many plagues befell Egypt: blood, frogs, lice, flies, diseased animals, boils on man and beast, hail, locusts, darkness, and death of the firstborn of both men and animals. God purposely hardened Pharoah’s heart in order to reveal His power and glory to the stubborn, unbelieving king of Egypt.
Let’s keep in mind that not only were the Israelites present when God sent these plagues, but also God supernaturally protected them. As the Jews witnessed Egypt’s suffering, their camp was spared. Only the final plague demanded that the Israelites take action in order to be saved—the establishment of Passover–a Jewish feast celebrated to this day.
‘For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord. Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.Exodus 12:12-13 NKJV
Can’t we imagine the joy those captives experienced at their moment of freedom? After 430 years, God’s grace rescued them from slavery and set their feet on a path to the Promised Land. Likewise, God will supernaturally rescue us and set us on a path to freedom from this health crisis.
Story #3: Jonah and the Whale
Remember Jonah and the big fish? His disobedience to God’s command to go to Nineveh and preach repentance to the Ninevites had landed him in that dark, stinky jail cell. Shut up in the fish’s foul-smelling belly for three days and nights, Jonah repented and prayed mightily for deliverance.
Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the fish’s belly. And he said: “I cried out to the Lord because of my affliction,Jonah 2:1-2 NKJV
And He answered me.“Out of the belly of Sheol I cried,
And You heard my voice.” (Read the rest of Chapter 2 HERE)
After Jonah vowed to be obedient to God’s command, the fish vomited him up onto dry land. Then God spoke again: “’Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach to it the message that I tell you’” (Jonah 3:2 NKJV).
So, Jonah walked across that city–a three-days’ journey–and cried out that God was going to destroy Nineveh in forty days. The people, as well as the king, believed and heeded the warning. They donned sackcloth, proclaimed a fast, and earnestly repented of their sins.
Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it.Jonah 3:10 NKJV
Thus the people of Nineveh were rescued from certain destruction through citywide repentance centered on fasting and prayer. If this pandemic is the judgment of God for our rebellion against His Laws, can’t we also stay God’s hand through repentance, prayer, and fasting, just like Nineveh?
How does this apply to the current pandemic?
Calamities of all shapes and sizes have come to the earth in response to man’s disobedience and sin. But the Bible tells story after story of man’s repentance followed by God’s responses of forgiveness and deliverance.
By studying the character of God during distressing times, we find comfort and hope. We can rest assured that God will always protect and bring His children safely through all sorts of disasters. But do we have a role to play?
Let’s take action…
This Easter and Passover season, let’s repent, fast, and pray for God’s divine deliverance from the virus that has our world in its grasp. Just as the Israelites painted their doorposts with the blood of their Passover lamb, let’s plead the blood of Jesus, the Lamb of God, over our homes and families for supernatural protection. We can trust the Lord to keep us safe and bring us into His Promised Land. (Click to read Ephesians 6:10-18.)
Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me!Psalm 57:1 NKJV
For my soul trusts in You;
And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge,
Until these calamities have passed by.
How are you trusting in the mercy of God during these present trials?
Dear Father God, we look to You in these times of pestilence and distress. We repent of our sins and ask You to forgive us and heal our nations from this virus. May we turn to You for protection and comfort. We plead the blood of the Lamb over us and our loved ones. Hide us under Your wings until this pestilence passes by. In Jesus’s Name, Amen.