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God’s holy law
When Israel lived for forty years in the wilderness they were given food laws. We read in Leviticus 11.3 “You may eat any animal that has a divided hoof and that chews the cud”. That is a basic divine law for health. God added that of creatures living in water we may eat “that that has fins and scales”. God significantly added eleven general species of flying creature not to be eaten the last of which is the BAT. That is a command to those who believe in God and respect His revealed will and afforded grace and mercy.
The acknowledged source
The current outbreak of Covid19 by general consent originated in a Wuhan market where the “bat” was a marketed product or included in the food chain of such product. The Chinese government closed the market. Almighty God who gave the order that could have prevented this terrible consequence is calling for acknowledgement of His majesty and care of His people and the gentile world and for acknowledgement of His word and long patience while He awaits national repentance.
According to government monitoring one foreign intelligence agency according to a report on BBC news 21.3.2020 claimed that this virus allegedly was produced by US agency to use in China. This is a lame alibi and smokescreen This is no time to hide sin. It is a time to be done with sin.
That drinking lots of water will not cure Covid19 is patently obvious or it would never have become a pandemic in lands of abundant water and highly competent medical resourcefulness. High immunity as in the young and those so endowed must and does help. To washing hands frequently and social distancing there doubtless are other but not more effective preventative and remedial measures that could be added. The impressive speed with which laboratory science has pulled progressed to provide new test methods and an effective antidote is encouraging.
Prayer and Fasting
When in the time of the prophet Joel an “unprecedented” plague of locusts struck the nations and surrounding lands Joel asked “Has anything like this ever happened in your days or in the days of your ancestors”? Then he declared the remedy “Even now, declares the Lord, “Return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning. Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and He relents from sending calamity. Who knows? He may turn and relent and leave behind his blessing-grain offerings and drink offerings for the Lord your God.” This looks optimistically at the hope of wine and cereal harvests in the mercy of God. With Joel we are to come back to God and when the crises is over bring the Lord His rightful worship and acknowledge His sovereignty. For now we acknowledge our national sins with true sorrow. If we find a cure and return to our old ways as the prophet says we remain unprepared for what the future holds and our relationship with God abides in crisis.
The early Church
Why did the Jerusalem church in Acts 15.29 add a food hygiene clause to their instructions to the Gentile Church? Why did Paul accept this clause? Was it obtuse ceremonialism? I think not. It had the two-fold effect of safeguarding holiness and God’s sovereignty as the one to be worshipped and the health of nations who are no different in their susceptibility to disease than any Jew. So let us depart from all forms of idolatry and godlessness and eat with discipline and live hygienically especially in the light of the present viral endangerment.
Plagues and “unprecedented” sorts of human suffering naturally call for expeditious remedies on one level but they also call for sincere assessment of how grave in the sight of the Lord is our national aberrance besides that of other nations from standards of Christian life and worship that the Lord God Almighty expects.
1. Let us acknowledge our sins nationally and personally
2. Let us seek God’s mercy and grace and “relenting”
3. Let us rejoice in the outpoured Spirit and the gospel we have to proclaim for man’s eternal welfare. Joel says “I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions…(blood fire and billows of smoke there will be)…but “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved!”
4. Let us purpose to use the good things and better times He may yet give us for His glory.
5. Let us be aware with Joel of the coming of the Lord and the judgment of nations when there will be “multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision” (Joel3.14)
6. Let us in this long favoured nation pray day by day for our leaders & courageous doctors and nurses. We should like the early apostles take 3pm-the hour of prayer and our Lord’s death as occasion for approaching His throne with evermore thanks for mercy and manifold petitions for the need of the hour.
7. Let us love our Lord and our neighbour as ourselves.
We shall prosper and be in health as our soul is in health.
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