2. Plagues are divinely ordained and sent by God.
- Lev. 26:21 If then, you act with hostility against Me and are unwilling to obey Me, I will increase the plague on you seven times according to your sins.
- Exodus 7-11 The ten plagues on Egypt.
- Numbers 11:1 The Lord sent a fire that consumed the people.
- Numbers 11:33 They were consumed by a plague from the Lord.
- Numbers 16:46-49 They were consumed by a plague from the Lord.
- Numbers 21:6 The Lord sent an abundance of poisonous snakes.
- Numbers 25:3-4, 9 The Lord killed 25,000 by a plague.
- 1 Samuel 24:15 God sent a plague that killed 70,000 Jews.
- Jeremiah 25:27-29 You shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, “Drink, be drunk, vomit, fall and rise no more because of the sword which I will send among you.” ’ 28 “And it will be, if they refuse to take the cup from your hand to drink, then you will say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts: “You shall surely drink! 29 “For behold, I am beginning to work calamity in this city which is called by My name, and shall you be completely free from punishment? You will not be free from punishment; for I am summoning a sword against all the inhabitants of the earth,” declares the Lord of hosts.’
- Amos 3:6 If a calamity occurs in a city has not the Lord done it?
Did God send COVID 19? Yes. Is He trying to get our attention? Yes, of course. But the right response is repentance and humility.
The president of Zambia declared his country was Christian and prayed that the virus would be healed. Is this more than a political stunt in a country where 86% call themselves Christian? Public prayers are easy to make and mean very little unless they are backed up by widespread repentance and humility.
Proverbs 28:9 He who turns away his ear from listening to the law, Even his prayer is an abomination.
Summary: Disruptions in society are controlled by God and are often a direct response to the society’s defiance of His laws.
3. A crisis does not make government more dependable or efficient.
Romans 13:1-7 gives government the right to punish criminals and reward law-abiding citizens. But experience teaches what could be learned from Scripture that government has a very narrow specialty and when it steps outside that realm, it is usually inefficient, corrupt, and cumbersome.
Nevertheless, politicians are always looking for more power. A previous mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emmanuel said, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is its an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before.” Who is Emmanuel referring to? The government. What new things will they do? Whatever they can get away with in a crisis. They do this by passing more laws which sometimes make innocent people criminals.
Who treats you better: The waitress at a restaurant or the lady at a government office? Politicians are glad to have a crisis if they can manipulate it to get more taxes or power for their own agenda. The Communists of Eastern Europe and China during the 20th century are the best bad example of the danger of expanded government. Every new law in a free society chips away at the liberty while adding to the burgeoning girth of government.
In 1 Sam. 8:11-18, Samuel warned Israel that a king would raise taxes until the people are exhausted and infuriated. This is exactly what happened by the third king of Israel (1 Kings 12:4). The people hated the exhausting taxes of Solomon’s reign, but Solomon’s son Rehoboam would not listen to them (1 Kings 12:12-16)!
Christians however do not look to government for help in most areas of life. First, they are commanded to work for themselves in secular work to “make certain about His calling and choosing you” (2 Pet. 1:10). Second, Christians don’t trust sinners in the government (Jer. 17:5).
The “separation of powers” is the control that the president has over the parliament and the courts have over the president. It is the political innovation that tries to stop the power of any one group. It also recognizes that government constantly tries to grab more power because of the sinful nature of those who work for it. The most important application of the doctrine of total depravity to society is a government with a very small scope of operation.
Unfortunately, a crisis gives the government the chance to grow. But a growing government is no more a blessing to society than a thriving thief is an entrepreneur. Sadly, many governments are taking freedoms from their people in order to stop COVID 19. Then we can expect them to borrow or simply print massive amounts of “money” in order to “pay” for the consequences of the things they decreed.
It strains credulity to the breaking to think that the government and its cadre of media—a group that thinks men and women are the same, we should all stop driving cars and eating meat so the world does not burn up, children should be taught in school that chickens came from the Tyrannosaurus Rex, and money can be printed to stop poverty—are really dependable to restructure our entire economy, force small businesses to stop working, and then fix it by sending out free money that we had to borrow.
Summary: Christians are cautious of a government that takes freedoms away from its people by multiplying laws.
4. Sensible hygiene saves lives.
The most common piece of advice is: Wash hands. Filth, germs, and contaminants are spread more easily than cleanliness.
Hag. 2:12-14 ‘If a man carries holy meat in the fold of his garment, and touches bread with this fold, or cooked food, wine, oil, or any other food, will it become holy?’ ” And the priests answered, “No.” 13 Then Haggai said, “If one who is unclean from a corpse touches any of these, will the latter become unclean?” And the priests answered, “It will become unclean.” 14 Then Haggai said, “ ‘So is this people. And so is this nation before Me,’ declares the Lord, ‘and so is every work of their hands; and what they offer there is unclean.’
Cleanliness, washing, and quarantine were in the law of God.
Deut. 23:13 and you shall have a spade among your tools, and it shall be when you sit down outside, you shall dig with it and shall turn to cover up your excrement.
Leviticus 13-15 teaches the Israelites how to handle infectious diseases. Science did not discover germs and viruses for many hundreds of years, but God revealed the basics of hygiene long ago. Those who were the victims of false religion did not know this for many centuries and so they died more quickly. Perhaps the single greatest tool to save human lives was the simple habit of washing hands with soap and water.
The virus passes through the air, through droplets in coughing, and as it is left behind from touching. Some studies believe that it can live possibly up to 72 hours outside a host. Each person infected with the flu infects approximately 1.3 other people, but COVID 19 infects 2-3 other people. Yet it may not be as bad as some original reports had feared: “So far, the new coronavirus seems to be more contagious than most strains of the flu, and roughly as contagious as strains that appear in pandemic flu seasons.” Denise Grady, NY Times
So far the most important safety advice includes:
- Wash hands constantly with soap or sanitizer.
- Cough and sneeze into your elbow.
- Avoid direct contact or close quarters with others.
- Wear a face mask.
- Quarantine yourself if you are sick or show symptoms until the virus passes.
Matt. 7:12 In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
Summary: Since filth breeds disease and the bacteria and viruses that destroy, cleanliness really is a godly trait.
5. Personal responsibility is God’s plan for mankind.
God gave Adam and Eve only one law in the garden because He was glad that they were free (Gen. 2:17). Yet they did have a law, and they were responsible to obey it. Ezekiel 18 tells the story of three generations, a man, his son, and his grandson. In each generation, the man is judged or rewarded based on his own actions and merit. God would have us to live with our decisions and their consequences.
The Mosaic law is only 613 laws—compare that with the many thousands of laws in countries today. In 2013, the House of Representatives in America asked the Congressional Research Office for a list of all the laws. One government office replied to the other, “We don’t have enough staff or money to count the laws.” A private firm, the Heritage Foundation counted at least 4,450 and said there were many more.
Personal responsibility is the father of freedom, and freedom is the soil in which the Great Commission grows best. Personal responsibility means that each person has the right to make his own decisions and enjoy the results of them. Some people choose to buy TV’s before the Bible or books. What good would it do if I wrote a law requiring men to buy Bibles? What if they had to recognize the church? Would that make them Christian? Would a law give them a new heart?
Some or even many people will use their freedom in a foolish and irresponsible way. But restricting freedom will usually have repercussions that are far-reaching and long-living. This is the main point in Henry Hazlitt’s excellent Economics in One Lesson or in the brief article by William Graham Sumner, “The Forgotten Man.” Cutting off the head may cure the headache, but it leaves the body with a greater problem.
Specifically for this situation: Some people are willing to take more risks than others. David took a great risk when he went to fight Goliath, but we remember him because he won.
Summary: Personal responsibility urges each man to develop his skills including his judgment and ability in order to achieve the goals he wants.