Saturday, January 30 2021
Today is the first year anniversary of the pandemic, when it struck UK (Newcastle Hospital). What a changed world we live in 365 days later! It is like some horror story from Medieval times. There were 2 people with the virus. Today there were over 25,300 new cases in UK today, less than 11 Jan (when there were 46,000 new cases). Horrible news.
But, news is good and bad all over the globe as the vaccines are "rolled out" causing havoc for some countries as the virus does a chameleon change that has to be reckoned with. The medics and hospitals' must be congratulated for their responses, whether they were somewhat successful or very successful in seeking, finding and destroying the virus.
What about the Bible? Does it contain any information about viruses, diseases of kinds and what were the remedies?
If we all turn our eyes to the Old Testament (compiled and kept for over 3,000 years, we can learn something about how the Israelites were told to address diseases.
The book of Leviticus is filled with instruction about what to eat, do and who was in charge of "outbreaks" of kinds.
These laws were written in the most strange of places, in the wilderness, when the Israelites were following Yahweh by cloud and fire, camping in various places.
I have been watching "I am a Celebrity, Get me out of here" and it has been a most interesting time for "celebrities" who have bonded in most extraordinary ways. In their last test, Abbie was amazing, when a snake bit her several times whilst her hands were in the "Den" trying to figure out just how many were in there in the darkness.
I felt this went a bit too far as she was genuinely traumatised by a snake rolled around her wrist, biting furtively. Even if there was no venom, the event was not at all funny but tragic. If I get even the smallest bite from a mosquito, I can get a very dangerous reaction and need medical help immediately. So, my heart goes out to Abbie, whom I hope might be crowned Queen of the Jungle. She has such a sparkling spirit.
In Leviticus, there are instructions as to what animals the Lord's people could not touch, or they would be unclean. Instructions about land animals, marine animals, birds, are all listed for us to take notice of. (Leviticus 11) Interestingly, verse 41 says, "All small animals that scurry along the ground are detestable, and you must never eat them."
It goes on to give more details but the people were not even allowed to touch them, or they would become ceremonially unclean (could not go into the Lord's presence).
Regarding skin diseases, (Lev 13) they needed to be checked by the priest for signs of spreading, hair, colour of hair etc. They had to quarantine for seven days and then get a check up again. Interestingly, they had to quarantine for yet another seven days (14 altogether) to see if the disease was worse or better, to determine further action.
It is quite extraordinary that these rules were given by the Lord Himself to Moses, in a remote place, and to think our medics drew up similar rules for Covid 19 is interesting. It seems to be quite a significant time frame, 2 weeks or 14 days to know where the disease is heading.
Next, if the disease is healed, the person is examined "outside the camp" the priest was then ordered by the Lord to offer a sacrifice of two live birds, a stick of cedar, scarlet yarn and a hyssop branch. And so the ceremony goes on (Read Leviticus 14). There are even provisions for poorer people to bring two turtle doves or pigeons as offerings to the Lord. (14:22) There is also a lot of washing, cleaning of clothes and people, in order to be rid of the disease.
What does all this mean for us today? We would do well to take heed that every disease brings with it a price that must be paid. In these cases, the price was the life of a living animal, grain, oil and of course the drama for the family to be rid of the problem.
When we look at the New Testament, we see Jesus. Jesus is God in the flesh, born poor, raised to life. His life was given for ours, just like the little lambs, doves and bullocks in the Old Testament. We are told that these are a shadow of things to come, "Jesus" being the final sacrifice not only for our mistakes, but for our emotional and spiritual good. To bring us peace, joy, love, harmony.
Sadly, today we see the world could be said to almost "hate" Christianity, Christians, or followers of this wonderful Lord Jesus, who gave his life blood for each of us, every one, yet how many can say, "I know the Lord Jesus?" He is called, "Healer" "Master" "Wonderful Counsellor" "Prince of Peace", "Everlasting God" "Holy One" "Lord of All", "King of Kings" "Preacher" "Teacher" "Priest" "Alpha" "Omega". He came to heal the broken hearted, the wounded, to set the prisoner free.
We can address the reason why Christians are hated so much in another post. It will be revelatory.
So, what can he do today? He is not officially on earth but in the highest place in heaven, seated, waiting for the next call. He has sent His Spirit, the Holy Spirit, the comforter to us since Pentecost (50 after the Passover and crucifixion of Jesus) 7 Weeks. This was exactly the time of the Festival of Harvest (Le 23:9) On that day there was a harvest of souls for the New Kingdom of Heaven, that fired up on earth! (Read Acts 2)
It is more than 2,000 years since that Pentecost happened, and the world has changed a lot on the outside and we have made progress in every field, except emotional or spiritual. Of course we have Google (AU might not have this soon). We can get answers quickly, but not every answer.
On the inside people are basically the same, needy, frail, uncertain, grieving, horrified at the world's news, putting flowers on shrines, sinners, bad and good at times. We all need inner peace especially now that the next step in the pandemic story are unfolded and are unfolding every minute. This is not the end of the virus, or the end for everyone, but it is certainly a warning to get on our bikes, hide in our tents, try obedience for a change, try to love each other a little more, and certainly read the Bible, for the first or thousandth time. The next phase of our existence is the Coming of Jesus, the Parusia, or Revelation of the Christ, as King of the Jungle, and the whole world. But, don't wait until it is all happening, it will come like a flood, a storm, an earthquake, quickly. Be ready for Jesus' coming. Call His name wherever you are. He is waiting for you.
Thanks to Pixabay Images for superb pic.