Why do we have this Wuhan-virus declared by WHO as a global pandemic? The Exodus experience on plagues and death of the firstborn happened. And, for that matter in history, why so many diseases and plagues did humanity suffer from? Progress has been made that “Some spoke openly of a future without infectious disease. “Will such a world exist?” asked one prominent scientist. “We believe so.” Certainly, while it took time, recovery followed and life went on. Only, to face recurring onslaught of other diseases through this 21st century, why?
Hallmarks of human history
Recurring examples and repetitions are hallmarks of human history. Likewise, the Bible often repeats itself to emphasize something and for us to recognise what is really important.
Deuteronomy 6:6-9 “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou rises up.And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates. (Yes, repeat as a reminder)
Hebrews 3:13 “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness”
Hebrews 3:7-9 “Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,
on the day of testing in the wilderness, where your fathers put me to the test and saw my works for forty years”. (Repeated also in Hebrews 3:15)
Psalm 95:8 “Do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah, as you did that day at Massah in the wilderness,
And “Today” twice in Hebrews 4:7 “God again set a certain day, calling it “Today.” This he did when a long time later he spoke through David, as in the passage already quoted: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.”
Repetitions for what?
These are recurring reminders for us to “achieve the purpose for which I sent” as in getting the message, as Isaiah 55:11 says “so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” Did you get it? What is the message ?
The recurring theme is well established that even man-Christ Jesus who was “overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death” had been shown 3 times over before he could “get it”. This was the narrative that night in the garden of Gethsemane:
Matthew 26:36-46 “Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”
Here is the message: “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” The disciples Peter and the two sons of Zebedee “were willing to stay awake and watch” but were so sleepy, tired and powerless to overcome the limits of their “weak flesh”. This human weakness is clearly shown in interrogation techniques. Going back to the message, despite their willingness to “stay awake and watch”, they were powerless, why? Yet, Jesus was empowered, but why only him at that time?
Remember that while they were all humans, the difference of Jesus to them (aside from many) was that he has in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit which was gifted to him by the Father at River Jordan; whereas they did not. Yet, even with this in-dwelling, Jesus’ will was not to go through with the plan for him to die a horrible death by crucifixion. He prayed so hard, pleading to the Father for him not to die, even sweating like “blood falling down the ground”. Yet, he was not forced to decide but followed “willingly his Father’s will”. He was showing us how the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit works; it guides, directs, show the right path; it does NOT FORCE it’s will down our throats. But, like any human, even Jesus (coming from above), had to receive this “empowerment” without which, he could NOT have overcome Satan, performed miracles, changed water to wine, nor follow the will of the Father on that crucial time in the garden of Gethsemane.
The “passover narrative in Exodus of saving Israel and death against the firstborn of Egypt” is true. But, it is more of sending a message of a “savior” to the firstborn/firstfruits than about “punishment against Egypt”. It is also about the message of human vulnerability; that “flesh-composed” beings have to be changed into “spirit-composed beings” in the future. First the anthropos/man Jesus/wave-sheaf offering firstfruit, then the other firstfruits, before the “latterfruits” at their own time. While “vengeance is mine said the Lord God”, he is not a “vengeful God” as some portray him but a loving God from the beginning. Not every death is a “punishment” as there are consequences to what everyone does, though “allowed” to happen. Remember, “his ways are not my ways”, who can fathom his wisdom? Neither can anyone “assume” that the Holocaust was a “punishment against Jews”
Much like any disaster, plague, or global pandemic, humanity will overcome and get over it, especially with current mass communication and technical abilities in diagnosis, treatment and prevention. Kudos to progress of humanity. Still, the prophecy that “man shall have rule/dominion over all” will not come to fruition until “empowered” by the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit and salvation comes.
That, while COVID-19 is no one’s fault, like many pandemics before, the message is about how “weak” our mortal bodies are and hence to look forward to our “destiny”. Recurrence in these events is constant reminder of the predicate that comes with the message, which is clearly that, while “the spirit-of-man is willing, the flesh is weak”. We need to be empowered with a “new power”, in-dwelling in the “spirit-of-man”, in the “real you”. This new power(never given before), the Advocate/Comforter/Helper , was given to Jesus after his resurrection to eternal life, for him to give it to us, first at Pentecost and onwards
Today, this National Day of Prayer announced by POTUS45, let us hope and pray to overcome this global pandemic as we remember our “weakness”. And the message is the need for us to have “in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit”, on a predetermined “time and chance”. This will develop us and eventually change our “physical mortal body into spiritual/immortal bodies”, our attainment of future salvation.
Being “spirit-composed” beings, social-distancing, stay-at-Home, shelter-in-place, self-quarantine, contact identification, mitigation efforts, etc., will be a thing of the past.
God bless 🙏😊😇
Hyperlink version posted March 15, 2020; National Day of Prayer/COVID-19
Dedicated to all, especially those whose birthday falls on this “ides of March”.