The Word on the Week


Pestilence                              Word on the Week                          28th March 2020.

We, in Ireland, have been instructed to remain indoors for the next two weeks to avoid involuntarily spreading the virus.   There are few exceptions.   This latest requirement is intended to stop it spreading through communities and restrict it to homes where it can be more easily controlled.

We have taken cognisance of how other countries have acted and learned from them the basic things about hygiene both for ourselves and most importantly for those working in the medical field.    Our medical advisors have been transparent with their plans and we have grasped the importance of not allowing this very virulent virus to create a spike in infections which would overcome our hospitals’ ability to cope.

The next two weeks are said to be crucial and the Garda have been empowered to remove people from the streets unless they can produce evidence of their validity to be there.    The nightly announcements of the numbers infected steadily increase and the deaths attributed to COVID-19 continue to rise like some sort of dystopian game.    But it is far from a game.

Every incident of pestilence recorded in the Bible, apart from those yet to happen, can be related, with few exceptions, to the disobedience of the people of God (2 Samuel Chapter 24 verse 15/16).    The exceptions were against Israel’s enemies such as the plagues in Egypt (Exodus Chapter 9 verse 15).  

In Israel there were religious ceremonies which nullified the word of God.   They had so many man made rules.  Jesus gave them a list of what was wrong with the heart of man.  These things come out from it, “evil thoughts; sexual immorality; theft; murder; adultery; greed; malice; greed; deceit; lewdness; envy; slander; arrogance and folly” (St Mark Chapter 7 verses 21/23).   

Scripture teaches that sin is universal (Romans Chapter 3 verse 23).   It is first of all against God.    It then impacts others.   It took the death of Jesus to provide a way for every repentant sinner to be cleansed from its affects (1 John Chapter 1 verse 7).     Sin is global.  The pestilence matches its spread.   There is much more going on than we can comprehend but we can recognise just how much we sin every day.      

There was probably never a time when this world would have been so Godly that God could not have justly delivered pestilence but in his mercy he has withheld his hand till now, “If you, Lord, kept a record of sins, Lord who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you” (Psalm 130 verse 4).

May the God of all grace encourage us to go on our knees and cry, ‘Lord, we’re way out of our depth. Have pity on us, and save us’.