Applying our Knowledge
Applying our Knowledge
As we endure this coronavirus I was thinking about social distancing. It’s not anything new. As we go through some very trying times we need to realize that this is not the first time social distancing was necessary to protect society form others that were contagious. Social distancing was a requirement by God in the book of Leviticus.
It was prescribed in the Old Testament book of Leviticus. For example: When a person had an infectious skin disease the person was placed in isolation for seven days. On the seventh day the priest examined them and if he sees that the sore is unchanged and has not spread in the skin he is to keep them in isolation another 7 days – Leviticus 13:1-5, 45-46. As long as the person has an infection they must wear torn clothes, let their hair be unkempt, and cover the upper lip and cry out “Unclean Unclean!” As long as they have the infection the individual remains unclean. They must live alone, outside the camp.
God expects a very different kind of practical wisdom from Christians, namely that we should meditate on God’s commandments in a time of adversity and on God’s Sovereignty and His ability to deliver us from danger. It is not by chance that a person falls into the hands of robbers; neither is it by chance that a person is rescued from the robbers. But what we must constantly keep in mind is that all afflictions are God’s rod, and therefore there is no remedy for them other than God’s grace.
If God is God over us then we must yield completely in obedience to him in all things. He cannot be over us in one thing, and under us in another, but we must yield to him in every part of our lives. We must completely trust, depend, and obey him in all things.
Scripture leaves no doubt about the fact of God’s sovereignty. Psalm 33:10-11 “The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; he frustrates the plans of the peoples. 11 The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations.” As this passage tells us we cannot carry out any plan apart from God’s will. James 4:13-15 says it very plain and to the point. “……Why do you not even know what will happen tomorrow, what is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes….” The problem of evil is well attested in Scripture that God can and does use events, even evil ones to bring about his purposes.
We can see another example of God’s Providence at work in the story of Priscilla and Aquila in Acts chapter 18. In A.D. 49 the Emperor Claudius expelled all Jews from Rome. Priscilla and Aquila were forced to leave Rome because of this edict. Priscilla and Aquila had to leave their home, their business, and many of their friends. God turned this tragedy into something remarkable. God then led them to Corinth where they met the apostle Paul and became his trusted coworkers. They helped Paul establish the churches in Corinth and Ephesians – Acts 18.
Paul made a statement in Romans 16:3-4 “They risked their lives for me. Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them.” Priscilla and Aquila were victims of persecution in the first century. Yet God turned this persecution into a benefit for his kingdom.
God’s ability to fulfill his purpose in spite of the events Satan brought is seen more clearly in the drama that occurred at Calvary. Satan conspired with human rulers to bring about Jesus’ death and to ruin God’s plan for mankind salvation – Luke 22:3.
The sovereignty of God’s universe it extends over all his creatures from the highest to the lowest. There is no limit to His absolute sovereignty. His pleasure is in the Angels of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. His sovereignty is unchangeable and can neither be ignored nor rejected. It binds all creatures, and is as unstoppable as the physical laws that bind the material universe together.
God’s sovereignty is exercised in His establishing the laws, physical and moral, which govern all creatures. In determining the nature and powers of the different orders of created beings He assigns each their appropriate sphere. In appointing to each individual his position and lot. It is the Lord who assigns the bounds of our habitation. Our times are in His hands. He determines when, where, and under what circumstances each individual of our race is to be born, lives, and dies. Nations are thus in the hands of God, who assigns them their heritage in the earth, and controls their destiny.
God is no less sovereign in the distribution of His favors. He does what He wills with His own. He gives to some riches, to others honor, to others health, while others are poor, unknown, or the victim of diseases. To some, the light of the gospel is sent, others are left in darkness. Some are brought through faith unto salvation, others parish in unbelief.
For the Christian the idea of sovereignty is an encouraging one. For it assures them that nothing is out of God’s control, and that His plans do triumph. The God of the Bible is not a god of man’s own making or thinking or choosing. He is the God of His own Revelation.
Practicing Christian principles during this pandemic demonstrates our fear of God, not of men (and the virus they may carry). We are to live in submission during these times of adversity. Our Lord and Savior went to the cross in submission to God, because of our sins.