THE SERVANT GENERAL
A PERSPECTIVE ON COVID-19
OUR WAY OUT
has brought the whole world to its knees. This means two things.
For much of the world, it is being reduced to a position of
helplessness and desperation. For Christians (and hopefully
non-Christians as well), it means being humbled and becoming
prayerful. For the former, there is increasing hopelessness;
for the latter, there is always hope.
world faces a dilemma. Lockdown to flatten the curve and hopefully
defeat the pandemic? But this has quickly brought the world
to economic dislocation and is threatening arecession. The
cure can become worse than the disease. Or open up society
and get people back to work? But this can lead to more infections
and deaths. There are no easy choices or solutions. It is
a seemingly lose-lose situation.
is a quick way out? It is to find a cure or vaccine. ASAP.
And so the world is feverishly working at one. And aside from
the work of scientists and epidemiologists, what can help?
It is prayer. Who can help? Only God. The whole world needs
King Solomon and all the people of Israel had dedicated the
Temple. The Lord spoke to Solomon and what the Lord told him
is the key for us today in defeating COVID-19.
must first know this basic reality: God does chastise His
people for their sins. To miss this point, or even to deny
this point as some bishops have done, is to not understand
what God is doing, and in not understanding, we will miss
what God wants us to do. The world we live in today is in
deep darkness and much sin. Many, including many Christians,
have turned away from God.
does such chastisement come? The prophet Ezekiel speaks of
the “four evil punishmentssword, famine, wild beasts,
and plague” (Ez 14:21). This is echoed in John’s
vision of the fourth seal, where Death and Hades would “kill
with sword, famine, and plague, and by means of the beasts
of the earth.” (Rev 6:8). In this vision, they would
bring death and decay to “over a quarter of the earth.”
Hopefully this is not yet time for the end and not that many
will die. But we can see the terrifying possibilities.
think of the end in terms of death with the sword, or, translated
to modern times, by global nuclear war. But it could also
come through ecological destruction, or plagues, or pandemic
diseases. Right this moment, locust swarms have invaded Africa,
and billions of locusts are ravaging crops and devouring food
sources for millions of people.This could cause massive starvation
and famine. Then we have COVID-19.
had said to Solomon, “If I close heaven so that there
is no rain, if I command the locust to devour the land, if
I send pestilence among my people, ….” (2 Chr
7:13). God does do these things to chastise His people. God
then tells Solomon, and us, what we are to do.
then my people, upon whom my name has been pronounced,
humble themselves and pray,
and seek my face and turn from their evil ways,
I will hear them from heaven
and pardon their sins and heal their land.”
(2 Chronicles 7:14).
are the people upon whom God’s name has been pronounced?
These are the Christians. The responsibility lies basically
with us. We are the ones who know the one true God. As such,
we are the ones to implore the true and all-powerful God for
His divine help. Then whatever we do will affect the rest
of the world. What are we to do?
we are to humble ourselves. COVID-19 has shown the world how
helpless it truly is. A microscopic pathogen has shut down
everything. The world has been priding itself in its accomplishments.
They have begun to look on themselves as gods. But now whatever
they have built can be destroyed in an instant. That should
be humbling. It is what is needed for the world to turn to
we are to pray. We turn to God in prayer. We recognize God’s
dominion over the world, which the world has rejected, and
accept that only God can make things right. We recognize our
helplessness and hopelessness apart from God. We implore God
for His mercy.
we are to seek God’s face. We must know Him, understand
His ways, and hear Him speak to us. We are told by the psalmist,
“Seek out the Lord and his might; constantly seek his
face.” (Ps 105:4). Now, as we are on lockdown, is a
perfect time to seek God’s face. Aside from prayer,
we are to look to the word of God, the Bible. Then there is
further study of various aspects of our faith. There is still
much to learn.
we are to turn from our evil ways. As we get to know more
of God’s word, we can know what is pleasing to Him or
not. Then we must repent of sin and resolve to sin no more.
We repent of the wrong we do and for not doing the right we
ought to do. We also not only reject sin but strive to move
on to greater righteousness and holiness.
Then what will God do?
God will hear us from heaven. God is concerned about us. God
does have a future full of hope for us. But we need to turn
to Him. We need to spend time with Him, as children of the
Father, brothers and disciples of Jesus, and holy warriors
of the Spirit. God will not withhold good things from us.
God assures us, “Now, therefore, my eyes shall be open
and my ears attentive to the prayer of this place” (2
Second, God will pardon our sins. As we repent, God assures
us of His forgiveness. No sin is too grave. But we need to
place God back in His rightful place in our lives, as our
number one priority. And we must never again turn back to
darkness and sin. God warns us, “But if ever you turn
away and forsake my commandments and statutes which I set
before you, and proceed to serve other gods, and bow down
to them, I will uproot the people from the land I gave and
repudiate the house I have consecrated for my name.”
(2 Chr 7:19-20a).
God will heal our land. Aha. If only we would do what we need
to do, then God can stop this pandemic in its tracks. If only
we would learn our lessons, then God can restore peace in
our lives and in the world.
God has given us the way out of this pestilence that is COVID-19.
Let us then do what God tells us to do.