With all the Coronavirus hub-bub these days everywhere, I was recently asked about a social media post citing the Bible verse from 2 Chronicles where God punished the sins of Israel through plagues, locusts, etc. These calamities were all in an attempt to bring God’s people to repentance. No, I don’t buy the idea that it’s God’s plan to use the Coronavirus as a catalyst for worldwide repentance. Just in the same way that I don’t believe it is God’s will for us to watch Cancer ravish the lives of our loved ones.
We do live in a world that is detached from God, a “war-zone” if you will. It is a world of physical disease and diseases of the soul such as greed. In this war-zone, we are now in the midst of another pandemic, the likes of which seems to emerge once every one hundred years or so. So rather than view the current pandemic as a global call to repent, I see it rather as another symptom resulting from our detachment from God. The virus is a part of this world that is not of our Lord, but rather a byproduct of our fallen condition. For inspiration during these challenging times, I opt to examine other people throughout our collective human experience that have lived lives in isolation.
In all of this I like to remember the historical and biblical characters who lived their lives in much worse isolation. As my wife was cleaning her closet on day two, she came across the “Diary of Anne Frank.” What an appropriate person to reexamine during our current time period. Anne was 13 when she was forced into hiding. Our situation pales in comparison. She couldn’t go outside, or open the window for fresh air. She often had to remain silent for periods of time. Yet she endured and even found moments of happiness and some satisfaction in an unreasonable living situation.
On to the Bible. Noah, now there is a fella with some cramped living arrangements. Not only was he limited to interactions with a small group of family members, he was sharing the space with a whole bunch of animals. Basically, this lucky fellow found himself in a floating zoo for 40 days and 40 nights. The smell must have been magnificent.
Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse than Noah, there is Jonah. Yes, Jonah’s duration was much shorter than Noah and Anne Frank (3 days and 3 nights) But how uncomfortable must he have been to be in the mouth of a “big fish?” If I had to pick one of these, I don’t which one I would choose to suffer through, but I will say I would rather endure our current dilemma, no doubt about it.
Finally there is Jesus. He went to the desert in isolation really only accompanied by Satan, not exactly great company. Our Lord spent 40 days without food or human contact. So now, not only was he not talking to anyone, Satan was there to tempt Jesus while he was physically weak, not once but three times. The temptations seem to resemble a morbid type of teasing….starving, well here is some food to alleviate your suffering. Only the Son of God could suffer and overcome such tremendous isolation and temptation.
Our current crisis will pass, it is not unique to the human experience. For strength I will continue to consider those before me that have traveled a similar road, while praying to Our Lord Jesus, and of course repenting every day just in case 🙂
-Got any other examples? Feel free to comment….