Fear the Right Thing

In the wake of our current health scare, we’ve begun noticing odd things.

One of the elders of our church called me the other night after a trip to the grocery store.  He saw shelves emptied of bottled water, toilet paper, Clorox . Meanwhile, my daughter called and reported how certain canned goods were wiped out at her neighborhood market, as well as cold case meats. My wife told me that hand sanitizer and wipes were being stolen from her place of employment. 

These scenes are something new to us in 2020—threatening portents of some deadly upcoming experience.  

Pandemics are certainly nothing new to our world. I’m thinking of Spanish influenza outbreak of 1918 that killed an estimated 127,000,000 people worldwide, roughly three percent of the world population at that time.  And if you want to get positively apocalyptic, the black death–Bubonic plague–annihilated almost three-quarters of Europe. All of these are a far distance from us now, while the mortality rate of the coronavirus is still only at 3.8%. Given the way people are responding to this latest illness though, it is likely that the fear of it will do more harm than the illness itself.

Someone in my church small group asked, “What would it be like if people were as concerned about getting right with God, as they were with avoiding the virus?”  Great question. After all, the mortality rate of human life is a solid 100%. You will eventually die of something.  And your chances of meeting God are also an inescapable 100%.  

It’s partly why the prophet Amos said, “Prepare to meet your God” (4:12).  Most of us aren’t prepared, and that’s never so apparent than when death or even the remote possibility of death comes calling.

Oswald Chambers once said, “when you fear God, you fear nothing else, whereas if you do not fear God, you fear everything else.”  (Yes, even if it is only microbes).

I wonder what would happen if anything from the Book of Revelation was literally fulfilled before our eyes today.  Would all the toilet paper on earth disappear? Could be.  

Maybe that’s why so many warnings occur in Scripture long before actual judgments occur.  It takes awhile for us to believe them, and even when they happen, we’re still barely prepared for them on any kind of emotional/spiritual level.

In the meantime, there’s no need to be foolish,  either physically or spiritually. For coronavirus, follow sound health recommendations, like washing your hands, and keeping social distance.  

For God, follow all Scriptural recommendations, like repenting, believing in Christ, and being saved.  If you’ve already done so, then proceed to live like it.

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