The COVID-19 pandemic has been with us for over a year now, and we are not sure when it will end. It is obvious that Covid’s effects are not just felt by those who have contracted the disease, but also by the general public. People from all walks of life are feeling stress, anxiety and depression depending on how they are personally affected and how governments are dealing with the pandemic. In North America we have a range of responses, from people ignoring the pandemic and living the life they desire, indifferent to those around them, and those who isolate themselves and follow the guidelines given to reduce the spread of the virus.
It is helpful to go to God’s word to understand why this has occurred and how we should handle this trying situation.
It is thought by most of the scientific community that this virus, like others, was passed from animals to humans. This likely came from food markets with unsanitary conditions where exotic animals were housed and handled for food. “Seventy-five percent of the newly emerging diseases currently affecting people originate in animals, according to Predict, a US government-funded collaboration by infectious disease experts across the globe.” *
In the Bible we see that God gave commandments to the children of Israel regarding what they could eat, and the importance of proper washing when handling a dead animal. Reading Leviticus 11 gives us an understanding of what could be eaten and how the children of Israel were to work with animals, birds and fish. There was a strong focus on sanitation and the washing of oneself to prevent infection. If these laws, written about 3,500 years ago, were kept today – it would greatly reduce the spread of the communicable diseases we currently face.
In Leviticus 13:4 we see how social distancing was also practiced to protect the population in Bible times. In Leviticus 13:45, the leper had to cover his upper lip to prevent the spread of leprosy. The Greek translation (used at the time of Christ) says, “Let him put a covering upon his mouth.”
The health rules given to the children of Israel were unlike any other nation. Neither Egypt nor Babylon (two concurrent nations) had the same understanding. The importance of washing hands only came to be understood in the medical field about 150 years ago. These verses clearly show God’s word was written and inspired by him.
What are we to do?
Luke 21:25-27 speaks of the time we live in: “men’s hearts failing them for fear” because of the events taking place. We see this as one of the signs of the soon return of Christ.
King Solomon prayed and gave advice for all those in circumstances like us. 1Kings 8:37-39 points out for us “if there be pestilence (disease) … whatsoever plague, whatsoever sickness there be”, we should pray to God and He will hear us. We also should strive to put into practice the instructions of His word, by continuing to read His word and grow in an understanding of the incredible plans He has for those who love Him.