In the midst of precautions and fears against COVID-19 and reports of terrible suffering of those who are in places where medical supplies are in shortage, my husband and I have been able to shelter in place. Daily we offer prayers for family members who must continue to be out and about.
I have felt strongly that the Lord's instruction to us is to stay under His canopy of protection. This will mean something different for each individual; for us oldsters it means we need to stay out of the way, stay sheltered in place, and don't burden an already stressed medical system further because we couldn't do without creamer for our coffee or some such thing, so that we go out unnecessarily. There are good lessons to be learned during this time for people like me, who have never known rationing or want.
For others, like my son, son-in-law, and daughter-in-law, this means being much in prayer as they go out into the world to do jobs that must be done. "The Lord your God will be with you wherever you go..." (Joshua 1:9).
All of us need to be aware that the Lord is with us in this unprecedented time, and that He is drawing our attention to Himself through it. In my daily Bible reading plan I just happened to come to Numbers 16 this morning, and read these words: "The plague had already started among the people, but Aaron offered incense and made atonement for them. He stood between the living and the dead, and the plague stopped. But 14,700 people died from the plague..." (Numbers 16:47).
I consulted Matthew Henry's concise commentary on these verses:
"There is an infection of sin in the world, which only the cross and intercession of Jesus Christ can stay and remove. He enters the defiled and dying camp. He stands between the dead and the living; between the eternal Judge and the souls under condemnation. We must have redemption through His blood, even the remission of sins. We admire the ready devotion of Aaron: shall we not bless and praise the unspeakable grace and love which filled the Saviour’s heart, when he placed himself in our stead, and bought us with his life? Greatly indeed hath God commended his love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us, Romans 5:8" (Matthew Henry Concise, on Numbers 16).Each of us needs to turn to the Lord during this time, with hearts open to His correction and love, looking to Jesus, claiming the precious Blood, pleading with Him to intercede for us, confessing as is needed, and praying earnestly for those who are suffering. Lord let this time draw us closer to You. We look to You. Please shorten the duration of this pandemic, and turn our hearts to You.