Today as I sit in isolation and recognise that we all face an enemy we cannot see, the effect of this enemy is evident not only in the physical sense but also in what we hold as being important. I don’t know how or when or even why toilet paper became the most sought-after commodity, but it surely says a lot about our character. Even though we have been assured there will be no shortage, there is widespread panic that as the shelves are emptied by people hording it, we will be left out. I can certainly think of things that would be more important should there be a shortage – things like common sense.
Quite a few people are worried about the economy and how much money would be worth. Many places today will not accept cash as it may be infected and so prefer plastic. Maybe paper money will become the new toilet paper. President Trump warns about the possibility of mass suicide of businessmen who are suffering as the economy tanks. Lt. Governor Dan Patrick of Texas made the statement that seniors are willing to sacrifice themselves for the good of the country, as though their lives meant less than the economic prosperity of others. What has happened to us as people, that profit and power has more value than life?
Wars, rebellion, terrorism, fires and earthquakes have become a footnote as news of this deadly virus infects the whole world. While we sit in our own little space, nothing is that was not before. We will come through this. We will focus on being better as a society and for a short time, much like a new year’s resolution, we will try by our own strength to live according to humanistic belief.
There is another invisible enemy only seen by the results of his devastation. Evident by greed, pride, selfishness and death – an enemy warned of for thousands of years and yet ignored by many: his strength comes through denial of his existence. At this point many of you reading this and thinking I am overreacting, much like the first announcement of the coronavirus, will ignore what follows. There is one who desires to destroy us – physically and emotionally and spiritually. His goal is to rebel against God. Ephesians 3:10 “so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.” That manifold wisdom refers to salvation made available to all through the sacrifice of Jesus for our sins. It demonstrates to the princes and powers in heaven that God is indeed in control and the followers of Satan have lost their bid to rule.
In Luke 21:10-19 Jesus tells us what the end will look like. This and Revelation 6:1-17 give us insight as to why things are happening now. I am not being a doomsday prophet, but I believe that God’s plan is unfolding just as he said it would. I am taking seriously the great commission of Matthew 28:18-20. It is the only purpose of the church. We are to make disciples (students who copy Christ, the teacher) who observe everything that Christ has commanded. We are to baptize believers in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The church is to witness and to teach; confident in Jesus who is with us forever. Do not be fooled by following only what you choose to believe because God is the same today as he was in the beginning and always will be. The result of having knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 3) is that we have taken it upon ourselves to decide what is good or not. We have, to our own detriment, judged God.