The shutdown has taken a firm hold on our nation. Australians everywhere are hurting because of it. There are expectations that it will be taken to the next level. Who can tell what pain that will cause?
However, in the midst of our pain, we understand only too well the need for us to be serious about “social distancing.” We have a responsibility to our fellow Australians to “flatten the curve” – to take grim control so that the incidence of this dread disease, COVID-19, does not grow to the catastrophic proportions which we have seen in Italy, and are seeing in Spain, and, as some will have it, will see in the USA.
We long for all this to end. But will it? Will the world ever survive this monumental disaster? Will this ever end?
They are big questions. Some see this as the end, yet the troubles of the end will be even more catastrophic than this.
But the suffering now is real, very real. What hope can be offered to those who suffer?
We see as we look back through Bible history, that, theologically, there is always hope. There are firm promises that when disaster strikes God IS in control. Isaiah 26:20 is one of those promises. Speaking to the terrified nation of Judah who could scarcely believe the threats and actual pain that firstly Syria and then Assyria and finally Babylon, could bring to Judah under the judgment of God, Isaiah calls on the people of God to self-isolate, quarantine themselves even, with the promise that even these desperate times will pass. They will be here for a “little while” but they WILL pass. That’s the principle we take from this passage.
This time of COVID-19 WILL pass, under the hand of a loving, just, sovereign God. So, what do we do? We retreat into the isolation the government demands. But we don’t waste it. We look out for each other. We care for each other. We genuinely comfort those who mourn. We lovingly point them to the Saviour. We wait on the Lord and pray for the plague to pass. It WILL do so, “in a little while” (Isaiah 26:20).
Pastor Ralph Legge