The Bible and Lessons from COVID-19
Are we learning lessons from COVID-19? Our world is seemingly very fragile now, as stock markets, business, tourism, and education all react in panic to the declaration that COVID-19 is a pandemic. But this is not the first pandemic, nor will it be the last. So what wisdom can we gain and what action can we take when it comes to the spectre of contagious disease? The bible offers wisdom that can alleviate fear and give us positive steps to take to protect ourselves and our communities. Moses penned this advice millennia ago, but it is well worth reviewing.
None of These Diseases
When Israel left Egypt they were leaving a society that was plagued by contagious and chronic diseases. One of the blessings the Lord promised was protection from these illnesses. But there was a condition! The Israelites had to adhere to the teachings — the commands and statutes — that the Lord would give them. These teachings involved a lifestyle that would by its nature avoid or combat communicable infections. The Lord who made the human body knew the facts, and he provided effective strategies to prevent sickness. He built them into the national constitution for the health of all the people. And, he would hold the people to account. There would be natural consequences for ignoring these important guidelines.
Can We Know the Facts about COVID-19?
In our world however, it is difficult to ascertain the facts. One of the lessons from COVID-19 is that the source of the corona virus is unclear. The facts are muddied, the situation is opaque, and many differing observations and conclusions have been drawn. Initially the outbreak was blamed on a ‘wet market’ in Wuhan, an open-air affair selling every kind of ‘meat’ imaginable. Later, some scientists speculated that the virus was really the product of an accidental release from a level 4 bio-research facility in Wuhan. Others have considered the deaths from the virus to be a result of a perfect storm of events.
Wuhan is known for its Wuhan pneumonia, the consequence of breathing the highly polluted air in the city. The air pollution levels in Wuhan were very high as news of the infection began to be released. And then there is the added factor of the vaccination campaign that had recently been inaugurated in China. And vaccines have had their issues in the past with viral contamination. Was one of these factors the cause of the pandemic, or was it a combination of many factors, some known and others unknown, or unknowable. Without clear facts, clear conclusions cannot be made.
Ancient Wisdom for Modern Issues
However, the Lord created instructions to deal with all of the possible factors. Moses relayed information about how to avoid illness, so Israel could be a model nation for others to emulate. There were many things that could ‘defile’ people and lead to poor health. Eating the wrong kinds of food was one of these issues. Having left Egypt and its dietary practices behind the Israelites were given a refresher course on the kinds of meat that God had created for food. God knew long before modern science that issues would arise with transmission of disease if we ate things that were not meant to be eaten. Listening to God’s advice would pay dividends in the form of good health.
The Lord also provided rules of washing and hygiene, how to deal with excrement or dead bodies, and other disease carriers. And this, millennia before modern medicine began to take these important steps to eliminate contagion. Biblical instructions about bleeding clean animals properly and not eating blood would help people avoid blood-borne diseases. And effective quarantine measures according to the scriptures would limit the spread of disease within a community. The Lord who provided this revelation is eternal, changeless and always wants his people to prosper and be in good health. So he gave them his wisdom to guide them.
Biblical Health Basics
The Lord provided us all the basics that we need for well-being: sound sleep, good nutrition, clean water and air, positive relationships, and peace of mind. But we live in a world where people have not followed the Lord’s instruction to care for the earth and love God and neighbour. As a result our bodies are assaulted regularly because of polluted air and water, contaminated food, and the stress of life in a secular society that rejects the Creator’s wisdom. So there are times when our physical resources to avoid or combat disease are limited or ineffective. What then? What are some other lessons from COVID-19?
The Lord Our Healer!
There is no need to panic if we put our faith in the Lord. He has promised to protect his people even in times of pandemics. Doing our part and following his wise advice is critical. But, when physical measures prove insufficient, then we must trust God to be our shield. He has promised to be our refuge and our strength in times of trouble. We do not need to fear, even if we become ill, for God is able and willing to heal those who love him and seek him. When we fill our minds with the Lord’s words, and have confidence in his love for us, he will hear our prayers and deliver us. Turn to God and have faith conquer your fears … that too is one of the lessons from COVID-19.
Learn more about biblical healing and health:
God our Healer
God Our Healer Series