My treatise last week focused on finding biblical positions on Isolation and Vaccination which are the fulcrum of governmental interventions for the COVID-19 pandemic. I concluded last week that a New Testament believer should put up a “Faith Resistance” against the disease, realizing that there is healing in the redemptive work of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. As much as our sins are paid for, so are our sicknesses paid for on the cross of Calvary.
I however ended on the note that faith has levels. Whereas Paul was never reported sick, Timothy had Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Trophimus was once left sick in Miletus. I should add Epaphroditus was also so sick that Paul described it as a near death experience, but thanked God he survived. The last two stories ended in victory, portending some believers may fall sick during this pandemic as at other times due to natural causes. Believers can always realize that victory was already purchased by Christ on the cross of Calvary and receive their miracles. However, if at the level of their faith, they need natural help like Timothy needed, they should not shy away from it. With that, I also made a case for vaccination which is a product of modern medicine and has been the answer to various epidemics around the world for several decades. Again, it is not compulsory, neither should anyone be condemned for taking it.
Moving forward, let us therefore focus on isolation today. I want to remind you of my position last week that the Old Testament focused on the building of the nation of Israel. The provisions of the Law of Moses, while not mandatory for us in the New Testament remain a very rich source of wisdom in Enterprise and nation building. The cannon laws formed the foundation for the development of the legislature and judiciary of many modern democracies. They remain the primary influence of Jewish culture which has seen their race win several Nobel prizes. All Nobel prizes won by American scientists were won by Jewish Americans. The Jews have also built a modern economy, owning a large share of global commonwealth and brought them to such dominance in innovation and in different spheres of influence.
While the scope of the law of Moses is very expansive, relevant to my thoughts here are some of the health laws governing infectious diseases. Particularly of note is leprosy which is believed by Bible scholars today to have meant a wide range of infectious diseases including leprosy as known today. I will allow the scriptures speak for themselves.
“Now the leper on whom the sore is, his clothes shall be torn and his head bare; and he shall cover his mustache, and cry, ‘Unclean! Unclean!’ He shall be unclean. All the days he has the sore he shall be unclean. He is unclean, and he shall dwell alone; his dwelling shall be outside the camp.” (New King James Version).
“Command the people of Israel that they put out of the camp everyone who is leprous or has a discharge and everyone who is unclean through contact with the dead. You shall put out both male and female, putting them outside the camp, that they may not defile their camp, in the midst of which I dwell.” (English Standard Version).
The above scriptures were preventive measures against the spread of diseases. Several other similar scriptures dealt with the prevention of diseases from human contact with the dead, with food and even with infected houses. Whereas in matters of personal faith, a person can choose to be carefree out of a high level of confidence in the provisions of healing in the atonement, it is presumptuous to assume the same on one’s entire family, local church or even nation. The science behind the wearing of masks, physical distancing and isolation is only catching up with the Law of Moses written over 4,000 years ago. Like leprosy, Covid 19 is primarily spread by someone coming into contact with droplets from the breadth of the infected. Isolation was the solution in Bible days and it remains the solution today for the larger society.
Some governments have appeared quite extremist in their responses to the pandemic. It has appeared that regulating religious worship has been of special delight to them while people are allowed to mingle in markets, malls and a myriad of other places. Where openly discriminatory, it is in good place to peacefully resist. However, ours is to subject ourselves to civil authorities according to the Will of God(Romans 13:1). The body of Christ ought to be found respecting authorities and behaving in an orderly manner. We are to be shining examples to the rest of our societies.
In conclusion, it has been discovered that whoever follows the dietary laws of the old covenant will have strong immunity and here lies the most critical factor to surviving this pandemic after our faith in the finished work of the grace of God, and that is building immunity through proper dieting, sanitation and exercise. A well immune body has been designed by God to overcome any disease that may come against it. By the grace of God, we will soon look back at this season and rejoice together for not succumbing to the vicissitudes of a pandemic that characterized it.