I recently shared a humorous post from Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New Orleans. It was a series of photos showing comical signs they made encouraging social distancing at their weekly church services. Every other pew had a sign encouraging folks to not sit too close. Some read, “I prepared a place for you... just not this pew” or “this pew is reserved for Elijah.” Most of the comments praised the congregation for their clever and uplifting message supporting social distancing. Thousands of people shared the post and hundreds commented tagging their own pastors and churches asking them to do the same.
But one comment stood out to me amongst all the light-hearted fun. It read, “If you all truly knew the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of the entire Bible then you would not have fear and you wouldn't be taking part in this social distance mask evilness. God protects His people... No weapons formed against us will prosper!”
Reading this person’s words, which invoked the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob, suddenly jogged my theological mind and quickened my spirit. The answer was so simple, why hadn’t thought of it sooner?
This individual’s comment was not unlike many I’ve read, especially from Evangelicals, condemning the idea of social distancing and wearing masks. I have even written on the idea that Jesus would wear a mask to protect others. Yet, so many Christians seem to reject the notion and harken the idea that God will protect them and that if they trust God, this plague will pass them over.
When the people of Israel were enslaved by the Egyptians, plagues ravaged the land. This season in biblical history would make 2020 look like a walk in the park. Water turned to blood. Frogs infested the land. Lice attacked. Flies swarmed. The animals became sick. Boils. Hail. Locusts. Darkness reigned for days. And then finally, a plague came to wipe out the first born of all people and animals.
With each new day of destruction, Moses warned the ruler of the land and advised him how to bring an end to the economic and medical destruction that was befalling the country. Each time, the ruler ignored the advice.
Finally, a warning came that death and destruction was coming unlike anyone had ever seen. Again, the ruler refused to listen. Now, Moses was to warn his people how to avoid letting the plague harm them too.
God commanded that all people were to protect themselves by placing blood over the mantle of their homes and further commanded that no one leave their homes until it was declared safe.
I can not stress this enough!
God literally quarantined the people of Israel in their homes and had them take protective measures to keep themselves and others safe. God told them how to prepare their meals, to stockpile food, and to wait within their homes.
This was a directive given by Moses. It was not a request. No one felt like their rights were being violated or that they should protest Moses in the streets. The command from God wasn’t imprisoning them! It’s how they were set free and given the opportunity to truly live.
Whether you see the blood placed upon the mantle as a metaphor for masks or vaccines or Lysol wipes, God called on everyone to protect themselves and their neighbors. He quarantined them and told them they could not leave their homes! God warned that for those who refused to listen there would be, “loud wailing throughout the land—worse than there has ever been or ever will be again.” (Ex 11:6)
If you are a believer, there is no biblical standing to support the idea of opposing taking precaution, listening to experts, quarantining, caring for your neighbor, or personal protective equipment.
Yes, God can and will save you from the plague, if you are humble enough to actually listen to the warnings and take the steps necessary to protect yourself and others. Just like He did in the land of Egypt.