I think we all knew that it would be a big announcement that the president would be making last night, even if we hadn’t comprehended how drastic the measures might be. The prospect of the 21 day lockdown, as necessary as it is, is a daunting one. And yet, it is more the fear of the unknown and the anxiety that such restrictions produce in us that are worse than the reality of it. There will still be food available, there will still be the essential services. Many of us are blessed to have the comfortable homes in which we will now be spending a great deal of time.
Most of all, we know that God is still in charge. This is something that has been highlighted by the message that has been widely shared via social media (i.e. WhatsApp, Facebook etc.). The gist of this message is that South Africa’s lockdown begins on 26 March 2020, now somehow, someone was prompted to take the 26 of the date and the 20 of the year and refer to Isaiah 26:20 which reads:
“Go home, my people, and lock your doors! Hide yourselves for a little while until the LORD’S anger has passed,” (NLT).
I wouldn’t go building a theology or prophetic message based on this, such as, is the Coronavirus God’s judgement on the world? Or, is this the final judgement? If you want a fantastic take on these questions I can recommend a sermon Louie Giglio preached the last Sunday (Sermon Link Here). But it is encouraging to find this word linked in some way to the events unfolding in our country.
The message is that God will watch over us, as we stay in our homes and ride out this storm. He is in control. Another coincidence (or what people call a “God-incidence”) that was pointed out to me is that the end of the lockdown, 16 April is the last day of Passover this year – I double checked and this is accurate. Passover commemorates the time when God’s people were “passed over” by the angel of death as God brought judgement on Pharaoh and Egypt, their oppressors. The Israelites who had brushed the blood of the lamb sacrifice on their doorposts were kept safe in their homes. Jesus, the Lamb of God, is the one who saves us, He keeps us safe.
And so, to end I want to leave you with these encouraging words elsewhere from Isaiah Chapter 26:
You will keep in perfect peace
all who trust in You,
all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
Trust in the Lord always,
for the Lord God is the eternal Rock.
(Isa 26:3-4 NLT)
In a time of anxiety and fear we, God’s people, can have perfect peace in the situation. Let us trust in Him, let us keep our focus on Him and His word. He is constant. He is good. He will be the firm rock-foundation below our feet in a time of shifting change.