No one saw it coming and no one knows when it will end.
Coronavirus has affected all of our lives, some tragically. Still, we get tired of hearing about the increase in infections, the variants, and – unbelievably – the total disregard for the law. This is flagrant disobedience and sadly, even some churches are seen to be ignoring all the rules of lockdown.
Of course, this is nothing new. The pandemic of disobedience has plagued the world since the beginning of history. It started with Adam and Eve listening to a lie and tasting the forbidden fruit.
As I wade through the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, written about 2500 years ago, what really strikes me is not the litany of names, numbers, articles, possessions etc., but the way the people groaned and wept in repentance when they realised how disobedient they have been to the God of Israel. They had married foreign women and taken on the ‘detestable practices’ of the surrounding nations. Worse still, their leaders had initiated these deviations (Ezra 9:1-2). How could they not have known?
What about us today? Our society is plagued by disobedience. The Bible used to be considered the ultimate authority on what is right and wrong. That is why witnesses in court have been required to swear an oath on the Bible, and why so many of our everyday expressions originate from there: the extra mile, the first stone, a city on a hill, the eleventh hour, turning the other cheek.
But few pay much attention to the Bible today. We want to do it our way instead of God’s way. The last verse in the book of judges describes the present human condition . ”Everyone did what was right in his own eyes (Judges 21:25).”
And so the pandemic of disobedience settles over our society like a thick fog that won’t lift.
Our first priorities
As Christians we are called to come out of the surrounding culture of disobedience. Our lifestyle should be a positive example to those around us. We need to spend time with God every day to remain in a good relationship with Him. He is the vine, we are the branches (John 15:5). We are to be the salt of the earth (Matthew 5:13). If we do not stay attached to the vine, we will not draw the spiritual strength we need to be the salt of the earth and our example will not inspire anyone.
All Christians look forward to the return of Jesus, when every knee will bow in obedience to him. This will usher in the great 180 degree turn we all long for. Slowly but surely the pandemic of disobedience will retreat until righteousness fills the earth (Daniel 2:44).
If people are tempted to wander away from the truth, they will hear a voice behind them saying, “this is the way, walk in it” (Isaiah 20:31).