On Plagues and Judgment

In my Bible reading during this time of quarantine, I’m taking note of the times when God judged his people by sending a plague among them.

For instance, we have the case of King Jehoram who walked in the wicked ways of the kings of Israel, who killed his brothers, and who led his people to spiritual harlotry. The Lord punished him in this way, “Behold, the Lord will bring a great plague on your people, your children, your wives, and all your possessions,” (2 Chronicles 21:13 ESV).

Then we have the case of the Israelites in the wilderness: “But they soon forgot his works; they did not wait for his counsel. But they had a wanton craving in the wilderness, and put God to the test in the desert; he gave them what they asked, but sent a wasting disease among them” (Psalm 106:13-15 ESV)

It may well be that the present calamity that has befallen the world is a form of global divine judgment. For people of faith who believe that God is sovereign, that nothing happens outside of his will, and that he has a purpose in everything, including judgment, this conclusion is not easy to dismiss.

In any event, now is as good a time as any to heed the words of 2 Chronicles 7:13, 14: “When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”(NKJV)

Lord, forgive us our sins. Show us your mercy. Heal our land, heal our world! Amen.

Image Source: https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/03/07/coronavirus-epidemic-prediction-policy-advice-121172

One with Wuhan

“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” (Romans 5:12)

The air has suddenly become deadly
and breathing more precious than ever.
Closeness has been suspended;
distancing is the norm.
The news is not uplifting;
fear is on the rise.
Businesses are closing;
people stay at home.
Churches do not gather;
preaching is done on-line.
Grocery shelves are empty;
panicking, we buy!
The future is uncertain:
Are we doomed to die?

When faced with our mortality,
our priorities go awry.
But he who sits upon the throne
dispenses justice on the earth.
He hears the cries of beasts and men,
and singles out Wuhan.

Now all the world must suffer.
The death of all, the sin of one.

Copyright 2020 Dennis M. Cortes

Image Source: http://www.wsj.com

Vanity of Vanities?

“Let us hear the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring very work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 KJV)

You can’t be blamed if the impression you get from reading Ecclesiastes is that “Everything is vanity” must be its theme. But when you reach chapter 12, there seems to be a great reversal of this theme. Instead of “Nothing matters,” this time everything matters because God will judge everything you do. The fact that God is there and will judge everything we’ve done makes everything we do significant. Our lives and actions are meaningful because there is a God who will evaluate all these and will stamp his seal of approval (or disapproval) upon all that we’ve done. If so, we have to make sure we’re ready to face him on judgment day.