The Corona Virus has spread fear, infection and even death into our world. In doing so it has become the focus of worldwide attention. So many other stories have been pushed into the background, stories that would otherwise make news headlines. This pandemic has revealed a greater sickness that has long infected all of humanity.
We have a shallowness of care. As a society, be it global, national or even local, people care only about what impacts them.
China was and is more interested in its International image than it is in the welfare of either its people or the people of the world whom it has infected. In placing prestige before people, it refused to quickly respond, accept international help when it was offered and needed and finally, it allowed brutality and starvation to arise while shutting down a region.
As the virus spread, people began panic buying, hoarding everyday necessities in case they ran short, with little concern for the needs or welfare of their neighbors. The mate-ship image of everyday Australians has been irreparably shattered.
However, there is an even deeper loss of character that has been demonstrated. In our panic, we have demonstrated that all that matters is the here and now. There is little concept of the deeper virtues and resilience that arises from having a profound and enduring faith. This has been contrasted for me by working through Psalm 3. In this Psalm, David reflects on the state of his soul, while his whole world collapses around him and unjustly he is a wanted fugitive, with orders to be killed on sight.
Amid turmoil and persecution, he was able to restfully sleep and find refreshment in God (v5).
The Psalm concludes with these words. “Salvation belongs to the Lord, Your blessing is upon the people. Selah” (Ps 3:8) There are three words that need unwrapping here. Salvation in Hebrew is ‘Yesu’ which in English untranslated is ‘Jesus’. The name of Jesus was given to Bethlehem’s Babe because He would save the People. The second is blessing. To be blessed of God means to be in His favor. It means that we are refreshed by the rain and the dew. It means we find victory and deliverance. Blessing is more than just an old greeting or well wish. Finally, Selah is to rest or pause and contemplate what has been said.
Let me restate this verse with these words unwrapped.
The salvation of the Lord, which is found in Jesus Christ, belongs to Him and He rains this blessing of hope, joy, and victory upon His people through Him. Take some time and reflect upon this.
In this world which has lost its mind, and panicked like a startled flock of sheep, look up to Heaven. God is your shield and your firm foundation. He is the One who delights in you and will save at this life’s end.
Fear Not, for the Lord is with you!