“…the man who is in the field must not turn back.” Luke 17:31
The Israelites were living in exile in Egypt. It’s a long story how they happened to be there. They had experienced hardship, war, and famine. Their ancestors were fighting wars before many of these people were born. They wound up in Egypt because they had experienced a famine in the land of Israel. They began to cry out to the Lord. The Lord heard the cry of His people and sent Moses and Aaron to rescue them.
This is a very entangled story because Moses (a Jew by birth) had been brought up by the daughter of Pharaoh and raised as an Egyptian. But, God had never left him nor lost sight of him. He called Moses to rescue the people, thinking Pharaoh would listen. However, he didn’t. A very strong series of plagues was thrust upon the Egyptians until finally Pharaoh begged Moses to take the people out of Egypt along with all their belongings. (The Book of Exodus)
Now, this is where we can relate to the story of the Israelites. They wandered 40 days and nights in the desert. It took them that long to make a trip that could have taken them far less time. The nearest route was through the land of the Philistines, but this would have meant they would have to fight their way through and God knew this wouldn’t work. “God said, the people will change their minds and return to Egypt if they face war.” (Ex. 13:17) They traveled the long way—grumbling and complaining and rising up in protest. Sounds like today, right?
We have been grumbling and complaining, rising up in protest for we have been in isolation for 80 days to fight this unseen enemy that is plaguing us. We are crying out “Lord save us!” He has heard our cry, but are we willing to do what we have to do in order to win this battle? Based on what we see on the news broadcasts, it looks like the answer is a resounding, “NO.” But, I would venture to say that isn’t the clear picture. Meanwhile, there are many, many more who are remaining faithful to God bowing in prayer and being compliant to the rules set before them. You see, all we need is to have the faith of a mustard seed. Jesus said, “If you have the faith the size of a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be rooted and planted in the sea and it will obey you.” (Luke 17:6) Now, that’s pretty powerful, I’d say!
What we are facing today is a spiritual warfare. Paul says to the church at Ephesus and it holds true for today. “For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens.” (Eph. 6:12) God tells us through the words of Isaiah, “I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with My righteous right hand.” (40:10)
The trip [Isolation] may feel long, but this too shall pass. You and I—everyone—need to do our part.
Dear God, help those who have lost loved ones; help those who have contracted this virus; and God help those who are struggling to do the right thing. God help us to be strong and courageous. We cry out “God help us!” In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN
Isaiah 41:10 Exodus 13:17/14:11 Philippians 3:13,14 Luke 17:31