Some Thoughts for this Lord's Day... March 29, 2020
Please Read Psalm 2...
I’ve been paying very close attention to this whole COVID-19 (coronavirus) thing, for the sake of my family and my church family – even to the point of watching/listening to long, drawn-out news conferences of federal, state, and local officials, as they report their most recent findings, decisions, prognostications, and hopeful outcomes (depending on their perspective). I’ve also watched/listened to their detractors (often in the news media and opposing politicians) work hard to misquote, twist, argue, and completely ignore all of it. I’ve also watched/listened to or read of various medical experts give their “insights” – e.g. eminently qualified Dr. Expert A says this, while eminently qualified Dr. Expert B says that – in nearly polar opposition to each other as to how all of this will pan out. As all of this is reported, we, the general public who depend on their expertise, are left scratching our heads as we try to figure out who to trust. When you put all of this together, something doesn’t add up – someone is not telling us the truth. Is it because they are looking at and reporting faulty information? Is it on purpose? And which one/group is it? Who do we trust?
This proves the fact that the ugly reality of sin is still very real and growing in scope, even in times of danger and hardship. Even in times one would think that people ought to be helping people, sin raises its ugly head to devour. While some are trying to help, it is certain that sinful people are using this time of extreme hardship to do nothing but promote themselves and their agenda, to take advantage, or who knows what else.
Psalm 2 describes a world that has risen up in turmoil, thinking it has all the answers without and in defiance of God; the world’s leaders have rejected God’s authority, trying to lead the world down their own paths for their own purposes. But God mocks their efforts and sternly warns them, calling upon them to return to Him (cp. 2 Peter 3:9). In the end, He promises blessing to those who trust in Him.
Many charismatic church leaders are claiming this virus is one of the signs of the End Times as listed in Matthew 24; and, sadly, many biblically ignorant people are believing them; but it is not, because Matthew 24 specifically describes the judgments of the book of the Revelation that take place after the Rapture. However, what this modern plague and all the deception, abuse, fear, and frustration going along with it does do for faithful believers is increase our hope – the hope we have that the return of Jesus Christ for His Church (the Rapture) is soon – “Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” – because we’re seeing that we have less and less to trust in around us.
Though we may not always know who we can trust among man through all of this, we do know we can trust, we can rest in the One Who will see us through it.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding.
In all your ways, acknowledge Him;
And He shall direct your paths.
Some Thoughts for this Lord's Day... March 22, 2020
Please read Psalm 46…
The “Sons of Korah” were the formally-appointed musicians for the Temple worship services in Jerusalem – one of them or a collaborating group of them were inspired to pen this psalm. The psalm is stated to have been written “for Alamoth” – that is to be sung by a soprano. At the end of verses 3, 7, and 11, is the word “Selah,” meaning “pause and think about this.” With those details in mind, let’s look at the psalm itself.
Verse 1 informs us that our God “is our Refuge and Strength,” and that He is “a very present Help in trouble [time of distress].” Verses 2-3 tell us that even though things may seem to be falling apart all around us, that we seem to have lost total control of the world around us, there is nothing to fear. Why? Because of the statement made in verse 1. Then there is that word “Selah” – “pause and think about that.” How timely is that? Coronavirus! Nationwide, worldwide panic! Shortages on various products! World, national, local economies are sliding into abysmal disarray! Fear seems reasonable, does it not? But what does verse 1 still say? Do you believe that … or not?
Verses 4-7 tell us that in His dwelling place, everything remains perfectly peaceful and unchanging – in other words, none of this has taken Him by surprise or upset Him. “At the break of dawn” (vs. 5b), just when things are the darkest, “God shall help her” (His “city” – His “tabernacle”). Look at verse 7 – “The LORD of Hosts is with us!” You see, as His children through faith in Christ, we are the citizens of His city, we are those with whom He has chosen to make His tabernacle (Ephesians 2:19; Philippians 3:20; The Revelation 21:3). The world, on the other hand, ultimately, will not fair so well (see verse 6). Again, think about this – “Selah.”
Verses 8-9 tell us that God is the one in charge, not man. We can see and deal with snowstorms, ice storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, and other disasters; but we cannot see this one – an unseen virus – so we’re all afraid; we have no control. But God does! “Come, behold the works of the LORD.”
Verse 10 is well known to many of us, but is often misunderstood and, thus, misapplied. The context indicates the idea of God telling (commanding) mankind (including His own people) to “be still” in the sense of “sit down, be quiet, listen, humble yourself before Me, and trust Me!” Why? Because He is God! And because, as verse 11 puts it for His people (repeating the truth and promise of verse 1), He is ever with us and will always be our refuge. “Selah” – think about it.
So as we endure through these very unique times, make prudent decisions, keep yourself safe, but do not fear – our God is in 100% control and is with us.