It is during this season of COVID’19 scare looming over the nations, that I first heard the word ‘quarantine’ being used so regularly.
Faithfully the Holy Spirit assures daily that this situation doesn’t or not once have overwhelmed God. The downward spiral of economic situation has the potential to quench the hope most of us are holding onto. BUT, GOD! Never lets us sink into despair.
Noah, this man kept coming to mind. Close to 364 days he was, along with his family, inside a ship called an ark; while God judged the world of its depravity. It says in Genesis 6:3 & 5-8 – “Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive and remain with man forever, because he is indeed flesh [sinful, corrupt—given over to sensual appetites]; nevertheless, his days shall yet be a hundred and twenty years. The Lord saw that the wickedness (depravity) of man was great on the earth, and that every imagination or intent of the thoughts of his heart were only evil continually. The Lord [regretted that He had made mankind on the earth, and He was [deeply] grieved in His heart. So the Lord said, “I will destroy (annihilate) mankind whom I have created from the surface of the earth—not only man, but the animals and the crawling things and the birds of the air—because it [deeply] grieves Me [to see mankind’s sin]andI regret that I have made them.”But Noah found favorandgrace in the eyes of theLord”.
Why did Noah find favor in the eyes of the Lord?
Noah was a righteous man [one who was just and had right standing with God], blameless in his [evil] generation; Noah walked (lived) [in habitual fellowship] with God– Genesis 6:9.
Our righteousness is not based on the bible plans we have subscribed to, reading four chapters every day or sit in prayer for six long hours. We are righteous because of Jesus. Out of that righteousness comes a life standardized by God. For His favor to be a part and parcel of our everyday lives, it is so necessary that we give Him more and more room into our seconds. Else, every other thing we associate with favor, will soon be a vapor.
It perplexes me to how this man, alone, could have stood out. The wickedness in Noah’s time wasn’t mild or subtle. It was voraciously horrific. Imagine, if it impacted the entire mankind then, it wasn’t beyond the reach of Noah. If he opened the door of his house, to go to work, to purchase groceries from the market, to draw water from the well; whatever it maybe, it was wickedness that constantly snarled at him, and moreover highlighted, “everyone is doing this, so it shouldn’t be a problem”. Noah didn’t set his standards or indulge into anything because everyone else did.
The first quarantine model was set by Noah. “To stay separated from the virus of wickedness around him”.
True dependability and unlimited favor come exclusively from God. Even when many, including those close to us, presume we are foolish; God looks at us with favor. But that is only when we are willing to be quarantined from the compulsions of this world; from the standards of this world, from the evil of this world; from the “majority” syndrome of this world.
Let us scrutinize our daily choices in this season of social distancing. Are we habitually seeking Him or are we letting boredom and anxiety creep into our hearts, chats and actions? If we do, we will be careful of our conversations. We will be cautious to speak, listen and do only that please His heart. The scripture portion that stands out during this time is, Matthew 10:14-15 “Whoever does not welcome you, nor listen to your message, as you leave that house or city, shake the dust [of it] off your feet [in contempt, breaking all ties]. I assure you and most solemnly say to you, it will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that city [since it rejected the Messiah’s messenger]”. Break all ties with anyone, anything and anywhere that are repetitively rejecting the Lordship of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.The coming of the Lord is so near and we cannot afford to be naive as Children of God.