By Tope Banso
Many nations of the world are under lockdown at the moment. This is believed to be one of the major ways to contain the person-to-person transmission or spread of COVID-19. Scientifically speaking, it makes sense, and everybody should comply with the restriction order.
However, the problem is its impact on the lives of people, especially in societies where the governments have not provided to the majority of the poor citizens palliatives that can make the lockdown generally effective. No wonder, a country relaxed the lockdown order just few days after it started its implementation, thereby creating confusion and giving the impression that it was not a well thought-out policy.
In some other countries, the lockdown policy is facing resistance and violations from a segment of the society who are daily wage earners. They survive on what they earn daily. Yet, the government has a duty to work with the people to contain the spread of this pandemic, whose fatalities have been rising in some countries.
The lockdown policy may continue to be violated in some countries as long as the people are hungry and lack the basic needs, which could make them stay at home. They would go out to work to get what to eat, even at the risk of exposing themselves to infection and going further to infect others. How does the government stop the spread of this deadly virus under such circumstances?
Even with all the precautions that people in the developed countries have been told to take, the figures of persons infected and the fatalities appear to be rising. The governments seem to be confused about what to do next.
We need God; but because most countries of the world are secular societies and their leaders may not subscribe to the teachings of the Bible, this has not been emphasized. How many more people must die before we realize that we need more than lockdown?
We need more than lockdown for this pandemic to end. We need social distancing, but we need God. We need hand-washing, but we need to raise our voices to God in prayer. We need serious intercession that will bring about divine intervention, and the devil is fighting that.
Limiting the number of people meeting together for a church service should have been a better policy, but I think the challenge of enforcing compliance could have necessitated some governments going for a shutdown. Since the doors of our church auditoriums have been shut, has the church been praying or the Christians see the lockdown as a holiday? Is our faith in the lockdown policy of government, because they’ve told us that is what we need to stop this plague? It can’t and it shouldn’t. We are a spiritual temple, even though separated on account of social distancing.
We can, and should, be one in the Holy Spirit, even if we are not meeting under one roof for now. Nothing in heaven or on earth can stop our prayers from reaching our Father in Heaven, if we do so in faith. The help of the Holy Spirit and the creativity of our leaders in the Body of Christ is needed in times like this to continue fellowship with our Father and ourselves. One thing is sure: Jesus Christ will continue to build His Church and the gates of hell, which is now raging, cannot and shall not prevail!
But for those who truly know, it is obvious that lockdowns, handwashing, and all the other recommendations alone will not work.
In Joshua 6, Jericho was under lockdown because of an enemy, the Israelites. The people of Jericho had heard the news of how the Red Sea was divided and the Israelites walked on dry ground while the Egyptian army perished in the same sea. The people of Jericho were sorely afraid of the Israelites. After two spies successfully visited the city and returned, the Israelites marched against Jericho. Jericho was under lockdown to prevent the Israelites from coming in and take possession of the city
Joshua 6:1-2 says, “Now Jericho was securely shut up because of the children of Israel; none went out, and none came in” (New King James Version). The Israelites had a divine strategy how to take over the city. The strategy was perfectly executed and on the seventh day, the wall of Jericho fell. Their lockdown policy failed them.
For six days, they had thought the lockdown was working, but on the seventh day the Israelites defeated Jericho. They completely destroyed, with the edge of the sword, all that was in the city, man and woman, young and old, ox and sheep and donkey (verse 21).
Some governments that placed their countries on lockdown have announced an initial period for it. That means it is subject to a review. There is the possibility that it could be extended, relaxed or stopped. That is why the citizens, especially the church, should not relax now, but pray to God to put an end to this ravaging plague. God forbid that the lockdown they’ve been complaining about and protesting against is extended because the government still sees a need for it.
Lockdown is not a foolproof measure. We must not put our trust in it. Even if the governments of our countries don’t recognize the place of God and prayer in stopping this plague, I expect the citizens, particularly the Church, to seriously cry to God for help and continue to do so. Isaiah 31:1 says, “Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, and rely on horses, who trust in chariots because they are many, and in horsemen because they are very strong, but who do not look to the Holy One of Israel, nor seek the LORD!” (New King James Version).
Jericho was defeated despite being under lockdown. Let us put our trust and faith in God. Let us cry to Him to put a stop to this mess. David said, “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will remember the name of the LORD our God. They have bowed down and fallen; but we have risen and stand upright” (Psalm 20:7-8 New King James Version).
We need the help of God. The developments in some countries have shown the limitation of man. How are the mighty fallen! The most powerful nation in the world helplessly begging the world to come and help her! “No king is saved by the multitude of an army; a mighty man is not delivered by great strength. A horse is a vain hope for safety; neither shall it deliver any by its great strength” (Psalm 33:16-17 New King James Version).
In this present malady, let us not misplace our hope and faith. We must not make the mistake of King Asa of Judah. 2 Chronicles 16:12 says, “And in the thirty-ninth year of his reign, Asa became diseased in his feet, and his malady was severe; yet in his disease he did not seek the LORD, but the physicians” (New King James Version). Lockdown must never replace God! The world has a severe malady. We must cry to God for help.
Thank God for the committed and selfless efforts of our doctors, healthcare professionals and scientists. However, we must never ignore the help of God. We need more than lockdown to stop this plague; we need God. Let us seek His help .
Then, when this plague ceases, we shall be able to say with David, “Blessed be the LORD, who did not let their teeth tear us apart! We escaped like a bird from a hunter’s trap. The trap is broken, and we are free! Our help is from the LORD, who made the heavens and the earth” (Psalm 124:6-8 New Living Translation).
PRAYER POINT: Father, our help is from You; forgive us our sins, stop this plague and heal our land.
This is wisdom for living, and it’s worth sharing. Please share.
(For more inspiring messages, visit: www.cedarministry.org).
▪ Banso, a pastor, heads Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, and can be reached at email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org; Tel No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523; WhatsApp No: +2349081295947
By Tope Banso