Until the Fury Has Passed By
My friends, here in Vermont we have entered a new phase of challenge in this pandemic we have come to call COVID 19. The governor of Vermont today announced a stay-at-home order, asking all non-essential persons to stay in their homes. It may be that it will be longer than we had hoped before we are able to come together as a body to worship. It’s looking now like Easter may come and go before that happens. While that will be sad, very sad, there are things that could be far more terrible.
My son and I labor together to shepherd our little flock in Vermont and we care for their spiritual lives, but we also care for their physical well being too. We made the decision over a week ago that we would shut down our church building completely for two weeks. It looks now like it could be a bit longer.
There is a lot of rhetoric being thrown around about dark government conspiracies working behind the cloak of this pandemic to further steal our liberties away from us, and it is clear that our politicians in Washington are in a feeding frenzy – consuming themselves. There are strident, accusatory voices as well even in the church declaring that if we don’t defy the authorities and continue to hold our meetings in the church we have become apostate and don’t represent the true church. This notwithstanding several clear teachings in the Scriptures regarding the quarantine of individuals and families to protect themselves or their neighbors, there are those who have appointed themselves as “judges” of the church and are trying desperately to convince us they speak with the voice of a prophet while sounding very much like the accuser of the brethren.
I do not answer them. I do not reply to them on social media. I do not engage them in what Paul called “vain disputations.” I ignore them. That’s what you should do as well. They are clouds with no rain and wells without water––saying, “the Lord has said,” when the Lord has not spoken. They speak out of their own vain imaginations and it is harmful to give them an audience. (Read the prophet, Ezekiel)
Today, I read a powerful scripture in Isaiah 26:20:
Come, my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until the fury has passed by.
“Until the fury has passed by. . . “ Those words really struck me as significant in this hour as I am one who believes that what we are facing in this day is the beginning of the wrath of God upon our nation, indeed the nations of the earth because of our great sins. Abortion, perversion, corruption, apostasy to name but a few. Locusts are swarming the African continent and reaching even into Russia. Earthquakes and tsunamis are ravaging the earth. Wildfires have almost consumed the whole of Australia and the Western U.S. Even now, I am reading posts from friends who are hunkered down in their basements as a new swarm of tornadoes sweep through the south . . . again.
And now this . . . this plague has the entire earth in its grip. It is terrible. It is heartbreaking. We all wait for the announcement that a cure has been found, that the danger has passed. This will pass, but for only a moment. I must tell you that any relief will be temporary. There will be a brief respite or moments of rest but these are the birth pangs of the wrath of God and the affliction we are enduring now is light. Looming on the horizon are troubles we have never imagined and there is nothing our government can do politically that will turn away the wrath of God against a nation that has turned its back on Him––save ONE THING: We must repent of our sin. We must turn, as a nation, from our wickedness. We must cease to shed innocent blood. We must restore honor to the marriage bed. We must turn from celebrating iniquity and mocking righteousness. We must or the nation will die and perish from the face of the earth.
The faithful believer must not be afraid.
Those who are faithful though must not fear for our God is a shield and a fortress. He is One who delivers His people from calamity and covers us with His hand.
Do not consider that it is for an evil purpose that you’ve been isolated in this hour and do not mock what may be the very act of God which will save you and your family. The Hebrews were told to put the blood of a lamb over the doorposts of their houses, to go in and shut the door (quarantine) while the death angel moved through the land with a terrible plague. When the danger was past, Egypt wailed, but the people of God were saved. Because you have covered you and your family with the blood of THE LAMB, do not despise the order to “enter your chamber and shut the door behind you.” The is a shadow of death sweeping over our land. This is NOT ordinary flu. In your heart, you know it’s not. This is a plague of death. This is a time for the righteous to seek the Lord, to pray, to hear from God, and to eagerly await His appearing.
Shut your door, hide yourselves for a little while until the fury has passed by.
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