25 See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven. 26 At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” 27 This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, 29 for our God is a consuming fire.
There are many theories (more accurately, hypotheses) being proposed from various quarters on the current pandemic. They are, not surprisingly, mainly confusing and contradictory, given the myriads of historical human attempts to explain (away) any phenomenon, particularly, the most confounding ones. Myths abound in every culture, for example, about the origin of the universe.
Expectedly, most consumers of information are doubly confused, worried and fearful of what is happening now and what may occur in the near and farther future. A basic understanding of psychology shows that most humans are controlled by emotions (love, hate, peace, joy, sorrow, and unfortunately predominantly, fear; fear of both the known and the unknown; fear of real and perceived enemies; fear of the past, the present and the future; fear of nothing and fear of everything.
No wonder the Bible has at least 145 different encouragements and commands not to be fearful, worried, or anxious. These verses use expressions like “Do not be afraid” and “Do not be dismayed.”
Why should we conquer fear?
- Fear torments. (1 John 4:18).
- Fear paralyses, stopping us from living well and achieving our goals. (John 10:10)
- Fear often exaggerates a problem, aptly called false events appearing r (Job 3:25)
- Fear traps people and makes them more vulnerable to manipulations. (Proverbs 29:25)
- Fear beclouds reason, hindering or delaying finding appropriate solutions to problems. (Isaiah 51:12) There is, however, a healthy, natural, and rational fear that helps humans to self –protect. (Ropeik, D. 2004).
- Fear produces wrong thoughts, which often causes nightmares (Job 3:25) and can lead to wrong actions. (Genesis 3:10)
- Fear shifts the focus to the problem rather than to the Source of, and Solution to all things. (Hebrews 13:6)
When fear shifts our focus to the problem, we lose sight of the big picture; that God is always in charge of all things, visible and invisible (Isaiah 45:7); we forget His mighty works in the past, his great movements in our time and the wonders (and horrors) of events He has predicted for the future. (Matthew 24; Luke 21; the Book of Revelation) More importantly, we forget what our response ought to be to events around us.
One of the ways by which God works is to shake things; kingdoms/governments, institutions (including religious ones), economic powers and fortresses, etc. These occasional shakings are meant to help humanity recognise that there is no security in material things (possessions and institutions). Rather, it is only the Eternal God, who is All-Sufficient. There is an eternal life to pursue that is of much greater value than all the gold and silver of this passing world. (1 John 2:12-17).
“Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28). The healthy fear of God, who shakes all things, should lead us to a humble turning away from sin, correcting our lives, renewing our trust in God and obedience to Him, living dutifully and prayerfully for His glory, and studying His Word, the Bible, more closely. ( Proverbs 8:13).
We have an excellent opportunity during this lockdown to get our priorities right. Our eternal life and worth may depend on it. (Daniel 12:3)
Ropeik, D. (2004). “The consequences of fear.” In EMBO Reports. Accessed April 26, 2020.
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