Last Sunday our speaker (Poh Yu Khing) reminded us that during this unprecedented times, we need to rest, to reflect, to review and reset …
For the Christian, every crisis is a call to seek God. In every crisis in life, we are to look to Christ because He is a very present help in time of trouble. God has promised that he will not leave us nor forsake us.
I thank God for our government and the effort that they are making to lead us through this crisis. They have provided again and again stimulus budgets to take care of the needy and all those affected by this economic downturn resulting from the covid-19 outbreak. They are taking all measures to care for the thousands of our migrant workers, assuring them that they would not be neglected and moving many to army camps, vacant HDB flats, Sport halls, floating hotels and many other shelters to separate and protect these workers.
We appreciate our government’s effort .. however, they are not our ultimate source of safety and security. “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses”, David said, “but we will remember the name of the Lord our God” (Ps.20:7).
2 Chronicles 7:13-14 “When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, 14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
We are familiar and often quote V14 in our prayers. But take a closer look at the context of this verse in V13.
Firstly, this clearly tell us that the righteous God can and will use drought, famine, swords or pestilence to warn and punish his people when they continue to sin and do what is evil. I hear many say that a good God will not and did not send pestilence .. maybe He only allow it but did not originate from him.
But it is very clear from the scriptures that our sovereign God can and will use covid-19 and that our God is righteous in his judgements. In Exodus 8, God sent the ten plagues on Egypt to punish the cruel Egyptians and to serve his purpose in calling out the Israelites into the promised land.
In Number 16:46 God’s wrath was on the Israelites as they tested him again and again. A plague quickly spread through the camp killing many. But Aaron offered the incense and made atonement and stood between the living and the dead, and the plague stopped.
Secondly, in 2 Chronicles 7:13-14, there is no command here to rebuke the devil or the virus. The command is first to get right with God. The command is to humble yourselves, pray, seek God, and turn from our wicked ways.
We need to first repent and submit to God. James 4:7: Therefore, submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Notice the order: submit to God, then resist the devil. That will produce the desired results. Resisting or rebuking the devil or the virus when we have not repented or submitted ourselves to God is not effective.
This period is the time for us to rest not to rush around in a hurry. A time to reflect and review. A time to repent and turn to God. A time of quiet solitude, seeking his face.
Finally, just like God is resetting the lives of the Israelites after 430 years in Egypt using the plagues, disturbing their nest and preparing them to exit for a new journey into the promised land and into a new nation and a new relationship with Him … I believe God is also resetting us and ROLC in this period.
God is dealing individually with each of us in this time. He is removing the yeast, the bad habits and the many idols in our lives.. ie we trust in ourselves, our finance, our abilities, our family and our health but all these can be gone very suddenly. God is shaking every foundation that we hold on to in order that what cannot be shaken may become visible to men. He is also teaching us to be humble and patient as we work close together in this period.
Our God is resetting how we do church, how we do our work and also how we live our lives. Lives will never be the same. We are now using Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts, etc for DG meetings. We are using Zoom for our Sunday service. A bus stop is being built just a few steps from our church down the new walkway. We have to go to the community in Punggol but now, the new HDB blocks are coming close beside us. SIT Campus will be ready in two to three years’ time. Can we imagine all these happening in the past ?
“What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” — the things God has prepared for those who love him – 1 Cor 2:9
Rest. Reflect. Review. Repent and Reset. With these, we will come out through the pandemic stronger in our faith, more resilient and with new hope of our future after the reset.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future – Jeremiah 29:11
God bless and keep all of you.
Tung Weng Him