Fear, the Coronavirus, and the Bible
If you are afraid of the news of a global pandemic, I recommend meditating on Psalm 91. If you are one of those who bought toilet paper and all manner of other goods and are hoarding them, I recommend meditating on Psalm 91. If you live in a province or a state in which your worship services are now cancelled because of a numerical limit on the amount of people who are now permitted to gather in one place, I recommend meditating on Psalm 91. If you are afraid to go out, I recommend meditating on Psalm 91. And if you fear because borders have been closed, I recommend meditating on Psalm 91. And if you fear the impact on the global economy and restrictions on travel, I recommend meditating on Psalm 91.
If you don’t have your Bible handy, let me quote it here.
91 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
3 For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his pinions,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
5 You will not fear the terror of the night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
8 You will only look with your eyes
and see the recompense of the wicked.
9 Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place—
the Most High, who is my refuge—
10 no evil shall be allowed to befall you,
no plague come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways.
12 On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the adder;
the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.
14 “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;
I will protect him, because he knows my name.
15 When he calls to me, I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and honour him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”
Now, if you are not satisfied, and if you think the Psalm promises more than it can deliver, or if you think there are many Christians that have gotten sick and died before their time, let me help you. It is true of course, that we have been called as believers to participate in the sufferings of our Lord.
But let me draw your attention to verses 1-2, and invite you to imagine the Lord as a strong fortress, who will protect you from all enemies. Or think of verse 9, that the Lord is our dwelling place. And that when you are in trouble, He is your place of refuge. Now consider verse 11. That God has commanded His angels to watch over you. Consider then, that right now, you are in no greater danger than you have ever been. As one general in the American Civil War said, “I am as safe on the battlefield, as I am in my bed.” And so are you.
Child of God, be encouraged to run to God in your fear. Making Him your hiding place, until the COVID-19 passes by. And should He call you home during this crisis, know that you will never be from His hiding place. And remember to be joyful.