Now Is The Time To Repent
There is a question asked by born-again Christians: “What will happen to America in the latter days?” That is a good question which must be considered as we see what is happening around us these days.
The first consideration to look at in determining America’s Destination is the prayer of her commander and chief, past and present. The Bible says prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. (James 5:6) There is a promise of Jesus which should be relied upon for those who want to enjoy God’s favor and protection on their nation.
Let us read the prayer of God’s elected president, George Washington and the prayer offered on the behalf of our present president Joe Biden who was elected under the flesh of mortals. Let us also regretfully see the devastating actions of President Joe Biden in his proclamation of the National Day of Prayer 2021.
George Washington’s Inaugural Prayer goes as this: “Almighty God; We make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States in Thy holy protection; that Thou wilt incline the hearts of the citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to government; and entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another and for their fellow citizens of the United States at large. And finally, that Thou most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion, and without a humble imitation of whose example in these things we can ever hope to be a happy nation. Grant our supplication, we beseech Thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.” (USAheritage.org)
I googled and could not come up with a prayer prayed by President Joe Biden at his Inauguration. Leo Jeremiah O’Donovan prayed this religious prayer at the Presidential Inauguration of 2021: “Gracious and merciful God, at this sacred time we come before you in need—indeed on our knees. But we come still more with hope, and with our eyes raised anew to the vision of a more perfect union in our land, a union of all our citizens to promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity. We are a people of many races, creeds and colors, national backgrounds, cultures and styles—now far more numerous and on land much vaster than when Archbishop John Carroll wrote his prayer for the inauguration of George Washington 232 years ago. Archbishop Carroll prayed that you, O Creator of all, would assist with your Holy Spirit of counsel and fortitude the President of these United States, that his administration may be conducted in righteousness, and be useful to your people. Archbishop Carroll prayed that you, O Creator of all, would assist with your Holy Spirit of counsel and fortitude the President of these United States, that his administration may be conducted in righteousness, and useful to your people.”
I got this prayer off of ICN Independent Catholic News – Take note this religious prayer was not offered in Jesus Name. Any born-again theologian prays as Jesus taught him. The Lord clearly teaches, “you may ask for anything in My Name, and I will do it.” (John 14:14) George Washington’s prayer was offered in the Name of Christ Jesus and the prayer for Joe Biden was offered in a spirit of religiousness.
It is also alarming on how President Joe Biden handled this year’s National Day of Prayer. In an article written by Dan Evon, he reminds us, “A law was passed in 1952, requiring the President of the United States was to set aside a National Day of Prayer.” The article clarifies, “President Joe Biden was the first to omit God’s name in his proclamation of a National Day of Prayer.” (Snopes May 07, 2021)
The Book of Psalms holds a truth which should make all of Americans tremble. The Lord is known by His justice; the wicked are ensnared by the work of their hands. The wicked return to the grave, all the nations that forget God.” (Psalm 9:16-17) There are two key Hebrew words which need to be expounded upon. Remember the warning is clear to any nation in the present tense, “forget God.” Therefore, it is clear this passage is of Scripture is a warning to any nation in operation today.
First: The Hebrew word for “forget (שָׁכֵחַ šāḵēaḥ) refers to a people who turn from or neglects God will for them. The verses we have just looked is a warning to all nations – Now Isaiah 65:11-12 is an exhortation to God’s own nation and people.” (Baker, W., & Carpenter, E. E. (2003). The complete word study dictionary: Old Testament (p. 1136). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.) The prophet of God writes, “But as for you who forsake the Lord and forget my holy mountain, who spread a table for Fortune and fill bowls of mixed wine for Destiny, I will destine you for the sword, and you will all bend down for the slaughter; for I called but you did not answer, I spoke but you did not listen. You did evil in my sight and chose what displeases Me.”
In any nation, even in a nation called by His name, there are people who will ignore the worship which belongs to the Lord and they will worship false gods such as Fortune and Destiny. (Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). Be Comforted (pp. 161–162). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.) They by choice will do that which displeases the Lord. Worldly people bless themselves in the abundance of this world’s goods. (Henry, M., & Scott, T. (1997). Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary (Is 65:11). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems.)
Second: The wicked will return to the grave (שְׁאוֹל šeʾôl, שְׁאֹל šeʾōl) meaning to the place of the dead, a word which refers to the underworld of the spiritually dead. (Baker, W., & Carpenter, E. E. (2003). The complete word study dictionary: Old Testament (p. 1083). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.) It is the abode of the dead, where demons will be held as well. This a place of no return, a place without praise to God, a place where those without Jesus as their personal Savior and Lord will be in eternal punishment. (Strong, J. (1995). Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon. Woodside Bible Fellowship.)
Since Leo Jeremiah O’Donovan religious prayer, stating “that President Joe Biden’s administration may be conducted in righteousness.” Everything but righteousness has been the fruit of His work. According to The Daily Signal – and article written by Fred Lucas on May 21, 2021 – under the title Biden’s Taxpayer Funding of Abortion Far Outspends Obama’s. We read and I quote, “In office for only four months, Biden has directed almost $500 billion in federal funding to the abortion industry through legislation and executive action, in some cases bypassing longstanding restrictions that prevented taxpayer dollars from directly paying for abortions.”
On that decision alone gives us the sad truth of America’s Present Destination because God’s Word is clear. Proverbs 6 tells us, “There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to Him.” One of them being, “hands that shed innocent blood.” (Proverbs 6:16-17)
Another clear truth which tells us the destination of the United States of America is her embracing that which breaks God’s heart and redefining marriage. So called churches and government recognizes same sex marriages. On Christian Headlines in an article written by Tim Tune – Titled United Methodist Group Enlists Ministers to Perform LGBTQ Marriages we read this: “It’s a ministry of presence to LGBTQ couples, it is a website stating. ‘Standing together before God, we embrace all who as disciples of Jesus Christ, are devoted to love of God and neighbor and wish to enter into holy matrimony.’ The group is enlisting ministers willing to volunteer their services to Christian couples who have prepared for marriage through prayerful consideration of their vows and participation in pre-marital counseling.’” (Christian Headlines Plus February 7, 2020) In Wikipedia we read, “In the United States, the availability of legally recognized same-sex marriage expanded from one state in 2004 to all fifty states in 2015 through various state and federal court rulings, state legislation, and direct popular votes.”
Jesus defines marriage as – “‘Haven’t you read, that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So, they are no longer two, but one. Therefore, what God has joined together, let man not separate.” (Matthew 19:4-6) Regarding marriage, certain church groups and our government purposely forget God’s will for marriage.
Another sad truth which gives the clear destination of America is the weakness of the church. On July 06, 2021 CBN News posted and article written by Paul Strand titled, America Headed for the ‘Ash Heap of History? In that article we read “America just marked its 239th Independence Day, the birth of what many consider the greatest nation on earth. But after all these years of celebrating, Americans may soon be mourning its downfall. …the United States is entering its own version of the Dark Ages and that any civilization that’s gone where America is headed now has gone to ruin. – George Brana told CBN News ‘The founders of our nation gave us an amazing foundation. They believed everybody should read through the Bible cover-to-cover once a year,’ Barton stated. ‘Today we find Christian leaders who have not completely read the Word of God. Only 30% of Christians read the Bible, less than 10% have read in completely through.’” If you do not know the whole counsel of God’s Word there is no way you can discern what you are hearing from a world view is worth embracing.
Jesus said, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (Matthew 4:4) Just as mankind’s body is best maintained by eating daily, our spirit and soul only flourishes when we feed on God’s Word daily. If we do not have the Word of God in us – the Holy Spirit will not keep us from the draining results from a world-view and the lies of the devil.
Regardless what God does with this nation – the same Psalm which He gives warning to nations which forget Him – the Word of God has promises for us. “The Lord reigns forever; He has established His throne for judgment. He will judge the world in righteousness; He will govern the peoples with justice. The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.” (Psalm 9:6-10)
As for America’s Present Destination, she needs to repent now and make the Lord her God. Find true born-again Christian theologians who can guide this nation down the road of true repentance. And embrace the holiness of God in her laws. America is running out of time to be able to return to the foundational truth understood by America’s founding Fathers. Thomas Jefferson wrote, “Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath. Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.”
1 Samuel 12:23, “As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord for failing to pray for you.” Samuel was married and had a family. (1 Samuel 12:2) He had served as priest (1 Samuel 7) and Judge (1 Samuel 7:16; Acts 13:20) and he was a prophet. (Acts 3:24) He also got involved in directly praying for military situations, in calling a nation to repentance and in giving them directions on how to live.
Jesus said, there will be war until the end of time. (Matthew 24:16; Mark 13:7) The Lord, through our government (Romans 13:1) has set days and times throughout the year to recognize and appreciate our service men and women. God, in His Word has given us a powerful ministry, praying for our Armed Forces!
How should we pray for our service men and woman?
- Pray that the families, relatives and friends of our military members may be strengthened in this time of concern and anxiety.
- Pray that the Lord may help families with men and women in the armed forces to cope with daily challenges in the absence of their loved ones.
- Pray for our brothers and sisters as they go forth with courage and determination to face the forces of violence, weapons of destruction and hearts filled with hate.
- Pray that in the midst of destruction, the Lord will guide our service men and women, that they may be reunited with families.
- Pray for faith, hope, and comfort for all who are waiting for their soldiers to come home.
- Pray that departing soldiers will come to Christ and that they may be faithful, daily as they trust Him in the land of danger.
- Pray that those who are married will seek the Lord for strength to be faithful to each other in this time of separation.
- Pray that the Lord will reveal His companionship, strength and wisdom to all serving our country.
Jesus Gives Instructions
Timothy wrote to tell us in the last days just how bad it is going to get (1 Timothy 3:1) and Jesus gives instructions on how to be ready. What our Lord taught His disciples is passed on to us in Luke 22:36 holding a truth which prepares us for these present days, “…But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one” (Luke 22:36, New International Version). For those who believe that the English Standard Bible is the most accurate modern-day translation, “He said to them, ‘But now let the one who has a money bag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one.”
This passage of Scripture is found in the conversation of Jesus with His disciples during the Last Supper. He is about to be taken from them (Luke 22:37) and He is giving them instructions so they can carry on the work of the Lord.
Let’s make it clear, A “sword” (μάχαιρα máchaira), originally a large knife for killing…was a curved weapon for close combat. (Analytical Lexicon of the Greek New Testament; Theological Dictionary of the New Testament; Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains) The sword in Luke 22:36 is not for a vigilante style of justice, but for provision and protection in this life. In contemporary society, a “sword” can relate to owning a gun or another similar weapon, to use for provision and protection of life.
On his teaching of Luke 22:36, Preacher/Teacher James Vernon McGee wrote, “…You had better be prepared to protect yourself and your love ones. We are living in difficult days. The King James Bible records Jesus’ words, “He hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.” Why? For protection, of course. They were living in days that required a sword. We need to recognize that fact also.” (Thru The Bible Commentary, Page 347, paragraph 2 and 3 Copyright 1983) Jamieson, Fausset and Brown wrote, “[you] will now need support, provision and the usual means of defense.” We live in days that require a “sword” [a gun, or something] for protection.
As long as there are places and venues which can be perceived as “soft-targets,” assailants who are intent on killing as many people as possible will continue to attack such places. Obedient Christians and responsible people strive to gain finances, work for provisions, and purchase what is needed for protection. Now is not the time to reject the teachings of Jesus Christ and put trust in the conjecture of mankind. Scripture is clear on this topic may you seek the Holy Spirit for illumination and guidance.
Doing What Is Right
This teaching is not meant to be a full exposition on what God is doing in this present pestilence and is only a short textual teaching of the truths found in Romans 13:1-5.
Many are confused with what to do with public gatherings and places of worship. Nothing more disappointing than hearing the people of God defiantly disobeying the government He has raised up for the day we live in. The Book of Romans 13:1-5 says, “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. …do what is right and he will commend you. [The government] is God’s servant to do you good. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience.”
The Biblically ignorant often put God to the test and mislabel it as faith, expecting God to show His hand upon them. The Biblically mature seek for the truth found in the whole of Scripture. The Bible says, “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that trough endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” (Romans 15:4)
It is a fact, Coronavirus is highly contagious. Doctors, nurses and health care givers have been afflicted with this disease while wearing protective mask and clothing. Medical personal are concerned, constantly wondering if they may pass COVID-19 to others. COVID-19 has been passed on through church services, social parties and traditional city observances.
Presently, the medical field is facing a disease which has spread rapidly around the world and they are corresponding with our governmental officials.
In our key text Romans 13:1-5, the writer through the Holy Spirit is giving the Devine sanction role of government and the Christian’s responsibility to those in authority. The child of God is to submit to the governing authorities.
As in the time of Christ, the Apostles, and today, most people in governmental control are none-believers. Just as it was with Christ it is for Christians today, there is no authority apart from that which God has established. He has delegated authority to those in charge of the public well-being.
When Pilate was speaking with Jesus, he said, “’Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?’ Jesus answered, ‘You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above.’” (John 19:10-11)
It is imperative for Christians to remember government is God’s way of maintaining the public good and directing the affairs of the state. Human government is a permanent institution for regulations of human affairs. This is God’s means of promoting law and order on earth. If laws are hard or against God’s moral law, then Christians are to make legitimate protest, not live in acts of disobedience for protection against lawlessness and disorder. (Wuest, K. S. (1997). Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament: for the English reader (Vol. 2, pp. 221–223). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.; Mounce, R. H. (1995). Romans (Vol. 27, p. 243). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.; Robertson, A. T. (1933). Word Pictures in the New Testament (Ro 13:1). Nashville, TN: Broadman Press.)
Practical Application: Follow the guidelines set up by the medical and governmental authorities which are set before you now. Keep yourself updated and do not fall to the temptations of the sin of justification. Seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance, be hungry to know God’s will for you and strive to be like Christ as He submitted to the governmental authorities of His day.
God’s Chastisement on an Unrepentant Nation
According to news releases, COVID-19 is on the rise with the government and medical field warning people to take caution, by wearing mask, avoid large crowds, stay home, do not have family Thanksgiving gatherings, etc. According to our government, Coronavirus is afflicting more people and killing thousands who have underling conditions. According to virusncov.com to date there have been 254,311 Coronavirus deaths thus far (November 18, 2020). As of November 05, 2020, according to Wikipedia the United States has had 9,607,336 cases with a 2.4% death rate. The year 2020 has been a year of breeding mistrust towards the news media, government and the medical field. In Deuteronomy chapter 28:20 one of the cruses promised to a nation who disobeys God is confusion. The Hebrew word for “confusion” (מְהוּמָה mehûmāh) can mean panic, disturbance, turmoil, trouble or vexation. (Baker, W., & Carpenter, E. E. (2003). The complete word study dictionary: Old Testament (p. 576). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.; Strong, J. (1995). Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon. Woodside Bible Fellowship; Thomas, R. L. (1998). New American Standard Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek dictionaries : updated edition. Anaheim: Foundation Publications, Inc.; Swanson, J. (1997). Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains : Hebrew (Old Testament) (electronic ed.). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.; Weber, C. P. (1999). 486 הוּם. R. L. Harris, G. L. Archer Jr., & B. K. Waltke (Eds.), Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (electronic ed., p. 212). Chicago: Moody Press.)
In fact, most will tell you it is hard to trust the media and government in the handling and reporting of the present pandemic we are in. There seems to be some confusion (מְהוּמָה mehûmāh -vexation) on which test can be trusted to give accurate results and confusion (מְהוּמָה mehûmāh – vexation) on the passing away of people from COVID-19. Many are wondering, did they really pass away from COVID-19 or are they just being labeled as being a victim of Coronavirus and really dying of something else? There is confusion (מְהוּמָה mehûmāh – vexation) over where or how much funds are being distributed from government resources to battle this pestilence.
As we take a Biblical look at pestilence in the Bible, it must be understood that when someone is afflicted with a disease which has become a pandemic or epidemic, it is not because that person has sinned, they are by-standers of spiritual warfare. It is like this, during war a nation may at some time be bombed – where the bombs have exploded there are by-standers who receive injuries and some people die. This is what is referred to as collateral damage.
What we do know is that the Bible is clear, God holds authority and is Sovereign over any pestilence which may be afflicted upon a nation. Habakkuk tells us, “Before Him [referring to God] went pestilence…” (Habakkuk 3:5 ESV) When the Lord wants to deal with His enemies who refuse to repent or deal His disobedient people, He has struck with pestilence. – (Barker, K. L. (1999). Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah (Vol. 20, p. 363). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers; Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). Habakkuk (p. 52). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company; (cf. Exod 5:3; 9:15; Lev 26:25; Num 14:12; Deut 28:21; 2 Sam 24:15; Jer 14:12) as well as “pestilence” (rešep; Deut 32:24).
What is Biblical Pestilence
“Pestilence” (דֶּבֶר deḇer) is a dreaded disease. This word is a dreaded threat of the Lord against His people for disobedience and to a people of a nation which are His enemy. (Lev. 26:25; Num. 14:12; Baker, W., & Carpenter, E. E. (2003). The complete word study dictionary: Old Testament (p. 223). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.; Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). Habakkuk (p. 52). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.)
It is an epidemic or pandemic occurrence of sickness that causes widespread death, often with the associative meaning of judgement from God. (Ex 5:3; 9:3, 15; Lev 26:25; Nu 14:12; Dt 28:21; 2Sa 24:13, 15; 1Ki 8:37; 1Ch 21:12, 14; 2Ch 6:28; 7:13; 20:9; Ps 78:50; 91:3, 6; Jer 14:12; 21:6, 7, 9; 24:10; 27:8, 13; 28:8; 29:17, 18; 32:24, 36; 34:17; 38:2; 42:17, 22; 44:13; Eze 5:12, 17; 6:11, 12; 7:15; 12:16; 14:19, 21; 28:23; 33:27; 38:22; Hos 13:14; Am 4:10; Hab 3:5; Swanson, J. (1997). Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains : Hebrew (Old Testament) (electronic ed.). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.) God sent pestilence to punish the Israelites for the ongoing idolatry and disobedience. (Deuteronomy 32:24; Jeremiah 42:22) Pestilence can incorporate any public chastisements. (Ezekiel 7:15 ESV)
Pestilence is a form of chastisement brought upon a people of God for neglect of her covenant obligations. (Leviticus 26:25; Deuteronomy 28:21) The warning of pestilence is a frequent occurrence whenever God is dealing with His people in regard to bringing a covenant lawsuit against them as well as a form of judgement on the enemies of God’s people (Psalm 78:50; Ezekiel 28:23; 38:22). (Elwell, W. A., & Comfort, P. W. (2001). In Tyndale Bible dictionary (p. 1015). Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.)
The Bible records occasions when God brought pestilence on a nation:
First: In 2 Samuel 24:15 (ESV) and 1 Chronicles 21:14 (ESV) we read “So the Lord sent a pestilence on Israel from morning until the appointed time [which was three days]. And there died of the people from Dan to Beersheba 70,000 men.”
Second: In Leviticus 26:25 (ESV), under the preoccupy, Punishment for Disobedience we read, “I will send pestilence…”
Third: In Numbers 14 under the preoccupy, The People Rebel, the Israelites were coming against Moses, Aaron, Joshua and Caleb. “The Lord said…, How long will these people treat Me with contempt. How long will they refuse to believe in Me… I will strike them will pestilence…” (Numbers 14:10-12 ESV)
Fourth: Jesus gives a list of sorrows which in the NIV Bible are under the preoccupy Signs of the End Times. Note: These are things to come before Jesus’ second coming. (Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 2, p. 122). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.) The Lord said, “…Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences.” (Luke 21:10-11 ESV)
God has promised chastisements for an unrepentant people, rather they are the hard-hearted children of God or people living according to their fleshly desires, living by a world view or the lies of the devil. The greatest prophet of all time, Jesus Christ, told us of possible judgements which were proclaimed by the Old Testament prophets as well as the New Testament writers. (Henry, M. (1994). Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible: complete and unabridged in one volume (p. 1899). Peabody: Hendrickson.; Elwell, W. A., & Comfort, P. W. (2001). In Tyndale Bible dictionary (p. 1015). Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.)
Jesus says in Luke 21:10, pestilence would be a part of God’s chastisements until the very end. (Keener, C. S. (1993). The IVP Bible background commentary: New Testament (Lk 21:9–11). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.) Jesus is teaching what can be called a prototype. Pestilences have happened in the past and they will happen in our modern times. (Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 1, p. 261). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.)
In the New Testament, we read of Warnings from Israel’s History, “Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did.” (1 Corinthians 10:6 NIV) “These things happened and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come.” (1 Corinthians 10:11)
Coronavirus today is a pestilence, a prototype of past national afflictions which can according to Jesus happen again in modern times as well, which will also be a judgement of God in the future. The beloved John, in the Book of Revelation 6:7-8 (ESV) we read, “When He [the Lamb of God, Jesus] opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, ‘Come!’ And I looked, an behold, a pale horse! The rider’s name is Death, and Hades followed him. And they were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill with the sword, and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beast of the earth.”
The fourth living creature was like an eagle (Revelation 4:6-7) implying high soaring intelligence and judgement descending from on high…” (Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 2, p. 568). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.; Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). Revelation (p. 186). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.)
It must be noted the Greek word for pestilence (Thánatos) in Revelation 6:8 is different than the Greek word Jesus used when He spoke of pestilence (loimós). In the New Bible Commentary (21st century edition (4th ed., p. 1435). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press.) we are told the rider on the pale horse is named Death represents a special kind of death coming trough pestilence. Barclay tells us the Greek word for “pestilence” (Thánatos) in Revelation is used in a double since meaning both death and pestilence. (Barclay, W. (Ed.). (1976). The Revelation of John (Vol. 2, p. 9). Philadelphia: The Westminster John Knox Press.)
Recalling our minds to God’s instructions to learn from His dealings with Israel and Israel’s enemies, it is clear He is Sovereign over all pestilences in the past, now and in the future.
What to Do?
The Book of Psalms gives us a foundation to lay hold of as we hear of all the news about Coronavirus, “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in humans. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust a prince.” (Psalm 118:8-9) To take refuge (חָסָה – ḥāsâ) can mean to confide in. (Wiseman, D. J. (1999). 700 חָסָה. R. L. Harris, G. L. Archer Jr., & B. K. Waltke (Eds.), Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (electronic ed., p. 307). Chicago: Moody Press.)
Thus far, we have confided in God’s Word to grasp what pestilence is and it is God who holds Sovereignty over all pestilences. We are to seek God’s help and pray, “Open my eyes that I might see wonderful things in your law. …do not hide your commandments from me” (Psalm 119:18-19b) We need to confide in the counsel of God’s Word. The Bible says about king David, “But David’s heart struck him after he had numbered the people. (It says, “Heart-stricken” in the NIV). And David said to the Lord, ‘I have sinned greatly in what I have done. But now, O Lord, please take away the iniquity of your servant, for I have done very foolishly.’” (2 Samuel 24:10 ESV)
The Bible says “Before David got up the next morning, the word of the Lord had come to Gad the prophet, David’s seer. Go and tell David, ‘This is what the Lord says…’”
We need modern day children of God, disciples of Jesus Christ, with Holy Spirit enlightenment of the whole counsel of God’s Word, to go and tell those in government and the church, “this is what the word of God says,” so the Lord will hear our prayers and heal or land. The Bible says, “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, if my people who are called by my name 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.” (2 Chronicles 7:13-14)