A Reasonable Response in Uncertainty

Luther wrote

Very well, by God’s decree the enemy has sent us poison and deadly offal. Therefore I shall ask God mercifully to be gracious and preserve us. Then I shall fumigate, help purify the air, administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance infect and pollute others, and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me, and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me, however, I shall not avoid place or person but will feel free to visit and help  him (WA 23:365.29–367.8).

God has decreed and ordained all events that come to pass including this modern day global pandemic. Through this we continue to be a people committed and devoted to prayer. And at the same time we have to take wise precautions out of love for our neighbor and to preserve ourselves. Some risks are necessary and others are not. Foolish risks are seen as provoking God, putting him to the test. (Lk 4:12) But risks that are out of sacrifice, that we may minister to those who are weak and needy are to be seen as acts of love and obedience.

We must be available to minister to people bodily the best we can. However, what we can also remind them of the present spiritual reality. Christ still reigns, even as the world is in chaos. Christ is on the throne.

Heb 2:8 putting everything in subjection under his feet.” Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. Heb 2:9 But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. 

The world is throwing itself into a panic and needs to hear of the One who is unmoved. A kingdom that is not shaken because it is a kingdom received from heaven. The kingdom of heaven is never in a stir, never in chaos, and always at peace. The world lives in constant fear and can only calm its rebellious soul with distractions.

Are we to throw caution to the wind to show the world we have no fear? No. We aren’t to live our lives in fear of what will happen to our bodies. This is a fear the wold has.

2 Tim 1:7 God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

Yet we can still live our lives taking reasonable and measured precautions.

1 Sam 18:11 And Saul hurled the spear, for he thought, “I will pin David to the wall.” But David evaded him twice.

Saul threw a spear at David, and yet David moved. He didn’t doubt God’s protection in his life, he didn’t doubt that God was with him, yet he took a reasonable action and preserved his life. We are wise to preserve our lives. And if God will take my life there is nothing I can do to prevent it. Who can add a single breath to his life past what God has decreed? No one. It will be therefore in our best interest to act reasonably and lovingly all the while filled with prayer, that God will preserve our body, soul, and mind during this hour.

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