While each country was secretly preparing its own defense and attack against their future enemy, who would have thought the attack on the human race, globally, would come from a virus and not a nation. The billions poured into nuclear weapons, artificial intelligence on the battlefield, the latest fighting artillery and tactical maneuvers cannot even muster a whisper in response to the terrorizing attacks of COVID-19. The military personnel, those trained to be surgical killers on the battlefields are now reduced to packing food hampers for those who are in lockdown. COVID-19 has reduced our military, policing, and other security forces to nothing more than watchdogs. COVID-19 has extracted all their "fighting teeth", and all they have now is a bark not more than a whimper.
The human race has endured many epidemics and pandemics over the centuries, and COVID is no stranger to us. We know this silent, impartial killer as the SARS-COVID of 2002. In contrast to COVID-2002, COVID-19 seems to be boasting about its might and its reach across the earth. Amidst the minor victories we are having over this dreadful enemy, people who are at the highest levels leading the research are still somewhat pessimistic about the imminence of a vaccine, and if one were to be produced, it may not be as effective as it is anticipated to be. All told, we are talking about one elusive target who keeps on moving.
Where are those drones? Oops! I forgot drones are for fighting human enemies, and not for fighting an enemy like this. What about money? Can the world's top-20 billionaires stand up, please? How about some help with those dollars in economically impoverished countries? I can think of a few in Africa. The money won't stop this enemy dead in its tracks, but it can cripple it; slow it down, and finally kill it through host-deprivation.
Look at ourselves, we are living at a time of unprecedented advancements. Up to December 2019, hope seemed to be floating high. But then COVID-19 came along and took the wind out of our sails. That's really an understatement, COVID-19 actually tore the sails right off. Yes, fair enough not all countries were equally wealthy, but collectively as the human race of the twenty-first century, we were formidable.
Let's face it, all the way from first-world countries to the third-word countries, every nation under God's blue sky boasts about their own achievements, successes, intelligence, wisdom, and growth. If this were a social media text, this is where the LoL (laugh out loud) appears. It's a LoL moment because what can our world leaders boast in now? Nothing! Absolutely nothing!
COVID-19 reminds me of a serial killer who's daring the authorities to catch him, but they can't. They're just too powerless.
Changing gears, I want to call your attention to Isaiah 6:1-7, "In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 3 And they were calling to one another: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory." At the sound of their voices, the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. "Woe to me!" I cried. "I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty." Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, "See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.""
Let's focus on the introductory words, "In the year that king Uzziah died". The account of Uzziah's life starts in 2 Chronicles 26:1 and ends and 26:23. It's a short account, but with startling depictions of where we are at this present time in the twenty-first century.
We have all started out like Uzziah, small and humble beginnings, dependence on God alone, uncoerced testimony of God's presence, power, and provision. But then we buy into the idea that it's not God, after all, it's all ME. The door opens for pride to enter, and so does arrogance, and before we know it, we are living life totally disconnected from God.
Uzziah was technologically savvy, he made monumental progress, very much like what we have accomplished in the twenty-first century. And humans, always wanting god-like powers could not resist the temptation to reach for a god-like status. Pride and arrogance in the Garden of Eden plummeted us to these depths of sins we find ourselves in, pride and arrogance caused Lucifer, and an angel of beauty to be cast down from the heavenly abode of God, pride and arrogance caused the decline, fall, and disease of Uzziah, and it's our (collective) pride and arrogance in this twenty-first century that's bringing us to a miserable halt and a foreseeable detour. Surely pride goes before a fall!
The anxiety that envelopes my mind in the aftermath of COVID-19, my mind went to Isaiah 6. Uzziah was architecturally astute, a military genius, and a world-class leader. Uzziah excelled so much that his "fame spread far and wide". Uzziah death didn't come through military defeat, or anything "natural". Instead it came through a divinely orchestrated disease. He was leprous till the day he died. Nothing Uzziah built could save him. Sound familiar? The army that he trained could not save him. Sound familiar? His allies could not save him. Sound familiar?
Now catch this! In the midst of all this chaos, and a void left by Uzziah, Isaiah enters the temple and he sees God "high and lifted up seated on the throne..." Wow! God is on the throne. God is reigning. God is still the sovereign. God will install kings and he will dispose of them too. Did you get that Mr. President? Did you get that Mr. Prime Minister?
I promise you, there's nothing like finding God in a crisis, your whole world changes. Isaiah finds God in the crisis and his whole world changes. When he finds God, he realizes how unlike God he is and how much like God he must become.
Ouch! We don't get that, do we. Until we see how unlike God we are and how much like God we much become, we will be stuck in our crises.
The problem is everyone in the twenty-first century seems to have the messiah complex. Too many super-hero movie genres, I guess. Isaiah enters the temple and sees God. Isaiah's immediate response is one of repentance. Immediately he confesses his sin and the sins of his people. God, in His grace, forgives him.
Since COVID-19 reared its ugly head, death has been more imminent than ever. I don't think any horror movie can trump the fear that COVID-19 brings. Uzziah's pride was dealt with by leprosy. I wonder sometimes, is COVID-19 an emissary of God? What is God teaching us? COVID-19 will stop, but it's allowed us to see life differently, hopefully.
What we need is for world leaders to turn toward God and ask him to heal their leprous condition. What we need is for individuals to turn toward God and ask Him to heal their leprous condition. No amount of financial resources, military prowess, or intellectual genius can truly save us, only God can.