So where are we in the cycle of this plague? To get the answer from God's way of thinking, we have to look to Scripture. On the Hebrew calendar we are on the 2nd day of Nisan. Exodus Chapter 12 outlines for us what the LORD spoke to ancient Israel concerning this time of year. Exodus 12:1-7:
The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, "This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year. Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month, each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household. If any household is too small for a whole lamb, they must share one with their nearest neighbor, having taken into account the number of people there are. You are to determine the amount of lamb needed in accordance with what each person will eat. The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect and you may take them from the sheep or the goats. Take care of them until the 14th day of the month, when all the people of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight. Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lamb."
We have heard our President and his task force speak about a 15-day period leading up to a time when things should "open up again." When he made this assessment, the 15 days put us right at the time of PASSOVER; the time when the terrible Plague of Death passed through Egypt and PASSED OVER those who had the blood over their doorframes.
I am really seeing this in the spiritual realm. I am seeing the Glory of God even in the midst of this terrible plague. We know from the books of Matthew, Luke, and Revelation and from many of the prophets, that these things must happen before the "end" comes. And I am one who believes that what God has done before He will do again. "Whatever is has already been, and what will be has been before; and God calls back the past." (Ecclesiastes 3:15). I believe we are in a very similar spiritual period as the Israelites were in during that very first Passover. God is testing minds and hearts to see who is covered in the Blood of the Lamb. He is granting a time of "hiding" in our houses, in the quiet, where He can speak to the people of the earth and call them to repentance and to return to Him. He says through the prophet Isaiah, "Go, my people, enter your rooms and shut the doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until His indignation has passed by." (Isa. 26:20). We are under "STAY AT HOME" orders!
Once again we are led to Psalm 91, where the LORD makes this promise: "You will not fear the terror of the night nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right had but it will not come near YOU. If you make El Elyon your dwelling, even the LORD, who is my refuge - then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent."
Will we use these remaining 12 days before Passover to get really close to God and to PRAY that he will protect and bring many through these rough times as they bring this Spotless Lamb into their hearts (their homes) and allow Him to "cover them with His blood"?
April 8 at twilight will be the time we gather to keep the Passover and this year I am breathlessly anticipating that God is going to show miracles as He delivers His people through this plague called Coronavirus. Exodus 12:12 says, "On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn - both men and animals - and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD. The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. NO DESTRUCTIVE PLAGUE WILL TOUCH YOU WHEN I STRIKE EGYPT."
Egypt is a metaphor for "the world" and the flesh. God is calling His people to come out of the ways of the world, seek Him, and find true riches and true shalom. He is getting ready to bring us into the Promised Land. And He taught us to pray, "Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory. Amen."
There has been a lot written in the recent past about God's call to us to stop all our running, rushing and activities and spend intimate time with HIM. In the midst of this terrible virus outbreak, and all the lock-downs and quarantines, the revelation hit me strongly today that He now has virtually the whole world in this position! Restaurants, bars, gyms, sports events and movie theaters are shut down. The silence is deafening - but in the silence I hear that Still, Small Voice say, "Now. Now you have time to seek Me. Now you have moments to listen, if you have ears to hear."
I began to imagine what God could do if we really took advantage of this huge break from all our endless activity. What if families began to sit around the dining table in the evenings instead of rushing off in three directions to soccer practice, piano lessons and basketball games? What if they not only sat around the table together, but lingered there, talking to one another, sharing their thoughts and dreams and fears? Would this not strengthen families?
And then if families became strengthened in love and care for one another, what if communities began to notice the needs around them and reach out to help? What if older people recognized that there are mothers in the neighborhood who need to work but have kids at home because schools are closed? What if we could help each other through this challenging time by looking beyond ourselves and our own plight?
And then what if communities began to show kindness and love toward one another and then this horribly divided, angry nation began to heal? What if politics and primaries became secondary to a wave of faith and prayer?
I know that God's servant Joseph (back in the book of Genesis) found a great key to surviving all the terrible mistreatment and tragedy that befell him. He amazed his brothers who had sold him into slavery when he told them, "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good..." (Genesis 50:20). What the enemy means for harm, our Mighty God CAN turn and use for good. I pray that we can start by using this "reset of American life" (as they say on the news) and reset our focus and our priorities on what REALLY matters.
Suddenly the roar of traffic, the noise of restaurants and the stress of our schedules has all come to a grinding halt, and it is quiet. Don't waste this opportunity to spend quiet time with your Bridegroom-King, who is coming soon. For those who choose to come into the shadow of the Most High, and spend time with Him, trusting Him for the days ahead, He makes this wonderful promise:
Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place, no evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; for He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. (Psalm 91)
Kelly Ferrari Mills