Are we at war? Is the army mobilized and ready to deploy? Who are we at war against, and how many lives will be lost fighting this war. These are all questions raised as a result to of Trump’s declaration that he is a war time president. And given the protest against the governors stay-home order in Michigan, where white men wearing mask and carrying assault rifles; what kind of war are we involved in?
As I look at what is unfolding in front of my eyes, a few things come to mind. But, before I become engulfed in my interpretation of what we are seeing and hearing, my spirit needs to hear a word from God about what’s going on. And maybe then I’ll be able to understand what’s going on.
Matthew 24:4-8 says, “And Jesus answered and said to them: Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name saying, I am the Christ, and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines, pestilence, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.”
No, I don’t believe America is at war, and I don’t believe Trump is a war time president; at least not in the historical context of a war time president. What we heard was a man spewing fake news, generating rumors of war; thus, pro-Trump protesters; i.e., white men wearing mask and carrying assault weapons, some of whom chanting “lock her up,”defied their governor and gathered on the steps of the capital in Lansing, Michigan.
Indeed, there is a real war going on, but it is not a flesh and bone war. It is not a war that can be fought with assaults weapons and bullets. Ephesians 6:12 says, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual host of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
We are in a real war, but it is a war wherein human hearts are being tested; it is a war where Satan seeks to take possession of human souls. Satan has limited amount of power, and a limited amount of time. He is desperate knowing that Jesus second coming closes out his chapter in human history, as he will be cast into the abyss, never to be heard from again.
The real war to overcome the events taking place in our lives is taking place in our hearts, and when we give our hearts to Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit indwells our hearts. When this happens we enter into victory with Christ, over sin and death. Matthew 28:18 says, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” God is in control, and in these times the nature of survival is realized in the words of the Apostle Paul, “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Rumor of War
Trump insinuated that he is a war time president, and that he is leading a war against the Coronavirus. Past presidents fought wars, but the wars they fought involved the killing of one man by another.
In 1775-1783, George Washington fought the Revolutionary War, 1817-1821, James Monroe fought the Indian Wars, 1846-1848, James Polk fought the Mexican War, 1861-1865, Abraham Lincoln fought the Civil War, 1898, William McKinley fought the Spanish-American war, 1914-1918, Woodrow Wilson fought World War I, 1939-1945, Franklin Roosevelt fought World War II, 1945, Harry Truman dropped atomic bomb on (World War II), 1954-1973, Lyndon Johnson fought in Vietnam War, 1990, George H. Bush fought Persian Gulf War I with Iraq, 1999, William Clinton fought Persian Gulf War II with Iraq, 2003, George W. Bush invaded and occupied Iraq.
It is not in the sphere of human ability to kill the Coronavirus. The Coronavirus belongs to a family of viruses that include common colds, seasonal flu, MERS, and SARS. The World Health Organization has given this particular coronavirus the acronym COVID-19 for “coronavirus disease 2019”. Its actual name is SARS-CoV-2, although that is seldom used by the press.
Most of the reporting on the coronavirus says that it originated in China. The story goes that someone in the Huanan seafood market in Wuhan was infected with the virus from an animal. The virus then spread from a cluster in China’s Hubei province to a pandemic that has killed 150,9848 people so far.
The coronavirus is a virus; it is not alive in the sense that it can be killed; as in the case that one human being kills another. Viruses can contain genetic instructions in the form of DNA (or related molecule, RNA), but they can’t thrive independently. They must invade a host organism and hijack it genetic instructions.
There is only one way to do battle with coronavirus, and that is with a vaccine. As of today there is no vaccine for the coronavirus. Scientists are working to develop one. The Ebola vaccine is being administered under “compassionate us” terms; it has still not completed all its formal testing and paperwork. Something similar is being worked on to fight the new strain of coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2).
In the fourteenth-century (1346-1353), the Black Plague killed an estimated sixty-million people (60% of England’s population). The most popular theory of how the plague ended is through the implementation of quarantines. The uninfected would typically remain in their homes and only leave when it was necessary.
And in the twentieth century (1918), the Spanish Flu, another coronavirus, killed at least 50 million people worldwide. To stop the spread of the Spanish Flu, with no vaccine, the measures included closing schools, shops, and restaurants; placing restrictions on transportation; mandating social distancing, and banning public gatherings. In the case of both these pandemics, social distancing was instrumental in stopping the spread of the virus.
In war, unlike with viruses, a human being is accountable for the deaths. Joseph Stalin is accountable for the 20 million people who died in the Soviet Union, on top of the estimated 20 million Soviet troops and civilians who were killed in the Second World War.
During the Chinese Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), Mao Zedong is reported to be responsible for the deaths of 40-80 million people. War is prevalent in human history, and it is synonymous with dying and death.
Plagues, pandemics, wars are all present in the prophecies of the Bible. From the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy, to the New Testament prophetic words of Jesus Christ, these events spotlight God’s foreknowledge and omniscience.
Please Lord, No More War
Jesus said of famines, pestilence, earthquakes and rumors of wars; “All these are the beginning of sorrows.” The expression “beginning of sorrows,” His words carry the meaning of pain; pain that can be associated with a women in labor and the pain and effort experienced giving birth. The world and those of us, it’s citizens, have labored in pain watching our families, neighbors and friends dying and die by the hand of famines, pestilence, earthquakes and wars.
The Apostle Paul said, “For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.” Our hope in not in continued suffering; our hope is not in war and pestilence. Our hope is in Jesus Christ and the resurrection, where our bodies will be regenerated, to exist in a state wherein sin and death are no more.
We together are family, neighbors and friends. Wars, pandemics and natural disaster have no political, socioeconomic, ethnic or racial boundaries. When these things come they destroy more than the material world; they take lives of people we care for and love.
This is a time for humanity to show love, respect and reverence for one another. And as we approach each new day, the best thing we can do right now is practice social distancing.