Pastor Ernest Perbi-Asare 2

Disobedience In The Valley Of COVID-19

“The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it. But the Lord God warned him, ‘You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you will surely die”. This statement is found in Genesis 2:15-17 (NLT). When God created Adam and Eve, he created a community characterised by a holy relationship between Himself and them. This relationship was to be maintained by a simple rule of order and obedience which God warned in plain language. However, Adam and his wife disobeyed God. Consequently, they were driven out from the garden and suffered a curse that affected the entire human race.

The spread of the infectious novel coronavirus or COVID-19 has been declared by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a global pandemic. This brings to attention the need to examine the implementation of the safety precautionary measures and other protocols the World Health Organization (WHO) and other stakeholders have outlined for citizens.
The truth of the matter is that many lives are lost during epidemics. History tells us that the world has been engulfed in a myriad of deadly epidemics like the Spanish Flu (1918 – 1919) which claimed about 100 million lives, there were others such as The Seventeenth Century Great Plagues (1600) which claimed three million lives, Cholera Three Outbreak (1852 – 1860) which killed one million people, Cholera Six Outbreak (1817 – 1923) with a death toll of 800,000, The Third Plague (1855) which killed 12 million people, The Asian Flu (1956 – 1958) had a death toll of two million, and the Hong Kong Flu (1968 – 1970) killed One million people. Other such as the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome – SARS (2002 – 2003), Swine Flu (2009 – 2010), and Ebola (2014 – 2016) also killed 770, 200,000, and 11,300 people respectively, among others.

This should make us intensify our effort at controlling the rapid spread of the COVID-19 by adhering to the safety precautionary measures and other protocols to contain it.

In Deuteronomy 11: 18-22, God instructed the Israelites to teach the commandment to their children, talk to them about it at home and when they are away on a journey, when they are lying down or getting up. He further added that, the commandment should be written on the doorpost of their houses and their gates.

This means that God wanted them to be intentional about teaching their immediate families about his commandment. The same applies to public education on COVID-19 safety precautionary measures and protocols. It is high time we became intentional about the public education campaign and adherence to these precautionary measures as citizens to contain the disease.

Our actions and inactions have led to some people contracting the viral disease. For instance, the vigorous announcements in mother-tongues, as well as the English Language on many platforms about COVID-19, have fallen on deaf ears. It has been predicted that if the precautionary measures are not followed to the letter due to disobedience, many more people would be infected with the deadly disease.

In Luke 6:46-49, Jesus comes to the end of his sermon in which he drives home the necessity of obeying what he has taught. He intentionally asked the people, “So why do you keep on calling me ‘Lord, Lord! When you do not do what I say?” I will show you what it’s like when someone comes to me, listens to my teaching, and then follow it. It is like a person building a house who digs deep and lays the foundation on a solid rock. When the floodwaters rise and break against that house, it stands firm because it is well built. But anyone who hears and doesn’t obey is like a person who builds a house right on the ground, without a foundation. When the flood sweeps down against that house, it will collapse into a heap of ruins.” (NLT)

The same applies to many people who superficially respect their leaders and hail them but refuse to obey their instructions. They defy the orders of Presidents, religious leaders, chiefs among others whom they feign to revere and call them, ‘Lord’ but disobey their orders.

The failure in adhering to the safety precautionary measures of COVID-19 may be due to some myth and misconception with regards to the belief of some people such as the youth are safe from COVID-19 infection, blacks have stronger immunity which could fight the virus, the viral spread is opposed to hot and humid weather condition in Africa, drinking hard liquor such as Akpeteshie or drinking copious amount of water, among other beliefs.

For this purpose, Paul instructed Titus that many rebel against right teaching and engage in useless talk and such people must be silenced on their wrong teaching which they have used by turning a whole family away from the truth (Titus 1:10-11 NLT).

What is happening in this COVID-19 period is not different from what happened in the Bible times. In Isaiah 26:20-21, the people were admonished to enter into their rooms and shut the doors and hide for a while until the wrath of God had passed by before they could come out. It is evident that complying with the stay at home directive which seems a bit difficult is a step in the right direction for now and must be embraced wholeheartedly.

Some miscreants have resorted to deceiving people to defy the safety precautionary measures which include the need to stay at home, wearing nose mask, observing physical and social distancing, handwashing with soap under running water, and using alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

What is happening in this COVID-19 period is not different from what happened in the time of the Israelites. God made them aware of the consequences of their disobedience as stated in Deuteronomy. “But if you disobey the lord your God and do not faithfully keep all his commands and laws that I am giving you today, all these evil things will happen to you… He [God] will send diseases after diseases on you until there is not one of you left in the land that you are about to occupy (Deuteronomy 28:15;21 NLT).

To avoid being infected by COVID-19 and its consequences, it would be prudent to adhere to all the safety precautionary measures by responding, “I will do everything Leadership has commanded.”

Pastor Ernest Perbi-Asare
A Minister of The Church of Pentecost
Assakae District, Takoradi Area.

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