When the Protection is Removed

Psalm 80:12 But now, why have you broken down our walls so that all who pass by may steal our fruit?

Psalm 89:40 You have broken through all his walls and reduced his strongholds to ruins.

I watched two online Church services this past Sunday. These services were from well-known Churches in our area, and their Messages were about caution, safety, and comfort. I understand this position and I respect the positions these leaders took to try to calm people and give them some hope.

However, is there ever a time when God wants to get our attention and it seems He takes down the hedge of protection He may have around our land? I know we are not Israel, but I think we have been spared attacks from foreign enemies. 9/11 was the first terrorist attack that we had experienced since Pearl Harbor. Since 9/11 we have had numerous attacks on schools, nightclubs, army bases, marathons, synagogues, and more. Terrorism has become a way of life for all Americans. So, let me go out on a limb.

In Isaiah 5, God talks about His Vineyard where He planted good seed. His Hope was to reap a great crop from these seeds, but instead the crop was wild and not fit for His Purposes. He made a declaration that He was going to cut down the hedge that surrounded the Vineyard and allow the predators access to destroy what He had Planted:

Isaiah 5 4What more could I have done for My vineyard than I already did for it? Why, when I expected sweet grapes, did it bring forth sour fruit? 5Now I will tell you what I am about to do to My vineyard: I will take away its hedge, and it will be consumed; I will tear down its wall, and it will be trampled. 6I will make it a wasteland, neither pruned nor cultivated, and thorns and briers will grow up. I will command the clouds that rain shall not fall on it.

The myth that God always is there is not quite right according to Scripture. He does separate Himself from us and will not listen to us. Surprised?

Isaiah 59:2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.

That is not the image of the God that is preached today. But that is the problem … we have not been getting the whole truth. We are being told that during this virus scare God has our back and He is with us.

But my questions are:

· Does He just ignore the sinful behavior of a Nation?

· Does He excuse His Church when they need a course correction in their teaching emphasis?

Ezekiel 14 4Therefore speak to them and tell them that this is what the Lord GOD says: ‘When any Israelite sets up idols in his heart and puts a wicked stumbling block before his face, and then comes to the prophet, I the LORD will answer him according to his great idolatry, 5so that I may take hold of the hearts of the people of Israel. For because of their idols, they are all estranged from Me.’ 6Therefore tell the house of Israel that this is what the Lord GOD says: ‘Repent and turn away from your idols; turn your faces away from all your abominations.’

We are reminded every day that the Coronavirus is a scary enemy that is undetected until the symptoms show up. Most of the virus emphasis is strictly on how we are dealing with it, or how we are avoiding it. Is this worldwide dilemma a sign that God wants our attention? A virus is still subject to His control. Can God use this virus to bring us face-to-face with who we have become as people? We are told to self-quarantine to help stop the spread of the virus. No Church services, no restaurants, no gathering of any kind … all a part of the new normal.

As I talk to Christians about this situation their first response is to talk about Prayer, yet no one is talking about the need to review our hearts. We need to ask God to help us and keep us safe. The messages we hear are we are all in this together, care for each other, look for ways to help others. These are all noble ideas and good things to do, but I am not sure that is the emphasis God is after.

May I suggest that His emphasis is not His Wrath to punish, but is on His Mercy where he wants to draw us in and bring us face-to-face with our idolatry as a Nation and as a Church? This era of the virus is to help us realize that the fast track of our lives has make some idols from our self-assurance at the expense of not Knowing God. Don’t take my word for it … perhaps this quarantine time will give you an opportunity to examine where the real priorities are.

I would like to think that my safety in the face of an Enemy is not based upon my ability to comply with a quarantine, but it is found in the surrender of my heart to God. Our emphasis should be a self-proclaimed time of Repentance, Confession, and a renewed Commitment to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

Just thought you should have a different twist on COVID-19

Keeping Life Honest and Truthful … Larry Kutzler

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