Uncertain. Unprecedented. Chaotic. Unpredictable. These are just some of the words used to describe the times we face. Through it all, living memory provides us little comfort and fear seems to spread as fast as COVID-19 tests can carry it. What can Christians do in times like these?
We can be thankful that God has given us wisdom. For believers, we know that at all times we are called to live by faith. But faith without wisdom is not faith at all—it is foolishness. God has forewarned us that disease is part of a fallen world. Wisdom teaches us that while fear is never called for, precautions certainly are.
Consider the wisdom God provides us in Leviticus 13-14. God gave direction for Israelite men and women with skin disease, contaminated clothing, etc. For people found to have a contagious disease, their requirement was to go into quarantine for a period of 7 days. After the required time had elapsed, the person was examined. Only after the person was found clean were they allowed to return to life in the community. If not, they would go into quarantine another 7 days (Lev 13:5).
While this might seem like common sense, God preserved it in his Word so His people would forever treat disease with the seriousness it deserves. God cared enough about the Israelites to tell them how easily disease can spread if not contained. No doubt obeying the Lord and taking these precautions saved thousands of lives precious in the eyes of God.
We can apply the same principle to our current situation. While we might not be able to see the signs of COVID-19 the same way the Israelites saw skin disease, wisdom requires us to treat this (and every) disease with appropriate caution. We understand our universal vulnerability as human beings. We also recognize some among us are especially defenseless. By taking diseases seriously, we love and protect the most vulnerable. By taking precautions, we follow the wisdom God provides.
Some might argue that such steps are antithetical to faith. Faith means continuing life as usual and trusting God to protect us. In fact, the opposite is true. Our faith is in God and in His Word. It is God who warns us to live in humble awareness that we are not invincible. Taking precautions is, therefore, an act of obedient faith.
Faith does not require blindness.
Faith does not require recklessness.
Faith does not require foolishness.
Faith requires awareness.
Faith requires patience.
Faith requires wisdom.
So what can Christians do? We can be a people who refuse to separate what God has joined together—wisdom and faith. We can and must walk in both. After all, our faith is in God who gave us wisdom for uncertain times like these.