187: Shelter In Place

Normally, today would be the first day of a week-long Spring Break. But these are not normal times. Instead, today is another-day-that-we-have-no-idea-when-the-kids-will-go-back-to-school. In all likelihood, our governor will join others in ordering a “shelter in place” during this pandemic.

Just a couple of months ago, most of us hadn’t even heard of COVID-19. Now it’s a household word in every country around our globe. Everything has changed — flights, cruises, social gatherings — all of daily life. It has made me think of the time Israel was enslaved to Egypt. Because the Pharaoh would not release them, God struck Egypt with a series of plagues. He ordered Israel to “shelter in place” for the last plague. Before I go on, I’m NOT SUGGESTING that the Corona Virus is God’s judgment on our world.

One of the passages that has been meaningful to me through this is Psalm 46:1-3, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”

God ordered the “shelter in place” to include smearing blood from a slaughtered lamb on the doorposts of their homes. As He passed that night through the land of Egypt to kill the firstborn males, He would “pass over” the houses with the blood on their doorposts. Passover is celebrated annually to commemorate that night.

It was no accident that Jesus shed His blood on the cross at Passover. He did it to take God’s judgment for sin upon Himself, in our place. Like the blood of the lamb in Egypt that night, when we place our faith in Jesus, His blood shelters us from God’s judgment, causing it to “pass over” us. Through Jesus, we can have a love-relationship with God. “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.” (1 Peter 3:18)            

This pandemic is shaking the foundations of what we rely upon. But the Lord’s “shelter” is not subject to anything this world can touch. If you haven’t yet become a Christ-follower, I hope you’ll do that soon.

Marlon Furtado

I regularly went to church as a boy, but I was not exposed to the Gospel until I was nearly twenty years old. Hearing that God loved me in spite of my behavior was new to me. In response, I received Jesus Christ and became one of His followers on September 12, 1971. I practiced chiropractic for eight years before becoming a pastor from 1986 to 2018.

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