Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Children Of Jerusalem"1 (Lyrics)
We are in the midst of a world crisis, the magnitude of which has not been seen since World War II. Physical isolation has separated us from loved ones for unknown periods of time. Frightened people are hoarding supplies. Nurses are tending 30 ICU patients at once, and companies are putting aside normal production to make necessary medical supplies. We also hear of people being exceptionally irresponsible, boarding airplanes when they have the virus, going to work ill, and ignoring government edicts to stay home.
Thinking about such reckless, sinful actions, I read the familiar story of Adam and Eve and the "original sin".
Genesis 3:8-13 – They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, "Where are you?" So he said, "I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself." And He said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?" Then the man said, "The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate." And the Lord God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate." (NKJV)
Why does not a single participant in this event take accountability for their behaviour? When God asked Adam if he had eaten of the fruit, Adam blamed it on Eve. When Eve was asked about the situation, she blamed the serpent. We do not hear the talking serpent's response as God immediately dictates that the serpent is the most cursed of beings and will henceforth spend its life on its belly eating dust.
Have you ever wondered how the story might have been different if Adam had contritely confessed that while Eve had given him the fruit, he had been the one to consume it? Maybe man would not have to toil for food in difficult circumstances. Maybe child-bearing would be easy and painless if Eve had immediately shown tearful remorse for following the direction of the serpent. Might the serpent still talk and, perhaps, walk on its feet, if it had fallen on its face and confessed to God Almighty that it had been grievously wrong to encourage Eve to partake of the fruit? Hmm, we will never know what might have been different in the garden.
However, in the COVID-19 battle, the people who recklessly and selfishly show up in huge numbers in public places and show up for work when they have symptoms, still have time to stem the tide of the disease spread. Even people who may not yet show symptoms, or ever get sick themselves, by refusing to shelter at home can pass on the virus to hundreds of people, some of whom will not survive. There is still time, if we all, unlike Adam and Eve, take personal responsibility for our actions and look to their behavioural consequences.
Prayer: Dear God, we do not understand why You have allowed COVID-19 to spread throughout the world, since Your thoughts are not our thoughts. We do know that that You will be beside us every step of the way, whether or not we contract the disease. Thank You, God, for being our loving Father and for continuing to provide for us and repeatedly forgive us. God, if there is any lack of accountability in our lives for our actions related to the current disease situation, help us to lay it at Your feet. Lord, if there is any aspect of our lives where the current isolation situation will help us to see our lack of accountability, help us to unburden ourselves to You and change our behaviour. Amen.