Pastorbluejeans Unplugged Weekender: Our 40th Day in ECQ
Pastorbluejeans Unplugged Weekender deals with important incidents, events, and issues that transpired over the week in light of God’s word.
What did we learn so far? How can we make quarantine’s meaning make sense to us in light of God’s word?
What transpired over the week?
• More soldiers and police officers were deployed in selected areas in Metro Manila and Cavite to ensure strict compliance of ECQ guidelines.
• More violators are apprehended and given various punishments.
• There were reports of barangay officials (tanod) who were mobbed and were hurt by some residents.
• Police MSgt. Daniel Florendo, was charged yesterday with Homicide by QCPD after shooting dead Retired Army Cpl. Winston Ragos last Tuesday over an alleged Quarantine Control Point violation.
• Several villages or barangays were put under total or hard lockdown to curb the spread of covid-19.
• As of yesterday, DOH has reported a total of 7,192 cases of COVID-19 with 762 recoveries and 477 deaths.
• The president has extended the ECQ in the NCR, CALABARZON, Central Luzon and several regions and provinces.
How can we make quarantine’s meaning make sense to us in light of God’s word?
Where did we get the term ‘Quarantine’?
It is derived from “quaranta giorni,” which means 40 days. It is traced back to the 14th century when the city of Dubrovnik, now in Croatia, was under Venetian rule. The Great Pestilence, also known as the Great Plague, was devastating Europe. To protect the city, it was declared that that all ships and people had to be isolated for 40 days before entering Dubrovnik. The disease was later referred to as the Black Death — probably because of the gloom it brought, while some say that the “black” referred to the terrible dark bruising of the skin due to internal bleeding, a trademark of the disease.
The period “40 Days” is also mentioned numerous times in the Bible, signifying its importance. It appears that the period of “40 days” in the Bible has something to do with testing or probation, or a period of being tried.
Below is a list from Nave’s Topical Bible Offline:
• 40 days of rain, at the time of the Flood (Genesis 7:7).
• Noah sending fort the raven after 40 days (Genesis 8:6-7).
• Moses fasted for 40 days (Exodus 24:18; 34:28; Deut. 9:9, 25).
• Elijah fasted for forty days (1 Kings 19:8).
• Spies spent 40 days in reconnaissance in the land of promise (Number 13:25).
• Nineveh will be overthrown after 40 days (Jonah 3:4).
• Jesus fasted for forty days (Matthew 4:2).
• Christ appeared to his disciples 40 days after the resurrection (Acts 1:3).
Notice that each period in the list ends with a period of blessing.
Read more: Is “Quarantine” Really in the Bible?
What did we learn from this experience?
We learned to trust God. 1 Kings 17: 1-6 tells of the story of the prophet Elijah when God sent him to announce a drought that will last for three years as a punishment and judgment for idolatry. This was a period of great danger in Israel’s religious life due to the Baal worship promoted by Ahab. God told Elijah to go to brook Cherith and isolate himself from the people. Kings and prophets served as official representatives of the Lord. So Elijah stood as official representative of God to the people. When God told him to isolate himself, the people were isolated as well from God’s word and blessings. Elijah’s absence confirmed and intensified the judgment.
At the brook Cherith isolated from people, Elijah was miraculously sustained by ravens. The ravens brought him bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook. Some time later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land. Then the word of the Lord came to him: “Go at once to Zarephath in the region of Sidon and stay there. I have directed a widow there to supply you with food”. (1 Kings 17:6-9, NIV)
Just like Eljah, we learned to trust God for our daily provision of food. He will never run out of ways to protect us and sustain us through this pandemic.
We learned humility.
As fas Jesus is concerned, the great example of a righteous person is not the proud and highly spiritual Pharisee who absolutely follows the law, but the humble and sinful tax collector who could not even look up to heaven, who pounded his chest and prayed, “God have pity on me! I am such a sinner. (Luke 18:13-14, GNT)
Speaking of prayer, we noticed that prayers are shown on TV screens every now and then. Something that was not consistently done before. When we pray, we humbly admit that we need somebody bigger than us to help is in this time of need. It really takes humility to endure a time such as this.
MySword for Android. Riversoft Ministry, 2011-2019.
Zondervan NASB Study Bible. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 1999.