commentary: Confusion of Heart
Martin G. Collins
Given 25-Apr-20; 10 minutes
God’s law expresses expectations for the moral and spiritual conduct and health of His people. The guidelines God has given us enable us to live life as He created it to be lived.
Biblically, there is a wide range of specific words by the which the law is called: testimonies, precepts, statutes, commandments, ordinances, ways, and word. What all these terms have in common is their assumption that God gives the law in such a form that people can order their lives by it.
In contrast, this is why the world is in a constant state of confusion. God orders life, but humans confuse it. The apostle Paul writes in I Corinthians 14:33 that “God is not the author of confusion.” God's law is a lamp by which a person can see to walk, and it guards a person's life.
There is a dramatic contrast between how God commands us to handle health issues and how human leaders command us to handle them. The real contrast is between the wisdom from above and the folly of the world.
What about quarantine? It has been an effective way of isolating and stopping the spread of contagious sickness and disease. But the world has always struggled to do it right.
Although the authorities of this nation understand the general concept of quarantine, people think it applies to everyone else, so its effectiveness is limited at best because people usually do not quarantine themselves when they are sick—they merely take cold medicine that covers the symptoms, and while still contagious, spread their germs at work, and stores, and other activities. This ignores God’s instruction for the health of the community and shows a lack of love for one’s neighbors, willfully ignoring Christ’s command to “love your neighbor as yourself.”
God lovingly gave us the principles of quarantining the sick in Leviticus 13 and Numbers 5, where He used examples of the general category of leprosy to represent contagious sickness and disease. Leviticus 13 records the clearly detailed health law God gave to Moses to combat the spread of disease.
Multiple times the LORD told Moses and Aaron, “the priest shall isolate” the sick person.
Quarantine periods were temporary. A priest would inspect the illness and impose the quarantine. Then he would re-inspect the sick at regular seven-day intervals to look for any improvement.
The priest’s responsibility and power were not only as a worship leader, he was also a civil leader, judge, and medical practitioner. This all-encompassing role gave the Levitical priesthood extraordinary authority to help with the welfare of the people.
The infected person was to take on the personal responsibility and mannerisms that warned others of the disease: torn clothing, covering over his mouth, and the call, “Unclean! Unclean!” which was meant to separate those who were quarantined from the rest of the community.
It is interesting that God does not tell them to isolate the whole community, much less the whole country or the whole world. The command is to isolate the confirmed sick person. There is no confusion when carrying out God’s clear command.
Recently, a “tongue in cheek” collection of confused advice about the present global quarantine showed up on the internet in various formats. The collection of statements demonstrates the faulty human reasoning behind this COVID-19 crisis. You may have read, heard, or seen this, but it is worth noticing again. I have chosen 19; there were many, many more.
1. You must not leave the house for any reason, but if you have a reason, you can leave the house.
2. Masks are useless at protecting you against the virus, but you may have to wear one because it can save lives, but they may not work, but they may be mandatory, but maybe not.
3. Stores are closed, except those stores that are open.
4. You must not go to work, but you can get another job and go to work.
5. You should not go to doctors or to the hospital unless you must go there, unless you are too sick to go there.
6. This virus can kill people, but don’t be scared of it. It can only kill those people who are vulnerable or those people who are not vulnerable people. It’s possible to contain and control it, sometimes, except that sometimes it actually leads to a global disaster.
7. Gloves will not help, but they can still help, so wear them sometimes, or not.
8. STAY HOME, but it is important to go out.
9. There is no shortage of groceries in the supermarkets, but there are many things missing. Sometimes you will not need toilet paper, but you should buy some just in case you need some.
10. The virus has no effect on children except those children it affects.
11. Animals are not affected, but there is still a cat that tested positive in Belgium in February when no one had been tested, plus a few tigers here and there…
12. You will have many symptoms if you get the virus, but you can also get symptoms without getting the virus. You can also get the virus without having any symptoms, or be contagious without having symptoms, or be non-contagious with symptoms...
13. It is important to get fresh air, but do not go to parks but go for a walk. But do not sit down, except if you are old, but not for too long, or if you are pregnant, or if you are not old or pregnant but need to sit down.
14. Do not visit old people, but you must take care of the old people and bring them food and medication.
15. If you are sick, you can go out when you are better, but anyone else in your household cannot go out when you are better, unless they need to go out.
16. You are safe if you maintain the safe social distance when out, but you cannot go out with friends or strangers at the safe social distance.
17. The virus remains active on different surfaces for two hours ... or four hours... six hours...I mean days, not hours. But it needs a damp environment. Or a cold environment that is warm and dry.
18. The number of corona-related deaths will be announced daily, but we do not know how many people are infected as they are only testing those who are almost dead to find out if that's what they will die of. The people who die of corona who are not counted will not be counted.
19. You should stay in lockdown until the virus stops infecting people, but it will only stop infecting people if we all get infected; so, it is important we get infected and some do not get infected.
The only consistent thing about this poorly orchestrated pandemic has been confusion. This is the effect of disobeying God
God has a dire warning to His people about the curses that will result from disobedience to Him:
Deuteronomy 28:15 "But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you:
Deuteronomy 28:20 "The Lord will send on you cursing, confusion, and rebuke in all that you set your hand to do, until you are destroyed and until you perish quickly, because of the wickedness of your doings in which you have forsaken Me.
Deuteronomy 28:28 The Lord will strike you with madness and blindness and confusion of heart.
As this nation and the rest of the world reject the words of the LORD God, confusion of heart will prevent them from finding effective solutions to the national problems they face.
James 3:13-18 describes heavenly versus demonic wisdom.
James 3:13-18 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
The realm of wisdom contrasts with the realm of selfish ambition. The one from above leads to peace, while the earthly one leads to chaos and confusion. Truly wise, converted people do not need to advertise the fact that they are wise; you will see it expressed in their daily life—in edifying conversation, good behavior, and a meek attitude.