Don’t Put God to the Test

Prepare for the Worst in This Pandemic

As I write this column in the summer of 2020, information I have accessed most recently indicates the coronavirus pandemic is somewhat less prevalent in New York State than it had been earlier this year, but it has significantly increased in southeastern states including Florida, central southern states including Tennessee, and southwestern states including California. Let’s thank God for the decrease of prevalence in New York State, and pray for reduction of the disease in states and regions where coronavirus prevalence has increased.

There is a gospel song that says: “God can heal. He can deliver. He can mend your brokenness. He’s got a miracle to fit your needs. Praise the Lord, I have received.” Another gospel song, quite Bible-based, instructs: “Trust in the Lord” [repeat several times] “with all thyne heart. And lean not to thyne own understanding…” “And lean not to thyne own understanding, understanding… In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths…”

But followers of God are also instructed, in Deuteronomy 6:16, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test…” So we should not allow our trust in God, nor our knowledge of His goodness and power, to justify (in our minds) our taking of any unnecessary risks. During the current coronavirus pandemic, we should stay at home as much as possible. When we do leave home, we should wear protective masks, avoid crowds, and practice social distancing. In other words, avoid getting too close to other people. We know God can protect us, but, as just cited from Deuteronomy, we should not put the Lord our God to the test.

Information I have seen indicates coronavirus is not impacting the African continent as much it is impacting the United States and some other parts of the world. Mapping I have seen indicates although coronavirus is relatively prevalent along some parts of the West African coast, it is significantly less pervasive throughout most of the continent’s interior than it is in more heavily impacted parts of planet Earth.

Thank God. But don’t put God to the test. Prepare for the worst. Protect yourself, behave prudently, and seek and follow professional medical instruction.

If you are considering traveling, whether locally, statewide, nationally, or internationally, conduct prior and ongoing research concerning coronavirus affliction trends and available medical help within your planned destination areas.

Wherever and whenever you travel, locally or internationally, to or within areas afflicted by coronavirus, whether across the street, across town, across city lines, across state lines, across national boundaries, between continents, or across oceans, stay prepared to protect yourself by masking and social distancing. And pay attention to news coverage, Bible readings, and church communication.