If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV)
Our country and world have been besieged by the Coronavirus and quarantines this spring, disrupting the lives of many and causing grief and depression to those who have lost loved ones and jobs. As I read my Bible, I see how plagues such as COVID-19 are not a new thing.
You are probably tired of hearing about plagues. You would rather read about summer time and beaches and picnics and healthy children. Yet here I am writing about plagues again, because God showed me some cool truths in His Word. And because He gives us HOPE.
Do you remember what God used to rescue His people from Egypt? PLAGUES! Ten Plagues! (Blood, frogs, lice, flies, death of livestock, boils, hail, locusts, darkness, death of firstborn son, Ex. 7-10). Could God be using plagues to rescue His people again? After they escaped Pharaoh, the Israelites refused to enter the Promised Land because of the giant people, so God sent another plague upon them. During this plague, Moses prayed…
“Pardon the iniquity of this people, I pray, according to the greatness of Your mercy, just as You have forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now.” Then the LORD said: “I have pardoned, according to your word; but truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord.” Numbers 14:19-21 (NKJV)
Moses prayed for their forgiveness which ended the plague. We should be praying for forgiveness, too! During another plague when the people were grumbling against the two leaders…
Moses said to Aaron, “Take a censer and put fire in it from the altar, put incense on it, and take it quickly to the congregation and make atonement for them; for wrath has gone out from the LORD. The plague has begun.” Then Aaron took it as Moses commanded, and ran into the midst of the assembly; and already the plague had begun among the people. So he put in the incense and made atonement for the people. And he stood between the dead and the living; so the plague was stopped. Now those who died in the plague were fourteen thousand seven hundred, besides those who died in the Korah incident. So Aaron returned to Moses at the door of the tabernacle of meeting, for the plague had stopped.Numbers 16:46-50 (NKJV)
The incense stopped the plagues. Our prayers are like that INCENSE! In both the Psalms and Revelation, our prayers are described as incense…
Let my prayer be set before You as incense,
The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.Psalm 141:2 (NKJV)
Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. Revelation 5:8 (NKJV)
God sent another plague when David took an unnecessary census of the people…
So the LORD sent a plague upon Israel from the morning till the appointed time. From Dan to Beersheba seventy thousand men of the people died. And when the angel stretched out His hand over Jerusalem to destroy it, the LORD relented from the destruction, and said to the angel who was destroying the people, “It is enough; now restrain your hand.” And the angel of the LORD was by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. 2 Samuel 24:15-16 (NKJV)
And do you know what was built at the place where the plague stopped, on that threshing floor? The Temple of the Lord! And when King Solomon dedicated the Temple he prayed,
Whatever prayer, whatever supplication is made by anyone, or by all Your people Israel, when each one knows the plague of his own heart, and spreads out his hands toward this temple: then hear in heaven Your dwelling place, and forgive, and act, and give to everyone according to all his ways, whose heart You know (for You alone know the hearts of all the sons of men).1 Kings 8:38-39 (NKJV)
As King Solomon proclaimed, we all have a plague in our own hearts. We need to turn to the Temple and pray and He will forgive! Where is that Temple? Jesus is the Temple! (Rev. 21:22) Therefore…let us lay aside every weight and sin that so easily ensares us (Heb. 12:1). For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23).
Jesus is the cure, friends! Jesus is the One to forgive our sins, end the plague, and heal our land. He is the One who will put our lives back together. Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29). Because of His saving work on the cross, we are washed clean by His blood. Jesus is our Hope upon Hope! He gives us hope to make it through each day, and hope of eternal life in heaven. Turn to Jesus in prayer today!
Today’s TEA CUPP: Prayer is the first step in stopping the plague across our land, first confessing our own sins to the Lord, and then confessing the sins of our nation. Our prayers are the incense that will end the plague. To God be the glory and may He heal our land!
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,
A broken and a contrite heart—
These, O God, You will not despise. Psalm 51:17 (NKJV)
Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer. Romans 12:12
Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.