Monday, April 6, 2020

COVID-19 Series: #9—Trust in God and keep your powder dry

19 Pastoral Thoughts On COVID-19

“The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the LORD” (Proverbs 21:31).

As we wage war against the coronavirus, we need to live with a healthy tension between God’s sovereignty and human responsibility. This will transport us from the sphere of fear to that of faith. We will take precautions without being too paralysed to minister to others.

It is this healthy tension that is captured by the words, “The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the LORD.” Soldiers must do all that is in their power to prepare for battle so that they can win it. Yet, they should also know that God in sovereignty has decreed who will win that battle.

It is said that when Oliver Cromwell was leading the British troops to invade Ireland during the English Civil War in the 17th century, he said to them, “Trust in God, my boys, and keep your powder dry!” By this phrase he meant that while the soldiers should leave the outcome of the battle to God they should still do what is necessary in their power to win it.

In the same way, in today’s COVID-19 situation, we should recognise that God has allowed this virus to wreak havoc in this world and, if it pleases him, it will be the means of taking us as individuals into eternity. Yet, we should be doing everything in our power to stop COVID-19 from spreading and to help those who are infected and affected by its ravaging march. Yes, “trust in God and keep our powder dry.”

“Courage, brother! Do not stumble,
Though thy path be dark as night;
There’s a star to guide the humble:
‘Trust in God and do the right.’

Though the road be rough and dreary,
And its end far out of sight,
Foot it bravely! Strong or weary,
‘Trust in God and do the right.’”
—Norman MacLeod (1812–1872)

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