“Ye have seen also the breaches of the city of David, that they are many: and ye gathered together the waters of the lower pool” (Isaiah 22:9).TEXT — Isaiah 22:1-10
January 30, 2021 marked the first anniversary of the declaration by the World Health Organisation (WHO) of COVID-19 as a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC). Thus far, the world has been no match for SARS-CoV-2, with about seven hundred million cases and nearly seven million deaths. The United States is home to most of the world’s best hospitals, yet it was among the world’s poorest performers in addressing the pandemic, with more than one million deaths as at the end of 2022. The best of man’s efforts pale away in the face of devastating crises.
The text highlights Israel’s inadequate and feeble efforts at defending Jerusalem and other cities against the rampaging armies of the Chaldeans. They relied on the armour house of the forest of Lebanon, which King Solomon built (1 Kings 7:2-5). They used a great amount of cedar wood from Lebanon for the pillars, beams and roofing material. They numbered the houses in Jerusalem, fortified the defensive walls and channelled the water of the old pool into the city, but did not look to God, their Maker for help. They failed woefully, as Judah and Israel were carried away captives.
Man’s best defences can prove inadequate during times of crisis. Just like the best hospitals could not save us during the COVID-19 pandemic, relying on our human efforts and relegating God to the background will always prove inadequate and fatal. Countries in the West who are economically buoyant are more drawn away from God than the poor third world countries. Africa, with her poor medical facilities, was predicted to become a graveyard during the pandemic. The poor people prayed and looked up to God, and they fared better.
This does not suggest that we should just pray and refuse to put security measures in place to take care of ourselves. But we need to put more trust in God, on whose hands our lives depend. Prayer and faith in God have no alternatives.
Thought for the day
Our help is in God.
- in one year
- LAMENTATIONS 4 – 5