Zack Eswine continues to sensitively and wisely unfold the difference between the peace and assurance of God’s presence and live and the presumption of assuming that God must do certain things in a crisis.
It’s distressing to hear and read presentations that misuse the Bible as simple illustrations for strands of pop-psychology, removed from any sort of redemptive context, as if the primary application of Jesus’ death on the cross was reduced to something akin to hand-sanitiser in its effect to ward off physical illness.
From his post:
A preacher promises immunity from Covid-19. He says, “If you are born again, read your Bible, and tithe, you have the Ps. 91 protection policy!” Another defies social distancing to prove his faith in the midst of fear. What are we to make of this? At first glance, you can see why such preachers urge us to say and do likewise.
He will deliver you . . . from the deadly pestilence. (Ps. 91:3)
A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. (Ps. 91:7)
No evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent. (Ps. 91:10)
I do not doubt the earnestness of such preachers. But unwittingly, such preachers expose us to a different kind of infection; a spiritual kind with damaging physical consequences; the kind that community-spreads through a naive use of the Bible and brings harm to ordinary people.
Notice that the psalmist writes these promises because they happened. In Israel’s history, plagues touched the tent of Egypt, but not the tents of those who believed in this God of the Bible. Contrary to our skepticism, it is a fact that God can and has kept his people from harm at times. But contrary to our romanticism this fact is not a norm. It reveals the character of God, not a coupon from God. How do we know?
Read the rest at The Pastor’s Abbey.