The Israelites repeatedly fell into a pattern of idolatry which led to a pattern of receiving God’s judgement on their nation in the Old Testament. We don’t make idols or offer sacrifices to idols today-or do we? Idolatry is when you exchange something for God. It can also be thought of as elevating something above God. It’s placing your affection or trust in something above God-having disordered affections.
The emergence of Covid 19 has exposed our many idols and has become a national idol that has penetrated the church itself. Modern Day Idolatry Penetrating The Church
1. Modern medicine and science instead of scripture have become the ultimate authority instead of God’s word on matters of life. The medical community has the unholy power to end your life, stop your life, force a vaccine, remove you from your family, remove you from society, and many other things. Why? Because we have elevated the medical communities faulty beliefs above God’s Word and that is a rejection of God Himself.
When is a person a person? God answers that countless times in scripture (Psalm 139 and 22 to name a few)-but many in the church reject God’s clear answer in the Bible to justify abortion-which is absolutely modern day child sacrifice.
It comes down to who do you trust? As hostility towards things of God ramp up in the US it’s becoming more obvious who actually trusts God and who trusts corrupted idols such as science and medicine. This is what the LORD says — your Redeemer, the Holy One… “I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.” (Isaiah 48:17)
2. The idolatry of 24/7 cradle to the grave global masking is part of that idolatry. Now I’m not saying people don’t have liberty in this matter or that being forced to wear one in school or a job is wrong, but this is not a neutral or benign spiritual issue at all.
There is nothing in all of creation like the human face-the Bible is not silent on this. Part of being made in God’s image is reflecting God’s glory (2 Cor. 3:18) through the face and this happens over and over in the Bible (Matt 17, Acts 6, Ecc 8, Ex 34 and more). God created the face unique and is the part of the body made to behold. We don’t gaze at someone’s shin to see what emotion they might be feeling-the face is what God gave us. So covering the unique beauty and complexity of the face and replacing it with a cold sterile image takes away from not only being made in the image of God, but reflecting God’s glory. It takes away from what makes man made in God’s image-making him different and above the animals. It’s a tactice that reduces and dehumanizes-just as they dehumanize with abortion. In Islamic cultures that mask women it in effect eliminates women. It reduces their role in society to simply what the men want it to be.
The human soul is a spiritual part of a person that shines through their face. A person’s countenance (Acts 6) is what God used to testify against those who would murder Stephen. He’s countenance was that of an angel as he was dying; he cried out for God not to lay this sin to their charge. What they saw in his face was to convict them of the wrong they were doing.
It’s the primary source of how we identify people. It is the organ of emotion. It’s critical to a person’s emotional and psychological development. If a baby or young child is deprived of a mother’s face for a time it will become inconsolable. This will continue until the baby is able to see the mother’s face. We are told to seek God’s face countless times in scripture and this instinct is how God created us to seek each other’s face (3 John, Acts 20, among others).
The universal masking of society diminishes what was made to reflect God’s glory. Whatever covid 19 actually is it has exposed who people trust. I thought sports were our nation’s biggest idol-but turns out it’s actually so called medicine or science. When we allow this idolatry to corrupt and alter the scope and nature of worship and service to God-that is a dangerous place. Judgement will start at the house of God and we should be certain that we are not found to be worshipping false idols in our day of visitation. That would be far more frightening and devastating any virus.
Deuteronomy 28 outlines in great detail blessings and curses for nations based on their faithfulness to God or lack of. Psalm 33:12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord…that was probably true about America at one time, but not currently.
Ezekiel 14: 12-16 And the word of the LORD came to me: 13 “Son of man, when a land sins against me by acting faithlessly, and I stretch out my hand against it ….and cut off from it man and beast, 14 even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would deliver but their own lives by their righteousness, declares the Lord GOD. 15 16 even if these three men were in it, as I live, declares the Lord GOD, they would deliver neither sons nor daughters. They alone would be delivered, but the land would be desolate.
God may not spare a nation for a few righteous men. God does not promise protection to even the most righteous mens family during judgement on a nation. God’s hand is on those who individually fear him (Acts 10:35) “But in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him”.
Repentance (2 Chron 7:14) is a key for the people of the land to avert God’s judgement. However-God may not hear those prayers if the land does not repent at the proper time. Jer 22:21 “I spoke to you in your prosperity, but you said, ‘I will not listen.’
God has spoken to America in our prosperity and we have not listened. It may be that Judgement is already here or it’s too late. There are national sins it would seem the nation would need to repent of to avert judgement.
The indictment against America could include
America is stained with the innocent blood of millions of children. Nations that participated in the national sin of child sacrifice or abortion come to a bad end. The issue of when is a person a person. God tells us when that occurs (Ps 139:13, 22:10, Jer 1:4-5, Luke 1:39-44) and our Nation has rejected God’s eternal unchanging word on the matter. When a political party makes child sacrifice part of it’s national platform that is a scary place to be-simply awaiting God’s judgement.
2. Homosexuality- Not only does the nation tolerate and promote this it is accepted in many American churches. God calls this an abomination and tells us in Romans 1 that he has given people over to it-so we are already being given over to judgement.
3. The abandonment of the family unit that was instituted by God.
4. The prevalence of materialism, idolatry, and sexual sin-Our nation shows no signs of repenting of this sin.
5. A perverted Justice System-Where justice is delayed, not applied, and where those speaking the truth are punished instead.
Isaiah 5:20 – Woe to those who call evil good and good evil
Isaiah 59:14 – Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands far away; for truth has stumbled in the public squares, and uprightness cannot enter.
These perversions of justice are not forgotten by God, and he will take vengeance against the nation that perverts justice.
6. Violence, lawlessness, and hatred of one other-The riots have demonstrated the lawlessness we now live in, violent crime is escalating, and we just had an election in which the strongest motivating factor to vote for millions was hatred of another person.
Oftentimes when a nation, people, or city is judged for their sins they were defeated militarily or totally destroyed in some other way. In the case of Nineveh and occasionally Isreal God relented but with Nineveh both their leader and people repented. That is not happening in America today. The Bible tells us that in the end times people will still not repent even as the judgements are poured out upon them.
I believe the covid response is another grievous national sin as it tells us the things of God are “non essential”. The covid response like abortion dehumanizes people who are made in God’s image (Gen 1:26). Isn’t it interesting the part of the body the Government insists we cover is our face-it’s okay for strippers to perform in parking lots as long as their face is covered. That is quite opposite of when Adam and Eve sinned and they covered their body-not their face.
1: Cor 12:23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty,24 which our more presentable parts do not require.
It’s interesting that some orthodox Jews who adhere to the OT set fire to masks in NY City in October as a protest over mask mandates during worship. In their tradition which is rooted in OT scripture it’s not appropriate to read or learn scripture with a mask on, pray with a mask on, or go before kings with a mask on-let alone the King of Kings. (Ex 34:34).
In addition to the spiritual implications of dehumanizing people made in the image of God are many. The Bible sais quite a bit about a person’s face as having a spiritual context and seems to be very much part of being made in God’s image. Countless times we are told to seek God’s face (Psalms 27:8 and 2 Chron 7:14) and in 2 Corinthians 3:18: “But we all with unveiled face, beholding and reflecting like a mirror the glory of the Lord”—-Our face is to reflect the Glory of God and it can be said that whoever mistreats the face of another person would be doing the same to the face of God since we are made in his image. An early church father wrote “The image of God is to be found in the face of the saints.”-echoing a common idea that the soul shines thru a persons face. While the only legitimate instance of social distancing or mask wearing for disease I can find in scripture is in Leviticus for lepers-it nowhere indicates this is for healthy people.Things that cover a person’s face in the Bible1. Shame (Psalm 44:15 -…and shame has covered my face, Psalm 69:7 Dishonor)-Genesis 38:15 – When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute, for she had covered her face-We are told in Leviticus 19:32 – “You shall …honor the face of an old man…(not cover it) God hides his face from us individually or as a nation when we sin (Psalm 104:29/Is 59:2) but it is a blessing when he shines his face upon us (Psalm 31:16). Likewise it is a blessing when we shine our face upon others if we are reflecting God’s love. God uses people’s countenance and faces in many ways.
(Stephen) Acts 6:15 – And gazing at him, all who sat in the council saw that his face was like the face of an angel.—-They could not have seen that his face was like the face of an angel if his face was covered-it was a testimony against them
In the NT church they desired to see each other’s face..
3 John 14 – I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face. Acts 20:38 – being sorrowful most of all…they would not see his face again.. In the OT in Ezekiel there is an interesting incident recorded in Ezek 13. In verse 10 it records that the people built a wall symbolizing protection from their enemies and in Ezekiel 13:18 – …Thus says the Lord GOD: Woe to the women who sew magic bands upon all wrists, and make veils for the heads of persons of every stature, in the hunt for souls!
There was a threat to the nation in this passage in the form of the Chaldeans and in the form of God’s judgement. God had told them through the prophets that judgement was certainly coming and I believe in America we are in the same situation. What happened was a people who did not repent sought a false security and hope in this wall they built and in these veils the women gave out. Much like in America, a wall, a vaccine, a mask, or even the military can give us a false sense of security without national repentance. In Ezekiel this false hope was destroying souls and in America-the same thing is happening because we are devoid of repentance.
Proverbs 28:9 – If one turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination
Because our nation and our people have turned from God’s word and do not even know God’s word-our prayer for deliverance for our nation is likely an abomination before God.
One pastor went as far as to say this…Social distancing in the Church of Jesus Christ is tantamount to blasphemous infidelity and an impeachment of the integrity of the word of God, To allow the idol of coronavirus to determine the scope of congregational worship in the house of God is an abomination.
The sins of America fit Babylon in revelation 18 and whether that’s us or not-we can assume by our national sins that God is storing up judgement for us. We are told in Revelation 18 starting in verse 4-regarding those in Babylon
Revelation 18:4 “Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues; 5 for her sins are heaped high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities
What does it mean to come out of her-lest you take part in her sins? At minimum our conduct is to depart from the conduct of the nation at large. The remainder of Revelation 18 is frightening especially if you consider the possibility that it could describe our future. Secure your soul by trusting in the Lord Jesus who died for the sins whoever would believe in Him. To turn to Jesus you have to turn from your sins and acknowledge that you are a sinner who needs a savior.
Should God’s judgement hit America in anything resembling Revelation 18 hope of eternal life is all we would have left. God always saves a remnant and we can try to be among those survivors (Ezekiel 7:16). However, we are certainly not promised that if God did not spare the old world in Noah’s day saving only 8 souls alive from the flood and would not spare Jerusalem in Ezekiel even in Noah, Job, and Daniel had been found it it. American’s should tremble before God and realize that the God of Love is also a God of Justice.