(Brent is the preaching minister of the Trenton Church of Christ in Trenton, TN.)
Solomon humorously described the slacker, “The lazy man says, “There is a lion in the road! A fierce lion is in the streets!” (Prov. 26.13). Well, who are we to ridicule the slacker? Would you walk to work if there were a chance you would have a lion confrontation? But that is what shepherds had to do in Bible times, and many still do today with nothing more than a club and spear for protection. In 2020, at the time of this writing, there have been 319 traffic fatalities in Tennessee, 100 more than COVID-19 deaths. What makes death by Corona more tragic than death by auto accident? If we simply shut down the roads or lowered the speed limit to 5 mph on every interstate, highway, gravel drive and field road, we could reduce that number from 319 to 0.
Several years ago I knew a young couple who had just welcomed their first baby into the world. The father wanted to visit his grandmother and introduce great grandmother and great granddaughter, so the family made the trip one state over. Having arrived in town he called to tell his grandmother he was coming by for a visit. She replied, “No don’t; little children carry germs.” So the family turned around and drove back home. She wasn’t wrong, little children do carry germs and spread diseases; all people do. But oh how her fear robbed her of one of the sweetest blessings in the world.
As God’s people prepared to enter the Promised Land, Moses pronounced blessings for obedience to God and curses for disobedience. Among the curses we read, “Your life shall hang in doubt before you; you shall fear day and night, and have no assurance of life. In the morning you shall say, ‘Oh, that it were evening!’ And at evening you shall say, ‘Oh, that it were morning!’ because of the fear which terrifies your heart and because of the sight which your eyes see.” With an entire world being pushed toward clinical germ phobia, I am by no means suggesting that we throw caution to the wind, but God’s people have no reason to live in panic. Maybe there is a lion in the street, maybe not, depending on where you live, but the 18 wheeler is much more dangerous. Please say it with me church, “The Lord is my shepherd…I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”