LOOKING AT COVID19 – through grasshopper glasses
There are two cornerstones on which every conspiracy theory is built. Without exception.
- Listen again to that voice message warning people of new lockdowns, racial attacks, electricity shutdowns, oppression, and food shortage – read this article and see if it rings a bell?
- Have another look at Plandemic, Dr. Buttar, The Truth about Vaccines, Global Reset, QAnon or Out of the shadows – you must have seen at least one of these?
- Observe again our politicians, especially before an election, and the fear-mongering messages of midnight politics – how the other party will destroy our nation, our freedom, our prosperity and our faith – you know exactly what I’m talking about.
Well, grab your scalpel and start dissecting the messages you receive on social media. Scroll back on your WhatsApp messages and have another look. Check that Facebook friend again and what he posted last week. You will find there are two cornerstones without which no conspiracy theory can exist: FEAR and SUSPICION
If you have not identified this golden thread (or is it a golden threat) then you have been looking through the wrong glasses
FEAR and SUSPICION are inseparable. They are the Siamese twins of spiritual darkness. The one needs the other to survive and to succeed. You cannot fear what you trust, and you cannot trust what you fear. Create suspicion and you have fertile soil for fear to flourish. Create fear and trust will vanish like mist before the sun. Combine both and you have the power to destroy faith and manipulate people into destruction.
This is a matter of life and death. Few spiritual matters carry the weight of these two toxic and deathly sins. Being an instrument of fear and a messenger of suspicion should fill every believer with a deep deep anguish. May God forbid!
THE SHAME OF SHAMMUA AND THE SIN OF SHAPHAT
Heard these names before? The Bible contains a list of names every Christian should be familiar with. See if you recognize any of the following: Shammua, Shaphat, Igal, Palti, Gaddiel, Gaddi, Ammiel, Sethur, Nahbi or Geuel. Try and remember at least one of them and write it next to every conspiracy theory you receive.
The fact that you probably don’t recognize these names is probably more their failure than yours. Each of these was a leader in his own right; brave, highly skilled, with power and authority, and above all, they were chosen by God. They were all prominent Biblical figures and should have the same prominence as the likes of Moses, David, Noah, etc. Yet, there was one difference and their names faded into obscurity.
Does it ring a bell yet? Yes, they were ten of the twelve spies sent by God to scout out the Promised Land. The account is documented in detail in Numbers 13. “Go and explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites,” God said to Moses. The command was quite clear. It was not a declaration of war. It was not a call to fight. It was not even a commission to defend the truth. It was an invitation to explore what was already promised to them. It was a gift that needed to be discovered in the context of a sovereign God with goodness in mind.
So, how did these heroes mess it up so badly? Why did their names become symbols of suffering to the people of Israel – after all, it was because of them that a generation died in the desert and a nation was confined to suffering. This is serious – VERY serious. What did they do that was so terrible in the eyes of God and why did they simply fade into the insignificance of Biblical history?
Ironically, their iniquity was not found in ‘competence, but in ‘conspiracy’. Their bravery was evident in the fact that they scouted enemy territory for forty days. Their foolishness was displayed by the fact that they neglected to place the giants they saw in the context of the God that they served. They came back with messages of FEAR and SUSPICION. Sounds a little bit like COVID-19, doesn’t it?
Through the social media platform of that era, (Number 13:26) they gathered the whole Israelite community together and there they reported to them and the whole assembly. Using logic, assumptions, and manipulation they then led the people of God into a place of fear and despair – like every single conspiracy theory today. The tragedy is that the majority of Israelites were ready to go along with their advice. They watched the “YouTube clip” and fear made them forget about their sovereign God. When fear becomes a culture, it is far easier to follow those with messages of suspicion than those of reconciliation. It is easier to fear than to trust. The addictive message of victimization is far easier to believe than it is to pursue justice for others and reconciliation for all.
The sin of these ten spies, the reason why they faded into oblivion, and the reason they led the people of God into a 40-year desert-journey of hell was not their vision of the giants but the prominence they gave to the giants – proclaiming the impotence of their living God and His inability to fulfil His promises.
WOW, this is serious! It transforms the fear of God into the fear of man, the fear of a new world order and the fear of fear itself. And within seconds faith and trust leave the equation. Once the ball is in motion fear spreads like a virus and without thinking we pass the messages on to others, just like Shammua, Shaphat, Igal, Palti and the rest did – and we lure others to join us on a journey through the desert into despair
In Numbers 13, the awaiting giants filled the hearts of the people of God with fear. In 2020 it was the World Health Organisation, Bill gates, 5G, QAnon, the Plandemic, masks, vaccines, China, Antifa, farm murders, and countless countless more. We each had to face our own giants.
As travellers on this journey of faith, we have two options when we face our own giants: we can look through the eyes of grasshoppers (Numbers 13:33 “We saw the Nephilim there… We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them”) or we can look through the eyes of Caleb (Numbers 13:30 “Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, ‘We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it’”).
When we look at covid-19 through the eyes of the ten spies that saw themselves as victims and as small as grasshoppers in the eyes of all that wanted to destroy them, we insult the God we serve. This is serious. This has got nothing to do with truth, unbelief, or fear – this is questioning a trustworthy and faithful God Almighty.
Know one thing – there are severe consequences for lacking faith in God’s abilities. That’s why we find one command in Scripture that appears more frequently than any other.
“DO NOT BE AFRAID!” — “FEAR NOT!”
Depending on which translation of the Bible you use and what phrase you are searching for, the phrase “do not fear” or “do not be afraid” appears at least 130 times in the Bible (not 365 as many preachers love to proclaim). This is not a comfort; this is a command. The call to “be not afraid” appears more times than the call to be holy, or the command to be obedient. This is the single character trait that God wants to instil in His followers more than anything else. The reason is obvious: God knows that fear paralyzes, God knows that fear causes disobedience, and God knows that the one obstacle preventing transformation, is fear. It is not a lack of Biblical knowledge nor a lack of experience but FEAR.
We need to confront the cause of fear. Most of us find it a lot easier to accommodate our fears. We feed them and we surround ourselves with people who can feed them. We need to stop surrounding ourselves with negative people and start by confronting the things that limit transformation.
Remember, rehearse, and repeat the words of 1 John 4:4 “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”
Fear only takes root when we are wrongly positioned. Doug Firebaugh said, “Usually a person has more faith in their fear than faith in their future.”
And then there was Caleb, an amazingly courageous young man who spoke out against the popular opinion of the time and boldly declared without question the character of God. He must have been “ignorant” in the eyes of the ten spies who felt they were the discerning ones and wise enough to understand the strategies and mysteries of the giants. A lone voice of faith amongst the shouts of conspiracies.
Make no mistake, Caleb saw the same giants that the other spies saw. The difference, however, was that Caleb saw his God differently to the way the other spies did. A faithful servant does not ask “Can we conquer the giants?” but says “We will take possession of the land”. This has nothing to do with bravery or courage – faithfulness is taking God at His Word.
Take this tip to heart: look at the Corona Virus, quarantine, and isolation through the eyes of God. Doubt and fear are not a lack of self-esteem – they are a lack of God-esteem. The Israelites discovered the severe consequences of this as their journey was prolonged by 40 years.
But the corner stone of fear cannot exist without the cornerstone of suspicion
THE ONE BASKET THAT CONTAINS THE SIX DEADLIEST SINS
How serious are we really about Scripture when we attempt to interpret the season we live in from a Biblical and Godly perspective? We build conspiracies referring to Scripture but fail to reflect an attitude according to Christ.
In seeking to expose evil powers – whether it be Bill Gates, Chinese scientists, laboratories in Wuhan, the WHO, or simply local politicians who conspire to use the pandemic to establish a New World Order – we might actually fall in the trap of becoming detestable to the One we claim to please.
It was Brezhnev who once declared “Thank God I’m an atheist” but I can imagine not even he desired to be found detestable to the God he didn’t believe in – how much more for those who adore, worship and delight in the creator God, the lover of our souls? How much more should this fill us with anguish at the thought of being detestable to God.
In Proverbs 6:16-19 we find a catalogue of attitudes that are detestable to God. Yes, detestable says Scripture. This scripture should be the foundation in the life of all who seek to please God. These seven abominations are not the only sins mentioned in scripture, but they contain most of the wicked things that displease God. The seven things God hates points directly to the heart of the individual and addresses the roots of all other sins. According to scripture sin is not only sin when it happens, but sin is committed the moment it is conceived in the heart.
Here are the seven “detestable” listed in God’s catalogue (Proverbs 6:16-19). Keep the COVID-10 conspiracies theories in mind as you read this:
- ARROGANCE(haughty eyes): This describes a feeling of pride and looking down upon others.
- DECEIT (a lying tongue): This describes speaking falsehood, posting rumours, sharing theories or speculation. It is detestable to God, who is a God of truth. Nothing we do causes us to resemble the devil more closely, who is the father of lies (John 8:44).
- ASSASSINATION(hands that shed innocent blood): This can be an assassination of the body or the assassination of character. In Matthew 5:21–24, Jesus says that anyone hating someone else unreasonably without offering room for forgiveness commits a sin equivalent to murder. Oh, how easy it has become to assassinate political leaders, religious leaders, and anybody who lives, thinks, or looks different than we do
- MALICIOUSNESS(a heart that devises wicked schemes): This is thinking or conceiving evil against any individual or group. We are not called to expose it, but not to do it.
- EVIL(feet that are quick to rush into evil): This indicates someone who displays an eagerness to be drawn to evil. We should be concerned not only by those who do evil but by those who are attracted to evil – even with a desire to expose it. If you are always busy with exposing the Illuminati or pointing people to The New World Order and being attracted by evil, watch out.
- LYING (a false witness who pours out lies): This is more than just deceit; this form of lying is given special mention as it could deeply harm an innocent individual or group. This pertains to more than just bearing false witness but also to accusations without proof.
Then comes detestable #7, which was added to the original six, not as an afterthought but as an embodiment of the previous six:
SOWING SUSPICION (a man who stirs up dissension in the community): Sowing suspicion is detestable to God. We better believe it. It embodies the previous six sins.
What we often don’t realise is that by exposing a sin, we might fall in the trap of breaching another sin. By exposing ‘a heart that devises wicked schemes” we might “stir up dissension in the community”. We become equally guilty of sin. The end does not justify the means. That’s why the instruction is not for believers to expose sin in the lives of other people, these are practical warnings to keep free from doing it ourselves.
The TWO footprints that COVID-19 are currently leaving behind, apart from the destruction in healthcare and global economy, are SUSPICION and FEAR. This is sadly more evident in the Christian community than anywhere else.
Think about watching a video discrediting Bill Gates, China, the WHO, our politicians, humanitarians, healthcare workers and global leaders. What are the feelings we are left with after watching these video clips: suspicion, distrust, evil, fear, anger or even hatred – none of these attitudes are conducive for spiritual wellbeing. On the contrary, they are all tools in the hands of the devil to make people distrust one another and the breeding ground for evil thoughts, hatred, and fear.
There is no doubt that there might be evil people amongst those that are currently making decisions of global concern. But when Christians are more intent on exposing evil than doing good, our good intentions make us stooges in the paw of the roaring lion who seeks to devour us, our testimony, and His work.
Suspicion creates a looming darkness and expectation of evil where the Lord would prefer goodness. When suspicion becomes a stronghold, it can debilitate us and prevent us from seeing the good, the light, the blessings, and the potential.
Has the Church become too obsessed with end time prophesies and conspiracies? Is it possible to understand the seasons we live in and at the same time avoid suspicion?
Here are 5 Biblical tips on avoiding suspicion:
- Be ready to believe the best of every person: There is good somewhere in the worst of us. Look for that good and pray about the rest while you are protecting your rights, loved ones, and home. 1 Corinthians 13:7 “Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].”
- Control your thoughts: We are all slaves to our thoughts. Our thoughts determine our attitudes, our attitudes determine our actions, and our actions determine our destinies. Be careful what you spend your thoughts on. Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
- Love: There is only one way to avoid being suspicious today and still be safe. Love. Love covers a multitude of sin. That does not mean we neglect discernment, allow evil to triumph, or stop praying. It means we no longer allow suspicion to control us but love. 1 Corinthians 13:6-7 “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
- Trust God: God himself will repay evil; He doesn’t need us to intervene on His behalf. Romans 12:19 “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave the way open for [God’s] wrath; for it is written, Vengeance is Mine, I will repay (requite), says the Lord.”
- Love your enemy and forgive those who sin against you. Follow God’s law without judging it. James 4:11 “[My] brethren, do not speak evil about or accuse one another. He that maligns a brother or judges his brother is maligning and criticizing the Law [God’s Law found in the Bible] and judging the Law. But if you judge the Law, you are not a practitioner of the Law but a censor and judge [of it].”
We might consider ourselves to be “Watchmen on the Wall” or “Prophets” or simply “men and women who are entrusted with discernment”, but if the fruit of our ministries is fear and suspicion, we are in trouble