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God’s Word for You

Proverbs 27:1 what a day may bring

by Pastor Timothy Smith on Saturday, March 14, 2020

27 Do not boast about tomorrow,
  For you do not know what a day may bring forth.

Solomon phrases this proverb as a warning. Jesus Christ rephrased it, allowing the warning to stand, but adding a sense of comfort in days of uncertainty and anxiety. The Lord said, “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34).

Our nation and the world at large are in a time of serious trouble today with the outbreak of the Corona virus (COVID-19). Perhaps you’ve become tired of hearing about its dangers; perhaps you’re confused by conflicting reports. Perhaps you’ve been deluged by useless information about such things as the advantages of holding your breath, etc.

In my lifetime, there have been many epidemics, some localized (like Legionnaire’s Disease in 1976), some, like AIDS (1984-present) that began as a venereal infection which spread to the general public. In this young century, new epidemics have hit with regularity: SARS (2003), the Avian Flue (H5N1, 2004-2007), the H1N1 Flu pandemic (2009), the return of cholera in 2010, and the return of measles, typhoid fever and tuberculosis in about 2012. Then there was the outbreak of Ebola in 2014, and the Zika virus in 2016. Most of us are apt to wonder, what will happen next? The Lord’s words stand: “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Some of my colleagues have been circulating copies of a letter by Martin Luther about the outbreak of disease and plague. While the letter is fairly long, the following paragraph is sufficient all by itself. Luther lived and served during one of the world’s worst outbreaks of the Black Plague. When asked about what he thought Christians should do, stay in the cities or flee, he wrote:

“I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall fumigate, help purify the air, administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance infect and pollute others, and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me, however, I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely as stated above. See, this is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God.” (Luther’s Works 43: 132 “Whether one may flee from a Deadly Plague” written to Rev. Dr. John Hess).

If your business or school decides to close its doors for a week or a month, there may be some hardship. Understand that this hardship is not meant to hurt you, personally, but the decision has been taken to try to spare suffering on a larger scale. Do what you can, especially the basic things such as covering your cough and sneeze, washing your hands, and avoiding unnecessary contacts. Pray for our world, for our nation, and for the people you love. Do not boast about tomorrow, and do not worry about it, either. Take care of what you must today and know that repentance today is better than waiting to repent tomorrow. Let the peace of Jesus fill the things that you do and say, and be at peace. Your sins are covered.

In Christ,
Pastor Timothy Smith

Pastor Tim Smith

About Pastor Timothy Smith
Pastor Smith serves St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in New Ulm, Minnesota. To receive God’s Word for You via e-mail, please contact Pastor Smith.

 

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