What we see in the events of the world today is that despite the huge advances in science & medicine, humans cannot rely on themselves to solve the problems in the world today. And this is a problem for humanists who by definition believe that it is them as human beings that are best placed to solve the problems of the world.
"A belief that when people are free to think for themselves, using reason and knowledge as their tools, they are best able to solve this world's problems."
– The Humanist Society of Western New York
And the problem humanists face is that not only are humans unable to solve this problem, but it is also the actions of humans that are the root cause of the virus.
A petition to protest the eating of dogs and cats
highlights the reality
It is believed that the coronavirus came from a wet market in China, where animals from all over the world are brought together, dead and alive. They are cramped together, slaughtered and butchered inside the market, often to order. Living animals are contaminated with the blood and feces from other animals kept in close proximity to them. You could populate a medium size zoo with the animals you find in these markets. In them, you would find snakes, rats, crocodiles, pigs, dogs, chickens, pangolins and bats which are of course believed to be the source of the coronavirus.
In nature, many of these animals wouldn't even end up in the same continent, let alone in the cramped conditions of the wet markets. Bringing all these animals together, along with humans makes a perfect environment for viruses to jump between species, like rungs of a ladder.
It is therefore evident that humans, far from solving the problems in the world, are the cause of this, and many other problems in the world today.
In the book of Exodus 15:26, we read that God tells Israel that if they kept his commandments, he would protect them from the diseases.
26 And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee.
And when we look at the law that God then gave to Moses, over 3000 years ago, we quickly see how if man had just kept the basics of the law given to Israel, COVID-19 would almost certainly never exist in humans.
And the Lord spake unto Moses and to Aaron, saying unto them,
2 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, These are the beasts which ye shall eat among all the beasts that are on the earth.
3 Whatsoever parteth the hoof, and is clovenfooted, and cheweth the cud, among the beasts, that shall ye eat.
4 Nevertheless these shall ye not eat of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the hoof: as the camel, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you.
5 And the coney, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you.
6 And the hare, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you.
7 And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you.
8 Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcase shall ye not touch; they are unclean to you.
9 These shall ye eat of all that are in the waters: whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall ye eat.
10 And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you:
11 They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcases in abomination.
12 Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you.
13 And these are they which ye shall have in abomination among the fowls; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the ospray,
14 And the vulture, and the kite after his kind;
15 Every raven after his kind;
16 And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckow, and the hawk after his kind,
17 And the little owl, and the cormorant, and the great owl,
18 And the swan, and the pelican, and the gier eagle,
19 And the stork, the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat.
20 All fowls that creep, going upon all four, shall be an abomination unto you.
21 Yet these may ye eat of every flying creeping thing that goeth upon all four, which have legs above their feet, to leap withal upon the earth;
22 Even these of them ye may eat; the locust after his kind, and the bald locust after his kind, and the beetle after his kind, and the grasshopper after his kind.
23 But all other flying creeping things, which have four feet, shall be an abomination unto you.
24 And for these ye shall be unclean: whosoever toucheth the carcase of them shall be unclean until the even.
25 And whosoever beareth ought of the carcase of them shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even.
26 The carcases of every beast which divideth the hoof, and is not clovenfooted, nor cheweth the cud, are unclean unto you: every one that toucheth them shall be unclean.
27 And whatsoever goeth upon his paws, among all manner of beasts that go on all four, those are unclean unto you: whoso toucheth their carcase shall be unclean until the even.
28 And he that beareth the carcase of them shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even: they are unclean unto you.
29 These also shall be unclean unto you among the creeping things that creep upon the earth; the weasel, and the mouse, and the tortoise after his kind,
30 And the ferret, and the chameleon, and the lizard, and the snail, and the mole.
31 These are unclean to you among all that creep: whosoever doth touch them, when they be dead, shall be unclean until the even.
32 And upon whatsoever any of them, when they are dead, doth fall, it shall be unclean; whether it be any vessel of wood, or raiment, or skin, or sack, whatsoever vessel it be, wherein any work is done, it must be put into water, and it shall be unclean until the even; so it shall be cleansed.
33 And every earthen vessel, whereinto any of them falleth, whatsoever is in it shall be unclean; and ye shall break it.
34 Of all meat which may be eaten, that on which such water cometh shall be unclean: and all drink that may be drunk in every such vessel shall be unclean.
35 And everything whereupon any part of their carcase falleth shall be unclean; whether it be oven, or ranges for pots, they shall be broken down: for they are unclean and shall be unclean unto you.
36 Nevertheless a fountain or pit, wherein there is plenty of water, shall be clean: but that which toucheth their carcase shall be unclean.
37 And if any part of their carcase fall upon any sowing seed which is to be sown, it shall be clean.
38 But if any water be put upon the seed, and any part of their carcase fall thereon, it shall be unclean unto you.
39 And if any beast, of which ye may eat, die; he that toucheth the carcase thereof shall be unclean until the even.
40 And he that eateth of the carcase of it shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even: he also that beareth the carcase of it shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even.
41 And every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth shall be an abomination; it shall not be eaten.
42 Whatsoever goeth upon the belly, and whatsoever goeth upon all four, or whatsoever hath more feet among all creeping things that creep upon the earth, them ye shall not eat; for they are an abomination.
43 Ye shall not make yourselves abominable with any creeping thing that creepeth, neither shall ye make yourselves unclean with them, that ye should be defiled thereby.
44 For I am the Lord your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
45 For I am the Lord that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.
46 This is the law of the beasts, and of the fowl, and of every living creature that moveth in the waters, and of every creature that creepeth upon the earth:
47 To make a difference between the unclean and the clean, and between the beast that may be eaten and the beast that may not be eaten.
So here we have a set rules that would let Israel know which animals they could and couldn't eat.
If we now think back to these wet markets in China, just imagine how differently they would look if the law of Moses had been observed in them. Firstly, the number of species would be dramatically reduced. This by itself reduces the number of different viruses and diseases that come in contact with humans in them. Secondly, we see that the animals that are excluded are none other than the ones we know today carry the viruses' humans are most vulnerable to. The worst of all, bats are believed, to not
Above: a bat meat stall at a market in Indonesia.
The experiences of virus transmission from animals to
humans will likely make the acceptance of God's dietary
laws easier to accept.
only be the origin of the coronavirus, but also Ebola and SARS. Camels, the source of MERS, pigs, the source of swine flu, rats, which are known for carrying all kinds of diseases we find are all to be unclean under the law. By just taking these unclean animals out of the wet markets would greatly reduce the chance of a new virus entering humans.
Any object that touches an unclean animal becomes unclean and must be purified, and if it is an earthen vessel, which we now know cannot be effectively cleaned with water, it had to be broken and couldn't be used again.
And in real life things happen, so the law provides rules on what to do if a person touches an unclean animal or object. If they just touch it, they are unclean until the evening, and then have to wash themselves to be clean. If they carry the object or animal, not only do they have to clean themselves they also have to wash their clothes. Everything they touch during that period would also become unclean and would have to be purified as well.
When we look at 1 Sam 20:26 we find that because of these laws it would be expected that you would avoid social gatherings such as the new moon feast hosted by Saul. When David doesn't attend Saul assumes it is because he must be unclean.
And so, we see that when people kept the law of God those who were unclean, which can be caused by several reasons such as such as showing symptoms of particular illnesses, they would be kept separate from others and would be required to wash.
And a lot of this can seem to us in the 21st century as obvious, but to some degree, this is because our western culture still has historical roots in Judeo-Christian values. And it is also true that there are some creatures which seem gross to eat that were permitted to be eaten, because they are actually perfectly safe, such as locusts and beetles. And equally, there are some animals like pigs, whose carcasses now have to be treated differently from the clean animals we eat today.
And so we see that those who had no knowledge of science and medicine at all, over 3000 years ago, who simply kept and trusted God's law were protected from the outbreaks we see today, that have now appeared despite man's amazing advances in the understanding of disease and medicine.
And so, what we are seeing today is suffering caused and not solved by man, and it is God who is best able to solve the problems we have in the world today, when he sends his son to rule this earth, and his law again goes forth from Jerusalem.
This has been Paul Barnes joining you for this weeks Bible in the News.