BY PASTOR T. O. BANSO
“If you do not carefully observe all the words of this law that are written in this book, that you may fear this glorious and awesome name, THE LORD YOUR GOD, then the LORD will bring upon you and your descendants extraordinary plagues — great and prolonged plagues — and serious and prolonged sicknesses. Moreover He will bring back on you all the diseases of Egypt, of which you were afraid, and they shall cling to you. Also every sickness and every plague, which is not written in this Book of the Law, will the LORD bring upon you until you are destroyed. You shall be left few in number, whereas you were as the stars of heaven in multitude, because you would not obey the voice of the LORD your God” (Deuteronomy 28:58-62 New King James Version).
In the Bible, there is a relationship between sin and plagues. As seen in the scripture above, sin causes plagues. The causative agent of plagues is disobedience to God. Sin predisposes a people to plagues. It can also precipitate and perpetuate plagues.
In Numbers 25, the Bible shows us how the Israelites, by their disobedience to the law of God, brought upon themselves a plague, which caused the death of 24,000 Israelites. This was because they allowed themselves to be seduced into sexual relations with the Moabite women and worshipped the gods of Moab contrary to the Word of God.
But the plague stopped when Phinehas killed one Israelite and the Moabite woman that he brought into the tent where the Israelites were weeping at the entrance of the Israelite over the judgment of God against them for their sexual sin and idolatry. The plague stopped.
Numbers 25:6-9 records this incident: “Now when Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose from among the congregation and took a javelin in his hand; and he went after the man of Israel into the tent and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her body. So the plague was stopped among the children of Israel. And those who died in the plague were twenty-four thousand” (New King James Version). The current plague ravaging the world must stop.
It doesn’t matter how the current plague of Coronavirus came about. Sin causes plagues. And as we cry to God in repentance, the plague shall stop in Jesus’ name.
Joshua 22:17-18 and Psalm 106:28-30 refer to that plague that caused the death of 24,000 Israelites. Joshua 22:17-18a says, “Is the iniquity of Peor not enough for us, from which we are not cleansed till this day, although there was a plague in the congregation of the LORD, but that you must turn away this day from following the LORD?” (New King James Version).
Psalm 106:28-30 says, “They joined themselves also to Baal of Peor, and ate sacrifices made to the dead. Thus they provoked Him to anger with their deeds, and the plague broke out among them. Then Phinehas stood up and intervened, and the plague was stopped” (New King James Version).
Sin will cause a plague, but repentance will stop it. Disobedience will cause a plague, but righteousness will keep it away. Coronavirus, Lassa fever or any other viral or infectious disease must stop.
The plague caused by David’s sin
In 2 Samuel 24:10-25, David sinned by conducting a census of the Israelites against all pleas by Joab not to. This sin brought a plague, which killed 70, 000 people. This sin caused more death than the adultery David committed with Bathsheba – only Uriah died. However, David’s sin of conducting a census led to the death of 70,000 Israelites.
In verse 16, as the angel was preparing to destroy Jerusalem, the LORD told him, “Stop! That is enough!” (New Living Translation). That happened after David had realized his error and repented. “But after he had taken the census, David’s conscience began to bother him. And he said to the LORD, ‘I have sinned greatly and shouldn’t have taken the census. Please forgive me, LORD, for doing this foolish thing’” (2 Samuel 24:10 New Living Translation).
As instructed by Prophet Gad, David went to build an altar to the LORD and sacrificed to Him on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. David told Araunah, “I have come to buy your threshing floor and to build an altar to the LORD there, so that the LORD will stop the plague” (verse 21 New Living Translation). Did you see that? God can stop any plague once there is genuine repentance.
What happened after David had offered burnt offerings to the LORD? “And the LORD answered his prayer, and the plague was stopped”(verse 25b New Living Translation). The plague of Coronavirus, Lassa fever, and other deadly diseases shall stop as we repent. The LORD said to that angel, “Stop! That is enough!” So shall He say to Coronavirus, Lassa fever, etc. in response to our prayer of repentance.
The plague caused by protesters
In Num16, God’s judgment came upon rebellious leaders Dathan, Korah and their household. The ground opened and swallowed them together with their belongings and followers for rebelling against Moses. The fire that blazed forth from the LORD also burned up the 250 men who were with them burning incense. This disaster ignited a protest from the people against Moses and the consequence was a plague, which killed 14,700 people.
Nevertheless, the plague stopped. How? “So Moses said to Aaron, ‘Take a censer and put fire in it from the altar, put incense on it, and take it quickly to the congregation and make atonement for them; for wrath has gone out from the LORD. The plague has begun.’ Then Aaron took it as Moses commanded, and ran into the midst of the assembly; and already the plague had begun among the people. So he put in the incense and made atonement for the people. And he stood between the dead and the living; so the plague was stopped” (New King James Version). The plague stopped after Aaron made atonement for the people. He made atonement for the people’s sin that brought the plague. As we turn to the LORD in repentance, the plague ravaging the earth shall stop. Enough! Let’s stop this plague.
The terrible plagues Pharaoh and his household suffered because of Abram
Earlier in Genesis 12:17-20, Pharaoh and his household suffered terrible plague because Pharaoh had taken the wife of Abram, thinking she was his sister as Abram had said. “But the LORD plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife. And Pharaoh called Abram and said, ‘What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife? Why did you say, ‘She is my sister’? I might have taken her as my wife. Now therefore, here is your wife; take her and go your way.’ So Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him; and they sent him away, with his wife and all that he had” (Genesis 12:17-20 New King James Version).
If we look at the pattern in previous cases of plagues, the plague must have stopped after Pharaoh did the right thing by returning to Abram his wife. Plague always stops after repentance of sin.
The ten plagues in Egypt
In the book of Exodus, God visited the land of Egypt with ten plagues because of the stubbornness of Pharaoh. He refused to listen to the Word of God Moses delivered to him to let His people, the Israelites, go. He hardened his heart (Exodus 5-12).
The ten plagues are: River Nile turned into Blood (Exodus 7:14-25), the land covered with frogs (Exodus 8:1-15), the dust became lice throughout the land (Exodus 8:16-19), swarms of flies (Exodus 8:20-32), and pestilence of livestock (Exodus 9:1-7). Others are boils on man and beast (Exodus 9:8-12), heavy hail with thunder and lightning (Exodus 9:13-35), swarm of locusts (Exodus 10:1-20), three days of darkness (Exodus 10:21-29), and the death of the firstborn of the Egyptians (Exodus 11:1-12:30). However, the plagues stopped after Pharaoh obeyed God and allowed the Israelites to go. Until he repented, the plagues continued.
The plague caused by the Israelites’ worship of the golden calf
The Israelites suffered another plague in Exodus 32 because they made a golden calf, which they worshipped, while Moses was on the mountain for forty days and forty nights to receive the commandments from the LORD.
Moses told the Levites, “Thus says the LORD God of Israel: ‘Let every man put his sword on his side, and go in and out from entrance to entrance throughout the camp, and let every man kill his brother, every man his companion, and every man his neighbor’” (Exodus 32:27 New King James Version).
The sons of Levi carried out the instruction of Moses, and this led to the killing of about three thousand men of the people that day (verse 28). Verse 35 reiterates that the LORD plagued the people because of what they did with the calf, which Aaron made. Their sin caused the plague. The plague didn’t stop until God was satisfied with the punishment for their sin.
The plague the Israelites suffered for murmuring about manna
In Numbers11:33-34, the LORD plagued the Israelites for murmuring about manna He had sent to them as food and were craving for meat from Egypt. They murmured, “Who will give us meat to eat? We remember the fish which we ate freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic; but now our whole being is dried up; there is nothing at all except this manna before our eyes!” (Numbers 11:4-6 New King James Version).
Following their complaints, the LORD sent to them quails, but also sent to them plagues. Quails and plagues! “Now a wind went out from the LORD, and it brought quail from the sea and left them fluttering near the camp, about a day’s journey on this side and about a day’s journey on the other side, all around the camp, and about two cubits above the surface of the ground. And the people stayed up all that day, all night, and all the next day, and gathered the quail (he who gathered least gathered ten homers); and they spread them out for themselves all around the camp. But while the meat was still between their teeth, before it was chewed, the wrath of the LORD was aroused against the people, and the LORD struck the people with a very great plague. So he called the name of that place Kibroth Hattaavah, because there they buried the people who had yielded to craving” (Numbers 11:31-34 New King James Version). The Bible does not tell us the number of people killed in that plague because of the unfortunate behavior of the people, which was sin against the LORD. Where there is no repentance, the plague will continue unrestricted.
The plague Israelites suffered for refusing to enter the land of Canaan
Yet another plague afflicted the Israelites. Numbers 14:36-37 says, “Now the men whom Moses sent to spy out the land, who returned and made all the congregation complain against him by bringing a bad report of the land, those very men who brought the evil report about the land, died by the plague before the LORD” (New King James Version).
This scripture refers to the negative report of ten out of the twelve spies sent by Moses to explore the land of Canaan. They brought a report that discouraged the people. After saying that the land flowed with milk and honey and showed the fruit they brought from there, they said, “Nevertheless the people who dwell in the land are strong; the cities are fortified and very large; moreover we saw the descendants of Anak there. The Amalekites dwell in the land of the South; the Hittites, the Jebusites, and the Amorites dwell in the mountains; and the Canaanites dwell by the sea and along the banks of the Jordan” (Numbers 13:28-29 New King James Version).
Despite the assurance of another spy, Caleb, that they should go and take the land, for they were well able, these ten spies insisted that the Israelites were not able to go up against the people, claiming they were stronger than them. “The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature. There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight” (verses 32b-33 New King James Version).
The Israelites refused to enter the Promised Land because of the bad report of thee ten spies. God passed a death sentence on these ten spies and every Israelite from twenty years upward. None would enter the Promised Land. The LORD told Moses, “Say to them, ‘As I live,’ says the LORD, ‘just as you have spoken in My hearing, so I will do to you: The carcasses of you who have complained against Me shall fall in this wilderness, all of you who were numbered, according to your entire number, from twenty years old and above. Except for Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun, you shall by no means enter the land which I swore I would make you dwell in” (Numbers 14:28-30 New King James Version). Only Joshua and Caleb, the two spies that brought back a good report and Israelites below two years entered the Promised Land as God had said.
Repentance, repentance and repentance!
The world must repent and cry to the LORD in prayer. Hear Solomon’s request to God with regard to prayer by the Israelites in the time of plagues: “When there is famine in the land, pestilence or blight or mildew, locusts or grasshoppers; when their enemy besieges them in the land of their cities; whatever plague or whatever sickness there is; whatever prayer, whatever supplication is made by anyone, or by all Your people Israel, when each one knows the plague of his own heart, and spreads out his hands toward this temple: then hear in heaven Your dwelling place, and forgive, and act, and give to everyone according to all his ways, whose heart You know (for You alone know the hearts of all the sons of men), that they may fear You all the days that they live in the land which You gave to our fathers” (1 Kings 8:37-40 New King James Version).
God’s answer to Solomon’s prayer after dedicating the Temple was reassuring, and even reassuring today. “Then the LORD appeared to Solomon by night, and said to him: ‘I have heard your prayer, and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice. When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:12-14 New King James Version). Don’t violate the Word of God, and don’t join anyone to do so. Then, you will be exempted from plagues.
If a plague has begun, repentance will stop it. Obedience to the Word of God will exempt you from the plagues that will be unleashed on the earth. To obey is better than sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22). “‘If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword’; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken” (Isaiah 1:19-20 New King James Version).
Obey the laws of hygiene
In order to enjoy good health, which the LORD had promised the Israelites, they were to obey the laws of hygiene, diet and disease control among others. Some of the scriptures dealing with this are Leviticus 3:7; 5:2-3, 7:23-27; Leviticus 11; Leviticus 13-15; Numbers 19:16; and Deuteronomy 19: 23: 9-14.
While all these laws may not be applicable in modern times, there are similar laws that human beings must keep to enjoy good health or keep plagues away. These include isolating or quarantining people infected with certain diseases. This is very important. Prayer won’t be a substitute to obeying these laws. When King Uzziah of Judah was afflicted with leprosy for intruding into the office of a priest to burn incense in the Temple, he was quarantined, despite being the king. The law is no respecter of persons. 2 Chronicles 26:21 says, “So King Uzziah had leprosy until the day he died. He lived in isolation, excluded from the Temple of the LORD. His son Jotham was put in charge of the royal palace, and he governed the people of the land” (New Living Translation).
Plagues in the book of Revelation
In the book of Revelation, John saw visions of plagues, which are going to be part of the events that will happen at the end of this present age. He saw four angels who had been prepared for the mission to kill one-third of all the people on earth. They led an army of 200 million mounted troops. John saw the horses and the riders, who had breastplates of fiery red, hyacinth blue, and sulfur yellow. The heads of the horses were like the heads of lions and out of their mouths came fire, smoke, and brimstone, which he described as three plagues. “By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed — by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone which came out of their mouths” (Revelation 9:18 New King James Version). Did you see that? The plague killed one third of those on earth.
Unfortunately, the rest of humanity, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands.
They did not repent of their worship of demons and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which cannot see, hear or walk. Neither did they repent of murders, sorceries, sexual immorality or thefts (verses 20-21). As I’ve said earlier in this message, sin causes plagues and, sad enough, even after the plagues, those who survived failed to repent.
In Revelation 11:6, John talks about two witnesses or prophets who have power to shut heaven so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy. They also have power over waters to turn them to blood and strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire.
Furthermore, in Revelation 15 John saw another vision of the seven last plagues, which would bring God’s wrath to completion (verse 1). The seven angels having the seven plagues came out of the temple, clothed in pure bright linen, and having their chests girded with golden bands (verse 6). The temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from His power, and no one was able to enter the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were completed (verse 8). In Revelation 16, the seven angels, one after the other, poured out upon the earth the seven bowls of God’s wrath.
Remember that there is a relationship between sin and plagues in the Bible. John writes, “And I heard another voice from heaven saying, ‘Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. Render to her just as she rendered to you, and repay her double according to her works; in the cup which she has mixed, mix double for her. In the measure that she glorified herself and lived luxuriously, in the same measure give her torment and sorrow; for she says in her heart, ‘I sit as queen, and am no widow, and will not see sorrow.’ Therefore her plagues will come in one day — death and mourning and famine. And she will be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judges her” (Revelation 18:4-8 New King James Version).
Babylon will fall! The world system will collapse. The wealthy, those living in affluence and feel secure, will in one day receive the plagues of death and mourning and famine. To avoid or stop plagues, the world must repent of her sins. In order to be exempted, don’t join Babylon in her sins. 2 Corinthians 6:17 says, “Therefore ‘Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you” (New King James Version). You won’t partake of the bowls filled with the plagues that will be emptied on the earth in Jesus’ name. Run away from sin. Isaiah 52:11 says, “Depart! Depart! Go out from there, touch no unclean thing; Go out from the midst of her, be clean, you who bear the vessels of the LORD” (New King James Version). Repent of your sins.
While concluding the book of Revelation, John talked again about plagues. “For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book” (Revelation 22:18-19 New King James Version). Plagues, as seen in the book of Revelation, are weapons of judgment. Whatever plague has been experienced in human history is a child’s play compared to the future plagues the book of Revelation talks about.
Conclusion: I pray for you that, in the midst of any plague that may be on the earth, your house, business premises, etc. shall not be contaminated. Leviticus 14:33-57 deals with the treatment of contaminated houses. Everywhere you go, the atmosphere is sanctified in Jesus’ name; you shall not be a victim of any infectious disease. “Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor fear the dangers of the day, nor dread the plague that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you. But you will see it with your eyes; you will see how the wicked are punished” (Psalm 91:5-8 New Living Translation). Verse 10 assures, “No evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling” (New King James Version).
In Prophet Elijah’s letter to King Jehoram of Judah, he said, “Behold, the LORD will strike your people with a serious affliction — your children, your wives, and all your possessions; and you will become very sick with a disease of your intestines, until your intestines come out by reason of the sickness, day by day” (2 Chronicles 21:14-15 New King James Version). That will not be your portion. You and your family shall not suffer any form of plague in Jesus’ name. “And the LORD will take away from you all sickness, and will afflict you with none of the terrible diseases of Egypt which you have known, but will lay them on all those who hate you” (Deuteronomy 7:15-16 New King James Version). The LORD shall exempt you and all yours from evil.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you’re a sinner and you can’t save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start to attend a Bible-believing, Bible-teaching church. There, they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour and surrender my life to him today. I invite Jesus into my heart today. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing, Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I’ll be glad to hear from you.
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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