Obedience is an eternal principle.
Most of us have heard, read, or seen the stories of the bible exemplified within movies at some time. For some people, the bible is the word of God, given to the world through prophets. For other people, they are just stories that help to preserve harmony in the world and that teach us through parables how to distinguish the good from the bad, in terms of human behavior. There are also people who have not had the opportunity to know the Bible or who consider it a simple historical account of imaginary and unreal events because they do not have the scientific foundations to demonstrate its veracity.
But whatever the perception of each person is, I want to share with you the following story extracted from the bible within chapter 21 of the book of Numbers, related with my way of telling a story:
In the time of Moses, after the people of Israel left Egypt and while they were wandering in search of the promised land, they crossed the southern lands where the Canaanites lived, who, noticed the presence of the Israelites in their lands, and went out to fight them to drive them out of the southern lands. The Canaanites won the battle and took many Israelites as prisoners. Then the people of Israel pleaded with Jehovah for help in rescuing their people by destroying the Canaanites. Jehovah heard the plea of his people and blessed them so that they could defeat the Canaanites. After Israel defeated the Canaanites, they continued their journey in search of the promised land, but they were not satisfied with the situation they were experiencing, because they missed everything that they had left behind in their homes when they left Egypt, especially the food that they did not have in the desert. Even though Jehovah provided what they needed to live healthily and without starving, the Israelites complained that they always had to eat the same thing. They also criticized the decisions that Moses made while ruling the people and got angry at Jehovah for not giving them everything they wanted and for all the difficulties they had to face to get to the promised land.
When Jehovah heard the unjustified complaints of his people and the criticisms against Moses, he became angry and punished the people of Israel by sending them a plague of poisonous snakes. In such a way that when the snakes bit the Israelites it caused them great pain, killing them almost instantly.
So, the people of Israel begged Moses to convene with Jehovah for them and ask him to forgive them and take away the plague of poisonous snakes. Seeing the suffering of the Israelites, Moses prayed for the people and pleaded with Jehovah to forgive them.
-And the Lord said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. (Numbers 21: 8)
-And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived. (Numbers 21: 9)
This is how many Israelites survived the plague of poisonous snakes, by plainly performing a simple act, since they only had to turn or raise their heads and look at the bronze serpent to be healed.
Jehovah did not ask them to have faith. Jehovah did not put conditions on them. Jehovah simply gave them instructions about what they had to do to avoid death because of the plague and the Israelites, if they wanted to live, they only had to OBEY.
The antidote or the solution to living was very simple, “look at the bronze serpent”.
COVID-19 continues to kill many people around the world, and some people do not want to be vaccinated while others do not consider it necessary to cover their mouths; others do not believe in social distancing; many criticize governments; others do not want to follow the established norms of personal hygiene to avoid contagion; others find it ridiculous to wash their hands frequently; all while the plague continues to spread.
In the spiritual sense, to obey means to do the will of God. In the intellectual sense, to obey means to comply with the requests established by law. But in a simpler way, obeying means respecting the will and life of others.
Currently, the entities that take care of public health do not care about our religious beliefs or academic degrees; whether we have faith or do not believe in God; if we are married or single of if we have a big or small family, to establish the norms that help us avoid contagion.
Nor are they restricting our right to choose of our own free will. However, if we want to avoid contagion and regain our freedom to enjoy our lives in a normal way, we should comply with the established sanitary standards, since as it happened to ancient Israel, if we want to live, we only must OBEY.
The solution to avoid contagion is very simple, “we must wash our hands frequently, cover our mouths and noses when we are surrounded by many people, maintain social distancing in small or crowded spaces, get vaccinated, and stay home if we feel sick. “
Let us remember that “TO OBEY is better than SACRIFICE, and to hearken than the fat of rams.” (1 Sam. 15:22)