Today’s Scrip-Bit 24 March 2020 Proverbs 1:7.

Proverbs 1:7.    ​The fear (reverence, reverential awe) of the Lord is the (principal) beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
 
It’s like a ghost town; like a lockdown in jail! Mama! The whole country is now in a state of near immobility. There’s been directives from the Prime Minister, the Premier, the Mayor, even my City Councillor to shut it down, stay home and practice social distancing. Hn! What a bam bam! Around my house, only the birds are singing, and hopefully the garbage truck will soon pass by to pick up the garbage. Nothing or no one else seems to be moving. I don’t know if our world has ever had so many states of emergencies at the same time, even in times of serious warfare. But that’s what it seems it will take to help defeat this Coronavirus. 

And life is so strange and mankind so foolish, stubborn and full of himself, that I want to share something that if it’s true, and there’s no reason to doubt it, could have avoided a lot of this disaster. It’s a video of an apparent warning from Bill Gates, back in 2015, at a conference about the Ebola Virus; another virus that caught us flat-footed and without any protection.  His words were: ‘Today, the greatest risk of global catastrophe doesn’t look like this…’ and the video shows a huge nuclear cloud mushrooming in the atmosphere. ‘Instead, it looks like this…’ and the video shows a microscopic enlargement of a germ cell. 

‘If anything kills over ten million people over the next few decades, it’s most likely to be a highly infectious virus rather than a war. Not missiles, but microbes. Now part of the reason for this is that we’ve invested a huge amount in nuclear deterrents, but we’ve actually invested very little in a system to stop an epidemic. We’re not ready for the next epidemic! You can have a virus where people feel well enough while they are infectious that  they get on a plane or they go to a market. The source of the virus could be a natural epidemic like Ebola or it could be bio-terrorism. And so there are things that would literally make things a thousand times worse. 

In fact, let’s look at a model of a virus spread through the air, like the Spanish flu back in 1918. So here’s what would happen: It would spread throughout the world very very quickly…’ And a graph comes up showing how quickly the virus spread back then – some 36 million in 263 days – ‘And you can see that over 30 million people died from that epidemic. So this is a serious problem. We should be concerned. But in fact we can build a really good response system. We have the benefits of all the science and technology that we’ve talked about here. 

We’ve got cell phones, to get information from the public and to get information out to them; we have satellite maps, where we can see where people are, and where they’re moving; we have advances in biology that should dramatically change the turn around time to look at a pathogen and be able to make drugs and vaccines that’s fit for that pathogen. So we can have tools, but those tools need to be put into an overall global health system…and we need preparedness. The best lessons I think on how to get prepared, are again what we do for war. 

For soldiers, we have full time – waiting to go. We have reserves that can scale us up to large numbers and NATO has a mobile unit that can deploy very rapidly. NATO does a lot of war games to check, are people well trained, that they understand about fuel and logistics and the same radio frequencies, so they are absolutely ready to go. So those are the kinds of things we need to deal with an epidemic. And what are the key pieces? Our first is, we need strong health systems in poor countries. That’s where mothers can give birth safely, where children can get all their vaccines, but also where we’ll see the outbreak very early on. 

We need a medical reserve corps; lots of people who’ve got the training and background; who are ready to go with the expertise. And then we need to pair those medical people with the military; taking advantage of the military’s ability to move fast, do logistics and secure areas. We need to do simulations; germ games, not war games, so that we see where the holes are. The last time a germ game was done in the United States was back in 2001, and it didn’t  go so well. So far the score is germs one, people zero. Finally we need lots of advance R&D in areas of vaccines and diagnostics. There are some big breakthroughs like the adeno associated virus that could work very quickly. 

Now I don’t have an exact budget for what this would cost, but I’m quite sure that it’s very modest compared to the potential harm. The world bank estimates that if we have a worldwide flu epidemic, global wealth will go down by over three trillion dollars, and we’d have millions and millions of death. These investments offer significant benefits beyond just being ready for the epidemic; the primary health care, the R&D, those things will reduce global health equity and make the world more just, as well as more safe. 

So I think this should absolutely be a priority. There’s no need to panic. We don’t have to hoard cans of spaghetti, or go down into the basement, but we need to get going, because time is not on our side. In fact, if there’s one positive thing, that can come out of the Ebola epidemic, is that it can serve as an early warning, a wake up call to get ready. If we start now, we can be ready for the next epidemic. Thank you!’ 

Ah mih people, what words of wisdom eh! But the sad part is that we never took Bill’s advice. Now if we don’t take the advice of the richest and one of the most powerful men in the world, who’s are we going to take eh? You can say all you want about him, and how he got his wealth and how he can afford to sit in his ivory tower and talk, but like a prophetic warning, his words have come through, a mere five years later. And we were not ready! And besides, the virus is not a respecter of persons, it takes both the rich and powerful as well as the poor and needy. 

So we’ll see oodles of deaths, let’s hope not millions, and the world economy has already been devastated, by more than 3 trillion, since most things and places around the world have been shut down. What’s the next step eh? We now fighting to do the R&D, and hopefully sometime develop a suitable vaccine, but all of that takes time, and until then, people will die, and the world will become more like a death camp and poverty stricken place than a thriving and prosperous hotspot. 

Oh my people, it’s the same thing with the warnings in the Good Book: tribulation and calamity will befall us if we don’t reverence, worship and obey our Creator. Cousin Sol said it in spades: ‘The fear (reverence, reverential awe) of the Lord is the (principal) beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.’ And isn’t that the gospel truth! That’s why we find ourselves in disasters such as these. But our foolishness, and consequently our calamities, can be minimized, if we will follow true wisdom and turn to our great, forgiving and merciful God in prayer. 

Friends, it’s our ONLY hope! Even if we find an antidote for this current virus, something else will soon assault us if we don’t get ready for it with constant and sincere prayer. So please, I implore us, not only in these calamitous times, but when they pass. ‘To pray without ceasing. And in every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess. 5:17-18) Much LOVE!

…there’s lots of truth to the old saying…if you don’t hear…you’re going to feel…

P.S. Yes I know it’s long and late, but I got up late, and the warning might be a tad late for now, but if we survive this, there will be a next time. So let’s be wise and learn from it nuh! Much LOVE!

Today’s Scrip-Bit 20 March 2020 2 Timothy 1:7.

2 Timothy 1:7.    For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind.
 
Well top o’ the morn to all you wonderful Scrip-Bit friends and family! And I mean that in a general sense because it’s already a tad late, due to my early morning bed time and consequently late rising. (smile) But all that’s a part of life, and we just have to take it and accept it with God’s good grace. Hn, hn, hn! It sounds like I’m making an excuse for something eh? Who knows? But the long and short of it is that in my area of the world it’s a wet and windy Friday morning. The rain has currently stopped, but the wind is certainly picking up, and according to the weather people, we’re going to have thunderstorms and all other kinds of inclement weather this exciting day in God’s great universe! 

Yeh, as Job says, you can’t expect to get good stuff all the time and never experience some negative affairs. But the good thing about it all is that we have Jesus running our show, and He’s a Leader extraordinaire, so we don’t need to be worried about whatever happens if we’re walking under His awesome command. That’s why this Coronavirus, or whatever it’s called, that’s running rings around our world doesn’t trouble Christ’s believers as much as those who don’t believe! 

We know that it’s dangerous, and we’re to take good and safe precautions, but we also know that our great God has faithfully promised to work everything out for our eventual good, so we don’t panic and get all wired and wound up, but show the world the true faith of Christ’s believers. And the ordinary workingman is pushing me aside so that he can have his say. (smile) 

And as usual, he enthusiastically declares: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! But this is a different kind of Friday – I haven’t worked since Tuesday, because the government said the slave master should shut down the slave shop just in case we spread the virus further. And we going to get pay too… Hn! The government must be helping the slave master pay we for not working because He wouldn’t do that on his own. And as I sit here by mih window looking out on the grey and wet morning, glad that ah not in the slave master shop breaking mih back with work, I have to shake mih head and sadly chuckle. 

Well, well, well! Look what we great world come to eh! Hn! Ah li’l stupid looking virus finally bring we to we knees! Who’d ever have thunked it eh? Brother! The whole world just shut down just so! I wouldn’t believe such a thing could happen if I didn’t see it with mih own two eyes. Leh we just hope that all this social distancing and washing hands and staying home together brings families back together instead of driving them further apart yes, because the family situation was really getting bad there before all this happen. 

Ah Lord eh! What we going to do eh? Just hope that they find a cure soon and too many people doh die from it first, and the economy doh get so bad that it take a long long time to recover! And we keep on thanking God for Fridays and weekends, even though some of us not working and not getting pay!’ 

Yeh friends, even the ordinary workingman has realized the seriousness of our predicament and the urgency for prayer! So what shall we believers do eh? First off, we shall chant our Friday Chant…and I’ve rejigged it somewhat to serve this unusual situation. So let’s chant up a serious and sincere storm nuh, for the safety and survival of our world depends on it. All together in strong voice, with sincere hearts: 

‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. As usual, it’s been kinda rough, but a different kind of roughness than normal. All this confusion with the Covid -19 virus and the monumental storm and the seemingly unending havoc it bringing…we not accustomed to that Lord. But with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat this virus. 

So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the  least amount of loss to life and property as possible, but even more importantly, bringing a lot of backsliders back to your fold, and also a whole new flock who will embrace your LOVE and compassion because of the way we, your faithful believers, handle the situation. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Ah mih people, let’s hope that when the Lord hears our prayer and looks at our hearts to see our motivation, that He will see sincerity written all over them, and thus will unleash His awesome LOVE, compassion, grace, mercy and forgiveness, to help us resolve this situation in the best way possible, that will bring glory and honour and exaltation to his name. Oh friends, I can’t stress enough the importance of prayer and our salt and light leadership of faith in this panic stricken situation. 

We, the believers in Christ are the ones now required to stand strong and show the unbelievers why we have such faith and trust in our Lord and Saviour. We can’t afford to be weak, wishy-washy and insincere in this abnormal time, for this is the time we were born for; the time to show the world the true and powerful attributes of our faith. And this puts me in mind of Bruh Paul’s second letter to Timothy, when the problems in the church at Ephesus were discouraging him. 

‘Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting (laying) on of my hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of LOVE, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of (share with me) the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.’ (2 Tim.1:6-9) 

Yes friends, our God has not given us the spirit of fear, but that of power; the Holy Ghost power; His awesome power of LOVE, and of a sound and disciplined mind. Let us not be therefore weak and ashamed of His gospel, but this is the time to stir up our passion, rise up from our discouragement and do God’s work! We all know what we ought to do, so with God’s help, let’s rise up and do it nuh! Much LOVE!

…in tough times like these… it’s the tough faithful who lead the way…