April 2020, Vol. 39, No. 4

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Quarantine is a Biblical Practice

posted on April 8, 2020

[335 words]

Peter’s first letter addressed the difficulties the church was facing in the first century A.D. Today, we are facing a pandemic unlike anyone has ever seen in our generation.

To the faithful, the hardest thing is having to self-isolate away from our friends at the Lord’s church. We do this so we won’t contract the virus and spread it to others.

Peter sought to encourage his readers to remain committed in all their trials. Like them, we can read Peter’s words and learn the value of putting our focus on the one who can provide all we need regardless of the situation. That one is the Lord Jesus Christ. Here is God’s promise to you.

“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, establish, and strengthen you” (1 Peter 5:10).

Many are worried about our congregation while we go through this trial. Are we wrong for not meeting together? The answer is no, we are not wrong. We are in the right. The reason we are not meeting together is because this is sound medical treatment for the prevention of this disease. In the Bible, this form of self-isolation (quarantine) was not only recognized but commanded (see Leviticus 13:46; 14:38). During the time of the “Black Plague,” those obeyed this command, saw fewer cases of illness in their communities.

The Christian motive for hygiene and sanitation does not arise in self-preservation but in an ethic of service to our neighbor. We seek to put others first so we self-isolate and endure the lack of fellowship for a little out of our concern for others, thus obeying the Golden Rule (Matthew 7:12).

With God’s help, we will survive this time of quarantine. And, once we come together as a congregation, once again, it will be a time of rejoicing and celebration. Hold on, my friends. God is with us.

Larry Fitzgerald
Woodlawn church of Christ
Abilene, TX

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