Summary: Three examples of God's people praying in response to a plague
Some Christians are asking why we’re experiencing this pandemic. Is coronavirus a judgement from God? Are we living in end times? Interesting questions! But I started yesterday on the subject of prayer and I want to continue with that theme a little longer. First and foremost, we as God’s people should be earnestly praying at this time. Today, I’m going to look at some instances when God’s people specifically prayed in the context of a plague.
At the time of the plagues of Egypt, Moses often prayed that God would remove a specific plague. For example, in Exodus 8 God has brought a plague of flies. In verses 30-31 we read, ‘So Moses went out from Pharaoh and prayed to the Lord. And the Lord did as Moses asked, and removed the swarms of flies.’
Later, during the Exodus from Egypt, a man called Korah and some friends of his rebelled against Moses. God dealt with them: ‘And the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up’ (Numbers 16:32). But the people weren’t happy. ‘You have killed the people of the Lord’, they complained (v.41). God started to deal with them by sending a plague. But Moses took action and we read (vv.47b, 48) ‘And he put on the incense and made atonement for the people. And he stood between the dead and the living, and the plague was stopped.’
Much later, David, the king of Israel, ordered that a census be taken. God was not happy about this. We can find this in 2 Samuel 24. God sent a pestilence (v.15). But David prayed to God (v.17): ‘Behold, I have sinned, and I have done wickedly. But these sheep, what have they done? Please let your hand be against me and against my father's house.’ He also built an altar to God. At the end of the chapter (v.25) we read, ‘So the Lord responded to the plea for the land, and the plague was averted from Israel.’
So, here are three examples of prayer which brought an end to a plague or pestilence. Does that mean that prayer will bring an end to this plague? I don’t know the answer to that. But in these passages, God responded to his people’s prayers and that should encourage us to pray.
May God watch over us.