One of the ways that God has administered justice through history has been to let us eat our own cooking. This is what Jesus meant when He told Peter, “…all who take the sword will perish by the sword.”
…but these men lie in wait for their own blood; they set an ambush for their own lives. (Proverbs 1:18)
There is nothing mystical about this. If you insist on brushing your teeth with a spanner, don’t be surprised at the pain. If you lie in wait for the blood of others, if you seek to destroy others through greed and unjust gain, you are effectively lying in wait for your own blood.
When bloodlust takes hold, bloodlust takes over. And so Solomon warns the wise son not to join with such people.
The same is true of those who descend into fear and frenzy.
In 2 Chronicles, Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir were meant to be joining forces to destroy King Jehoshaphat. Why? Because King Jehoshaphat was their mutual enemy. But in their frenzy, they all pitched in and helped to destroy one another.
First, Ammon and Moab turn on their ally, Mount Seir, then, bizarrely, Ammon and Moab turn on each other.
…the men of Ammon and Moab rose against the inhabitants of Mount Seir, devoting them to destruction, and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, they all helped to destroy one another. (2 Chronicles 20:23)
One of the first things God said to King Jehoshaphat before he went to battle was “don’t be afraid or dismayed.” No matter how big the enemy turns out to be, God would fight for them (2 Chronicles 20:15).
And so, as they marched into battle the choir led, singing, “Give thanks to the Lord, for His steadfast love endures forever.” (2 Chronicles 20:21).
Like Jehosphat’s choir, our faith is to be characterised and demonstrated by songs of thanksgiving. But if we live by fear and the frenzied mob, we might well end up singing, “The virus hath slain its thousands, but the panic its tens of thousands.”
The wise son is careful not to throw in his lot with those who are falling into a panicked pit of their own digging.
Come, my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until the fury has passed by (Isaiah 26:20)
If we isolate for a season, if we duck like an Israelite behind a blood-soaked lintel, let it not be for fear of a nasty wee virus. Let it be because we fear our God and have chosen wisely to wait for His deliverance.