Will life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness be the death of this nation?
I’m just wondering. I’m not trying to be over dramatic. I remember hearing a sermon, God’s Word To Our Nation, where Pastor Albert N. Martin says that we in America love our individual liberty. He said that if we were to travel to other parts of the world, we would see a mass transportation system, but not in America, because we are an individualistic people. We are the “have it your way” generation.
I am glad that I live in a country where we have certain freedoms. As a Christian, I am also free in Christ. In the book of Galatians, the Apostle Paul says:
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free,Galatians 5:1a KJV
The Apostle Paul goes on to say:
For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”Galatians 5:13-14 ESV
I bring up these scriptures because it has been my observation that our response to the Coronavirus, which has affected every country, has brought about such strong feelings regarding our rights. Some see our religious liberty being infringed upon. Some see the mandate to wear masks an infringement upon their personal liberty. Many refuse to take the vaccine for various reasons including compromising health conditions, uncertainty of its efficacy, distrust of government, misinformation, and sadly, because it’s been politicized negatively.
However, our failure for the masses to vaccinate is resulting in a turn in the wrong direction. Hospitals are filling up again. It is reported that approximately 97% of those who are ending up in the hospitals and 99% of those who are dying as a result of Covid are all un-vaccinated. While we have been able to open up theaters, restaurants, and businesses these past couple of months, the uptick trend of Covid cases could move us back to restrictions.
The appeal for people to get the vaccine has gone out and continues to go out because of the frustration as states see the numbers go in the wrong direction. Republican Governor Kate Ivey was questioned by a CBS42 reporter, “What is it going to take to get people to get shots in arms?” In utter frustration, the Governor responds, “I don’t know. You tell me. Folks are supposed to have common sense.”
Common sense? You might think that since all we really want is for life to return to normal, we would do what it takes, but to get there it may take relinquishing certain freedoms, rights, not only for ourselves but also for the sake of others, the “love your neighbor” deal. It appears that the data supports what the scientists have been saying all along. The vaccine works!
I’m reminded in this of another biblical account. It happened in the time of Moses and the children of Israel, who got impatient and grumbled against God, as they have done before. This time they complained because they didn’t like the food from heaven God provided.
Then the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died. And the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD and you. Pray to the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. And the LORD said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole, and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.” So Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a pole. And if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live.Numbers 21:6-9
God answered their prayer. All the people had to do was to look up and live, look at the serpent on the pole and live. Of course, they did not have to look up, but if they did not, they would succumb to the bite of the serpents and die. There was no mandate. Their failure to look up, however did not affect others, other than mourning the loss of loved ones.
I believe that many people have prayed to God regarding this pandemic. I also believe that God is sovereign and that he still works in the lives of men to execute his purposes. Former President Trump’s initiative, Operation Warp Speed, was able to give us emergency FDA approval for the Coronavirus vaccine. Three companies, after having completed clinical trials, were approved by the FDA for emergency use, Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson.
However, to date, we have lost over 600,000 people to Covid, and many who have had Covid will have long term effects. How much do we treasure our liberty, our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Is there a time to defer my rights to benefit another? When this pandemic first began I wrote Has Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness Made Us Selfish?
I’m still wondering this because the sermon that I cited earlier was given in 1983. In his introductory sermon in this series, Pastor Martin used Proverbs 14:34 to show that all nations, including America, are subject to God. The verse plainly states: “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any nation.”
Jesus told his disciples as he was preparing them that he was leaving:
By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.John 13:35 ESV
Sometimes, love may cost us.