From Liberty to Lockdown and back again… well, part of the way!

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    In this article Graeme Duncan reminds us that lockdown is nothing new. We have an account of lockdown taking place in the very first book of the bible.


    Many of us hadn’t even come across the term ‘lockdown’ just a few short weeks ago, let alone have experience of it. But now it is in common usage and fully understood from personal experience, the whole world over.

    A lockdown is usually a necessary thing which is initiated by an authority. It is best known as a prison protocol which is used for safety purposes. It is also used to protect people or to prevent sensitive information or goods from leaving an area and to protect, for example, a computing system from an external threat.

    As a result of Covid-19 many have been forced to move from liberty into lockdown. As a
    result of the effects of such restrictions and of the virus itself, so many are experiencing worry, anxiousness and fear. However, once matters begin to come under control then lockdown can be eased, as we are now beginning to experience, and a more acceptable way of life can start to be restored.

    Lockdown, is nothing new. We first come across it right at the beginning of the bible, in
    its very first book, Genesis. Noah and his family were in lockdown on the instructions of none other than God himself. You can read the account for yourself from Genesis chapter six onwards. This lockdown was to last for an initial forty days and nights, and that was only just the period of rainfall the family had to put up with. Their lockdown didn’t suddenly just end the next day. It was a case of the lockdown gradually easing for them as those flood waters began to recede. In reality, the flood carried on for another 150 days. (Genesis 7:24) There were to be several false sorties of Noah sending out a bird at seven day intervals to test if the waters were receding and there was somewhere for them to land, before the dove he sent out did not return. The waters were finally receding.
    It was to be the best part of a year though before Noah and his family’s lockdown ended and God told them they could finally leave the ark.

    Noah and his family had trusted God. Their hope for the future was in him and they just had to be patient and follow God’s instructions. Noah’s obedience, loyalty and patience were rewarded when God made him promises and gave a rainbow as a sign. Those promises God has kept to this very day and will keep on doing so ‘while the earth remains’. (Genesis 20:22 -ESV) God always keeps all of his promises.

    So, as the stresses and strains of our own lockdowns begin to ease and life very slowly begins to return to more as we knew it, we do well to remember and thank God for his untold promises to those who are obedient and trust him; that he is always with us to meet us in the difficult situations we face in life whatever they may be.

    Dear Father God,
    As we come out of lockdown and at a time when our ears are bombarded with news and
    information by beckoning voices, Lord let us hear you.

    In a world which doesn’t know which way to go, Lord help us find your way.

    In a world of easy promises and empty guarantees, help us to trust in your promises which stand the test of time.

    We think of, and pray for, those who are sad, lonely, depressed, anxious, unwell, worried,
    perplexed and confused. May they know your presence, peace and assurance as they turn to you for help……….and we pray this in Jesus’ name.

    Amen

    Graeme Duncan