Whenever epidemics or other disasters break out, it isn’t uncommon for people to ask “Why?” In fact, it would be strange if people didn’t stop to think about the bigger picture. The question becomes, though, do they really get it?
You know, people break God’s laws left and right, and then they will ask why all these things happen. Some will even blame God!
In general, some believe that influenza starts in China and Southeast Asia.1 Some aren’t so sure, but do point out that “Historically, Southeast Asia has been considered a potential epicenter for emergence of pandemic viruses due to the proximity with which humans live with their domestic animals [emphasis added].”2
God describes the diet that His followers should adhere to in Leviticus 11. Many assume these “Jewish laws” were done away with! However, there is only one translation of the Bible that includes a scribe’s notation that would lead one to believe that. In Mark 7:19, we see the added words in the ASV are, “This he said, making all meats clean.” People are staking an awful lot on a scribes notation! What did Peter say long after this?
But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.
~ Ac 10:14
Do you really believe that God just arbitrarily makes up laws? Does He or does He not have our own good in mind?
Eating pork will not give you swine flu. It may, however, give you trichinosis. It may give you worms that may even threaten your life! We seem to believe that cooking and modern refrigeration gives us an out so we can break God’s Law, but God will not be mocked!
Consider how little swine flu we would be dealing with if people were not raising pigs. In fact, from the PLOS article, it may even reduce other types of flu to not be around animals that are unclean by nature. Ancient Israel was commanded to not even touch the carcass of unclean animals (Lev 11:26). Could it be that our Maker, the One Who created us, may actually know what is best for us?
Why does He have these laws? Well, it even goes beyond health laws. The stated reason is:
For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.
This is the law of the beasts, and of the fowl, and of every living creature that moveth in the waters, and of every creature that creepeth upon the earth:
To make a difference between the unclean and the clean, and between the beast that may be eaten and the beast that may not be eaten.
~ Lev 11:44-47
These laws are usually called “health laws”, and rightly so, but it goes much more beyond that. Animals that were permitted to be sacrificed were the same ones His chosen people were to eat. As Dr Ralph Levy once stated, “As God’s children, we eat what God eats.”
Postscript: I heard on the radio how this will affect the travel industry. Many people are wisely opting to stay closer to home. On top of the current economic challenges the travel industry is facing, this will add even more stress upon the industry and the fragile economy. This epidemic doesn’t look like it will be too devastating for those in the US from a health perspective (none have died in the US as of yet), but it is hitting the US in the wallet.
- Berman, Jessica. (16 April 2008). Scientists Identify Spread of Seasonal Influenza. Retrieved 28 April 2009 from http://www.voanews.com/english/archive/2008-04/2008-04-16-voa71.cfm?CFID=186787101&CFTOKEN=51219697&jsessionid=66309c2eeb83cb31546479a5d78146e97163.
2007 Phylogenetic Analysis Reveals the Global Migration of Seasonal Influenza A Viruses. PLoS Pathog 3(9): e131. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.0030131