Exodus 12:12-13 For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the Lord. The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.
I remember the first time I watched The Ten Commandments as a child. It was Easter weekend. The movie was a staple of network television, and it became a family tradition to watch the story of the Children of Israel’s liberation from Egypt. One scene in this movie, more than any other, always left an impression on me.
Specifically, the arrogance of Yul Brynner’s Pharaoh as he defies God and proclaims all first-born Hebrew’s should die. Of course, we all remember the look of concern and foreboding of Charlton Heston’s Moses, his warning to Pharaoh, and the arrogance that Pharaoh displayed regarding the coming judgment of God.
It was at this point that God delivered the message to Moses to mandate one of the most well-known exercises of social distancing.
Exodus 12:21-23 Then Moses called all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go and select lambs for yourselves according to your clans, and kill the Passover lamb. Take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and touch the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. None of you shall go out of the door of his house until the morning. For the Lord will pass through to strike the Egyptians, and when he sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to enter your houses to strike you.
I know most of you will agree that the current crisis regarding COVID-19 is not unprecedented. Throughout history, mankind has endured the Antonine Plague (165 AD), the Justinian Plague (541-542), the Black Death (1346 – 1353), and the Spanish Flu (1918). We have learned lessons from all of these crises and should pay heed to the mistakes of our past. The most important lesson is separating ourselves from exposure.
We all talk about social distancing, but what does that mean?
Simply put, stay home.
Do not gather or congregate with anyone outside of your immediate family. DON’T GO to the movie at a friend's home. DON’T PLAY that pick up basketball game. Now is not the time for personal social interaction. Now is the time for prudence and distancing. Please do not be so arrogant to think that you will not be affected by this current pandemic. One act of selfishness may very easily lead to the unchecked spread of this disease.
- Practice social distancing – This means stay home. If you must go out, keep a six-foot distance between yourself and others. Cease all interactions with those not in your immediate family.
- Designate one family member to run errands if necessary, and limit these.
- If you are sick – Quarantine yourself away from others in your household to protect them.
- Call your physician before you go to their office. Do not go out into public places.
- Discourage children and teens from gathering in other public places or at each other's homes.
Above all, remember God is in control. Don’t panic, but please do not be arrogant or cavalier. Our safety and ability to respond to this crisis hinges on our ability to alter our lifestyles for a short period. There will be time for movies, sports, family gatherings, and parties when we come through.
Right now, however, is not that time.
Our school community is top-notch when it comes to caring for each other in a crisis. Social distancing is just another way to care for each other well We will rise to the challenge in order to help each other and we will get through this.