What If You Are Sick, Incapacitated, etc...?
- Numbers 5:2 “Command the children of Israel, that they put out of the camp every leper, and every one that hath an issue, and whosoever is defiled by the dead:
- 3 Both male and female shall ye put out, without the camp shall ye put them; that they defile not their camps, in the midst whereof I dwell.”
(Before we get into this, I want the reader to understand a little bit about this writer’s situation. This writer understands this topic because of my current health struggles that came from a disease I picked up overseas years ago. My health struggles are complicated. One of my issues is that I am immuno-compromised, meaning that I get sick very easily sometimes getting sick every two weeks or holding onto colds for two months. At the same time, my issues are compounded by the fact that I suffer from permanent migraines that cause paralysis or parasthesia as well as an overly-sensitive nervous system that is overwhelmed easily with interaction from people or my surroundings and hurts like needles or electrical shock all over my body all of the time. There is yet much more that I could cover like constant muscle cramps, vertigo, digestive issues, etc… All of this causes me to require a wheelchair when I am outside of my house or interacting with other people, and I have little in-person contact with others. I can push myself a little, and I do push myself to stay in the ministry in a part-time capacity. However, if I push myself too much it causes complications with my immune system, as well as speech, mind, etc….)
Our Lord is so intelligent! The earliest examples of quarantine are found with the Jews in the Holy Scriptures. (Lev. 13:2-5, 31-33, 45-46; 14:8; 15:19; Num. 5:2-3; 31:11-20; Deut. 23:10-11; II Kgs. 7:3; II Kgs. 15:5; II Chron. 26:21; Lk. 17:12) Jehovah wisely never laid out rules for mass quarantine because many other worse scenarios reminiscent of house arrest result from such a move. However, God did set guidelines for various examples of individual separation from the healthy. (By the way, the earliest examples of hygiene for the healthy and the sick are also found with the Jews in God’s Word as well!) The Lord laid out in the Mosaic law very detailed steps for handling, separating, and accepting again the sick or bleeding or contaminated. As a matter of fact, our God Who never changes follows similar steps when dealing with spiritual impurities in the life of backslidden brethren in the New Testament (i.e. the sin and repentance of a man’s fornication dealt with in I and II Cor.).
If a church is following God’s Word, they should also follow God’s Word concerning hygiene of the sick and healthy as well as the individual quarantine of the sick, etc…. So, if a believer knowingly has major sickness or health issues, they should separate themselves, hopefully temporarily, from their local church. At the same time, if believers with at-risk situations such as those with immuno-compromised systems (like myself) need to stay home, then they should. At the same time, the church itself needs to find a way to fulfill its biblical duties to all of its membership including their homebound, sick, or incapacitated members.
- – Find a way to get the pastor’s preaching to them. They could listen to another preacher’s preaching, but that sick person is a member of your local church so they should be hearing from their own shepherd.
- – Believers are responsible in Heb. 10:24-25 to exhort and to provoke unto love and good works the other believers of your local church, and that includes those quarantined as well. All believers need fellowship. Remember true religion is visiting the fatherless and widows in their affliction (Jms 1:27). For those of us who shouldn’t have much in-person interaction, then email, texting and other social media work well. Just please don’t leave the homebound lonely. People joke how they’ll talk to an elderly person in a nursing home or similar situation and that the seniors will just talk and talk your ear off. There is a reason for that. They need a touch of the fellowship and assembling of believers as well. Believe me, it can get lonely.