Noah isn’t part of this generation and so, has very little to do with our time. In our time, we are faced with the virus of all viruses, COVID 19.
COVID 19 belongs to a class of viruses known as the Coronavirus, according to a school of scientific thought.
The thought of the virus and what to do about it has left society shivering. It may not be insurmountable, but it has sent so many, so quickly to the grave.
In Italy, bodies are being burnt to ashes. The Germans during WWII built crematoriums huge chambers of death that were committed to man’s hunger to cause death through war. They were used largely to cremate Jews killed by the Nazis.
But it would seem that the Italians have come upon that option. Given the number of people that are dead, where will the living find sufficient grounds to bury their kind who are leaving in droves?
It is a great irony that this should happen in Italy. Cremation isn’t strange to India. The dead are cremated and their ashes spread in the River Ganges as tradition allows.
How time changes everything! You’ll probably say this is not a time of war, but can that assumption be true?
Society is at war with the Coronavirus. Simplicita! Perhaps, it is war by other means. A war, it is, all the same.
Many who are dead, did not see it coming. They were simply mowed down by the virus.
The living are engaged in a war of survival. To escape death, solutions must be found to an unknown enemy.
The enemy is not visible to the naked eyes, yet it has the ability to enter the body through the eyes. It exists in the air you breathe. It sticks to your palms like a gum and destroys whatever lies in its path.
The rich are not spared by it; not even the so-called advanced nations are. So, the rich and the poor, the strong and the weak, the mighty and the lowly are all victims.
For the first time in many years society is counting death in huge numbers. Several dead bodies here and there.
Vultures circle overhead, watching men below as they take a hit from the latest angel of death.
Unlike in real war situations, when dead bodies are strewn along the path or found in the jungle, vultures have no bodies to eat.
Sadly, they must circle, their beaks wide agape, as they hope man would be overwhelmed by his circumstance, and forced to throw up his hands in total despair and surrender.
So, man has been forced to retreat. Some have retreated to their homes, others have found their way into scientific laboratories.
To stay safe, men are encouraged to stay home while their counterparts, dressed in scientific apparel, feverishly search for a cure in the lab.
Is man winning the war?
It is not easy to say. Across the world, people are recovering. The pace of recovery varies.
In China for example, the curve is dipping, meaning that hope for victory over the disease exists. In America, the curve is peaking, and fear may overcome optimism if the number of deaths at the current rate persists.
In Nigeria, God has been merciful. Not many have died as a result. Only two deaths have been recorded.
Foreigners are being evacuated from some countries, and it would seem that it would be best to die at home, among loved ones.
Which ever way you look at it, the world is in trouble. So much trouble that men are running like rabbits.
The other day, over 250 Israelis were airlifted from Lagos and Abuja. It was a time to say goodbye to a country that has given them shelter; time to part with friends that they have made while here.
But lo, Air Peace made history, turning into the first Nigerian carrier to fly into Tel Aviv on a rescue mission that Israel will never forget.
I could only think of the Biblical quote, ‘Publish it not in Gath, less the uncircumcised Philistines rejoice’ as Air Peace lifted into the skies, taking with it, the hopes of the State of the Israeli nation.
May be, when this is over, Israel may find a new friend in Nigeria. That would be after the war. Such friendship would be only for the living to cultivate, and not for the dead.
The race to find a cure hasn’t ended either. Man is at the crossroads, but the will to survive drives him closer to his destination. There has to be a way out; some light in the tunnel.
Trouble is, time appears to be running out. Where will help come from? Will mankind be able to build a coalition against the virus?
Only time will tell. For now, people are being asked to stay at home. Not many in our midst like the idea.
Many years ago Noah (there I go again) built an ark. Noah had the back of God. He is believed to have heard that the world would be destroyed.
He did not argue. He was told to go on board the ark when the time came; asked to board the vessel with the male and female of every specie that God had made. He obeyed and did not discriminate.
And when the earth was hit by God’s sledge hammer and the waters welled up, he went into the ark, and all that was with him went into the ark.
Has it occurred to anyone that the order to remain in an enclosure was the first quarantine ever experienced by man? Think about it.
Noah was quarantined in the ark until it was time to be free of what became a sailing home. Some say the ark can still be found somewhere in the world. My eyes haven’t seen it.
If for any reason, we all were to be on the same wavelength as you read, the next question to ask would be, who ordered the first quarantine in human history?
The answer shouldn’t be difficult to find among theologians and all those who strive to find God’s mercy. That order obviously came from God.
In Egypt, when God was to visit the Egyptians for their acts of iniquity against Israel, the Israelites were asked at the time of the passover to stay in their homes.
They were asked to make a certain sign on their door post so that the angel of death will passover.
Those who obeyed avoided the affliction. So was it written; so has it been written; and so is it known to this day.
To survive the present day plague which came about the same time locusts visited East Africa, we have been told like Noah to stay indoors.
The instruction is coming from our governments. So, you will say this instruction is not coming from God. I really wouldn’t blame you. But have you ever heard the saying that man is God to man?
There was a time God walked the earth, when He dwelt amongst men. The only difference as the virus ravages our world lies in God’s knowledge of men and the knowledge that God has placed in the hearts of men.
Nothing that man has achieved, made or conquered on his way has been realized without the fountain of knowledge that God has freely given.
Indeed, man is like a puppet attached to a string. With his foot firmly placed on earth, he receives inspirations from above.
Attached to his Creator like a baby held unto his mother’s womb by the unblical chord, man receives streams of messages. Some have given rise to art while others have taken up a scientific swirl.
Given this background, some of us have transformed into commentators, lawyers, economists and political animals while others have become engineers, medical doctors, physicists, chemists and all.
Like it, accept it, reject it, these streams of messages which hits man’s thinking faculty come from a source.
What has probably changed is time; what some in their stroll through time have described as metaphor.
The only difference between the time when God clearly spoke from the heavens and the period, such as we have, when man acts on the basis of inspiration may lie between man’s primitive instincts and his civilisation.
There were times when men went up the mount to seek the face of God; when they returned like Moses with commandments. There may still be men who go up the mount, but there will never be another Moses.
So, what’s the connection?
Staying at home, away from the vissititudes of time just like Noah did is not such a punishment. On the contrary, it may be a blessing.
For me, getting off the streets is the sacrifice that we all must make at this time in order to advance the fight against the virus, or avoid its affliction.
Those who say nay must learn from the sacrifice that Noah made. Indeed, for a period that only theologians can possibly calculate, Noah remained in the ark unperturbed by time or what was happening outside.
If we remain along the path as many amongst us want us to, we may become obstructions on the way, and what happens to obstacles may well be our blessing in the end.
May it never be.
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