If living with COVID-19 is not sufficient, we have to live with power outages due to Eskom’s load shedding program. We have absolutely no clue where we’re going with the Coronavirus. No one knows what is happening, as it has returned in a second wave, seemingly more aggressive than the first. Will the vaccine work? We don’t know … only time will tell.
At the same time, no one knows where load shedding is going either … even Eskom does not know. They don’t know when the next generator is going to have problems and go offline. I’m sure you have also been struggling with load shedding. It’s not too bad when it’s from 23:00 to 01:30, but when it’s from 05:00 to 07:30 or from 07:00 to 09:30 … or any other time during the day, it becomes very challenging.
Most people are at home or working from home. The schools, colleges and universities are closed. Though there is the online platform for education and work … what about load shedding that affects those who are working from home? Fiber and other forms of internet provision are mostly down when there is load shedding. To me it seems as though these two, Coronavirus and load shedding, are terrible twins.
Yet, life must go on. We need to improvise and we need to make alternative arrangements … and implement a few short cuts at the same time to make things work. Some people have alternative power supplies such as generators and some people are able to protect themselves far better than others from contracting or coming into contact with people who might have the virus. We are not sure whether the virus will become worse and we are not sure what level of load shedding we will have to endure. The one leaves us in darkness and the other threatens death.
I’m sure you spotted where I’m going. Sin leaves us in spiritual darkness, and ultimately, the consequences of sin is death … eternal death. While we don’t know where the Coronavirus is going and we don’t know where Eskom is going, we do know where sin is leading.
It’s phenomenal when you think of it … sin is actually work! Have you ever thought of sin as work? Work means you are doing something that leads to payment. Listen to what God says in Romans 3:23 … “For the wages of sin is death”. You actually earn wages when you sin … and those wages are death!
The death spoken of here is not physical death but eternal death. You see, the sin virus is more deadly and more potent than the Coronavirus. The Coronavirus could kill anyone, believers and non-believers alike. It kills physically … but the sin virus kills eternally. How and when does this happen?
When Eskom load sheds, an area is without electricity … that area is in darkness … especially when the load shedding is at night. You have all the facilities to provide electricity, but the supplier of that electrical power has cut off the supply. All human beings have the potential to have spiritual power that provides spiritual light, yet because of inherent sin the supplier of spiritual light and power cuts off the supply. This means, due to the supply being cut off, man lives in spiritual darkness. That darkness literally means living without spiritual light and life. It is being cut off from the supplier of spiritual light and life … and we call this spiritual darkness. Without spiritual light and life, should death come, the result is eternal death … a terrible life in eternal darkness and punishment.
One of the boldest and greatest statements Jesus made is found in John 8:
Jn 8:12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Think of this statement. It came immediately after the woman was caught in adultery and brought to Jesus by the Teachers of the Law and the Pharisees, for His verdict … (read the whole passage … I include only a few verses for context):
Jn 8:7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
11 “No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
The God-Man says to the woman, “Who condemns?” She responds, “No one”, and He says to her … “Then neither do I condemn you”. This is grace and mercy in action, because He sensed she was sorry for her sin and wanted to repent.
And then, He adds, “Go now and leave your life of sin.” This is an instruction … “Go now” … not meaning “go home now”, but go now and turn your life around! How would she do this? “Leave your life of sin” … it’s like Jesus saying, “Go and live a repentant life, prove the salvation I give you through living the fruits of repentance.”
Yes, she was caught is a sinful act … but … “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” None were without sin. They all walked away. That is man’s condition … no one is without sin. That is, all are in spiritual darkness and need to follow the light of the world to escape walking in spiritual darkness so that they might enjoy the light of life (v12).
Another way of putting this would be, walking is spiritual light leads to living eternal life with God in His heaven … but walking in spiritual darkness and dying in that condition leads to living eternal death in hell, which is separation from God forever! Being connected to the supplier of spiritual light and life (spiritual power) assures eternal life. Not bring connected to the supplier of spiritual light and life means to walk in spiritual darkness and earns (wages) eternal death. The one will experience total delight, the other will experience total devastation. Have you chosen to follow Jesus, who is the light of the world … or have you decided to reject His free offer of salvation?
Dear Loving Father, Your Word continually amazes me as it shows me how compassionate and merciful Your Blessed Son Jesus Christ was and is to sinners. Like this woman found mercy, so have I, through Jesus. Amen.