Halting the Plague

And Aaron took as Moses commanded, and ran into the midst of the congregation; and, behold, the plague was begun among the people: and he put on incense, and made an atonement for the people. And he stood between the dead and the living; and the plague was stayed.” Numbers 16:46-50

Turkey Vulture; Clarke County, Georgia. June 2015. ©www.williamwisephoto.com.

What was that created for?

God created all things, and He created all things with a purpose.  One critter with a disgusting duty is the vulture. Our roads are often littered with the poor critters that didn’t make it across alive. Standing around these piles are a macabre host of ominous black Vultures.

It is no doubt for this disgusting habit that God pronounced, “These, moreover, you shall detest among the birds; they are abhorrent, not to be eaten: the eagle and the vulture and the buzzard”. (Leviticus 11:13)  I’m sure none would argue with God and substitute a Turkey Vulture for a Thanksgiving Turkey!

Although vultures carry the reputation of being nasty, disease and death spreading creatures, the opposite is true. Vultures help decrease the spread of disease. Without vultures, animal corpses would litter the landscape, contaminate the water supplies and disease could spread without check. Vultures are known as “dead-end hosts” and do not further spread diseases.

Halting the Plague

From this practical disease-reducing design, the vulture speaks a valuable lesson. We are seeing a virus affect the entire planet. But there is a plague far worse than Coronavirus; a plague that has killed, and will kill, every living person. The plague is called sin! With the entrance of sin, Satan has hijacked God’s perfect creation and not only mutated viruses to cause things like Coronavirus, but leads our lives, spiritually and physically, down a road of decay and death.

In the book of Numbers, because of the sin of rebellion, a plague began to spread among the people (please, I am not saying Coronavirus is God-unleashed plague). To end the plague, God told Aaron to light a censor and bring the smoking incense (representing prayer) between the diseased and the living. Aaron’s quick, unquestioning acceptance of his job stopped the spread from the corpses to the people. “And he stood between the dead and the living; and the plague was stayed.”

Black Vulture. Clarke County, Georgia. January, 2018. ©www.williamwisephoto.com.

A Pandemic of Revival

2 Corinthians 5:5 Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose…

We Christians are called to halt the plague of sin. Like Aaron with his flaming censer, we are to place ourselves in front of the tide of advancing sin and decay; to “stand between the living and the dead” and preach the cleansing Gospel of Jesus Christ. This Coronavirus outbreak is an opportunity to share with those in fear about the comfort through salvation. Let this virus pandemic become a pandemic of Revival! Be wise and take precautions, but let us serve those in need during this time and evangelize as we never have before! And even if confined at home, continue to pray in earnest.

We can halt the plague of sin by simple obedience to the will of God. But will God find us, like the vultures, ready and willing to “do the dirty work” which He has assigned us? If a vulture can stick his face in a putrid carcass without complaint, can we not be willing to do the will of God? If Jesus can silently accept the cross shouldn’t we accept any job which always works to the good in our lives? We can halt the plague of sin and death when we accept and carry out our God-assigned job descriptions.

Hi, I’m wildlife photographer and nature writer William Wise. I was saved under a campus ministry while studying wildlife biology at the University of Georgia. My love of the outdoors quickly turned into a love for the Creator and His works. I’m currently an animal shelter director and live in Athens, Georgia with my wife and two teenage daughters, who are all also actively involved in ministry. Creation Speaks is my teaching ministry that glorifies our Creator and teaches the truth of creation. William Wise Nature Notes is my wildlife and birding photo blog documenting the beauty, design and wonder of God’s creation. I am also a guest author at Lee’s Birdwatching Adventures and The Creation Club. — “What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at Your side, made earth overflow with your wonderful creations.” Psalms 104, The Message.

8 thoughts on “Halting the Plague

    • You are welcome, but this one is from William. He has been a great addition to this blog. Our regulars are still also. Though I am safely staying at home. More time for praying for others as he has reminded us.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks Lee and wolran! It was an older blog but was easily modified for the current crisis. Being a member of our church council, we’ve had lots of meetings of how to stay safe, but also how to stay engaged in service and evangelism in our community. It is a tough balance. But Christians throughout history and the world have faced similar, and much worse, and still kept their testimony and the testimony of Christ to the lost. Thanks for reading and commenting! William


  1. Yes William, this is an excellent opportunity or season for revival, and the good news of Jesus to be proclaimed. Sadly many church leaders are afraid, in this multi-cultural context to do so. I believe that God has been trying to get our attention, here in Australia through the driest drought, the hottest heatwaves, the most catastrophic bushfires, destructive floods and finally now pandemic virus. The first Christians in the Upper Room prayed for boldness to proclaim the good news. Yes, we need to break through the years of complacency and be bold for Jesus once again, for revival comes through preaching / proclaiming the Good News.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Beautiful words William, and so true. For everything under the sun there is a reason and a purpose. I have never seen a vulture except in photographs. Like you said they are not the prettiest birds in the world, but they do have a purpose. I trust in our Father, Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of the Father, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

    Liked by 2 people

      • I just left Florida 2 weeks ago, we drove around all over Cape Coral looking for birds to photograph. And to my surprise we could not find very many. I did a lot of birds that appeared to hover and circle around high in the air. Even in neighborhoods. I am wondering if they were a type of vulture. I never did get a good photo of one. They looked like over sized black birds. I could not get a good look at their heads from that distance. But I will be back down there again.

        Liked by 1 person

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