Thursday, June 11, 2009

It's official: level 6 global swine flu pandemic

Luke 21:11 "and there will be great earthquakes, and in various places plagues and famines; and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven"...

Matthew 24:7 "For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places."

WHO: Swine flu pandemic has begun, 1st in 41 years

GENEVA -- The World Health Organization told its member nations it was declaring a swine flu pandemic Thursday - the first global flu epidemic in 41 years - as infections climbed in the United States, Europe, Australia, South America and elsewhere.

In a statement sent to member countries, WHO said it decided to raise the pandemic warning level from phase 5 to 6 - its highest alert - after holding an emergency meeting on swine flu with its experts. The long-awaited pandemic decision is scientific confirmation that a new flu virus has emerged and is quickly circling the globe.

Swine flu charting deadly course

'Working hypothesis' among experts is virus to follow 1918 pattern

Chilling parallels between the spread of H1N1 swine flu and the 1918 Spanish flu that killed millions have disease experts bracing for an onslaught of new infections and a possible second wave of illness. Dr. Ethan Rubinstein, professor of infectious diseases at the University of Manitoba, said experts now believe the H1N1 influenza will follow the same pattern as the 1918 pandemic, as the virus continues to spread in more countries worldwide and causes a disproportionate amount of severe illness in First Nation communities.

But let us remember Jehoshaphat's prayer:
"And Jehoshaphat stood in the congregation of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the LORD, before the new court, and said, O LORD God of our fathers, art not thou God in heaven? and rulest not thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee"

"Art not thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before thy people Israel, and gavest it to the seed of Abraham thy friend for ever? And they dwelt therein, and have built thee a sanctuary therein for thy name, saying, If, when evil cometh upon us, as the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we stand before this house, and in thy presence, (for thy name is in this house,) and cry unto thee in our affliction, then thou wilt hear and help." 2 Chronicles 20:5-9
His prayer is a good model for us in these times. First, he committed the situation to God, acknowledging that only God could save the nation. He sought God's favor because they were God's people, as we are today. He acknowledged God's sovereignty. He praised God's glory and took comfort in His promises. He professed complete dependence on God for deliverance. Let us focus on God's power, even through mighty pestilences visited upon crumbling and sinful nations. (synopsis with help from Life Application study bible)

We do not know what is in store exactly. We don't know if this pandemic will strengthen in severity and incur a higher death rate, or simply sweep the globe in its current form and cause recoverable sickness, albeit to millions. We DO know that there will be pestilences in the last days. That these pestilences are part of successive and increasing signs and judgments designed to cause man to consider his sins and to turn to the Mighty God who awaits our humble repentance. I pray that the deepening of the news at this time in our history will cause you, and me, to consider repenting of our sin. It is the only way to survive what is coming. And it is the only way to honor God and His Holiness.

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