What To Do During A Plague


Number 16.46-50

Dr. Walter D. Huyck Jr. D.Min.


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Numbers 16:46-50 And Moses said unto Aaron, Take a censer, and put fire therein from off the altar, and put on incense, and go quickly unto the congregation, and make an atonement for them: for there is wrath gone out from the LORD; the plague is begun. 47  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. 48  And he stood between the dead and the living; and the plague was stayed. 49  Now they that died in the plague were fourteen thousand and seven hundred, beside them that died about the matter of Korah. 50  And Aaron returned unto Moses unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: and the plague was stayed.

As usual there will be many Christians, preachers, and leaders who will falsely declare that God has nothing to do with a plague, virus, pestilence, famine, draught, or any other bad or evil thing.  Yet we find often in the Word of God that God sends judgments into this world, and justly so.

Numbers 16:44-45 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 45  Get you up from among this congregation, that I may consume them as in a moment. And they fell upon their faces.

In this context it was God who sent His judgment into Israel because the people tried to justify the deceiver Korah over God�s chosen man Moses (Num 16.41-43).

We know from the Word of God that God judges sin (Rom 6.23), all kinds of sin.  We know from the Word of God that God judges wickedness and iniquity in all of its forms, God often calls these abominations.  We even know from the Word of God that God will Chasten His own redeemed (born-again) children (Hebrews 12).  Yet, we also know that not every sickness or difficulty is the result of sin.

Whether you want to believe that our world�s current circumstances are the result of sinfulness and God�s judgment or not, we all know that God can stay or stop a plague of any kind as He sees fit.

This text in Numbers 16 is just such an example.  Remember that the things written in the Old Testament are written for our example.  So, what is the lesson we learn from this passage of Scripture.

1.     There was a plague begun among the people Israel (vs 46)

2.     This plague was the result of the wrath of God (vs 46)

3.     Many were dying from this terrible plague, 14,000 (vs 49) � That�s huge.

4.     Moses commanded Aaron to take a Censer of fire from the altar and put on incense and go quickly into the congregation (vs 46)

5.     After Aaron went and returned the plague stayed (vs 50)

The censer, fire, and incense represented the prayers for the people.  This portable censer resembled the golden altar of incense that was inside the tabernacle and stood before the veil separating the Holy Place from the Holy of Holy.  The incense would have been the same Holy Incense used in that golden altar and we are told that the fragrance from that incense was representative of the prayers for the people.

So, Aaron in taking that censer of incense and running out into the congregation and standing between the already dead from the plague and the living stayed the plague (vs 48).

What do born-again Christians need to do when there is a plague?

We need to put on the incense of prayer, perhaps magnified by fasting, and we need to stand between the dead and the living.

Prayer is incredibly powerful.

James 5:16  Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Fasting, when it is sincere and directed toward God, and not based upon worldly religious ceremonies, can amplify our prayers.

Let us pour the Holy Incense of our effectual, fervent prayers upon the Golden Altar of God that stands between the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies, in our hearts, and see the mercies and grace of God work powerfully through His people.  By-the-way that place is within each and every born-again child of God.  How? Because we are the Temple of God and He dwells within each of His children (1 Cor 6.19).

Pray as God leads you and let God will be done.

CrossRoads Baptist Church March 19, 2020