When pestilences struck Egypt, Pharaoh did not believe that they came from the God of the Israelites, a people whom he didn’t want to liberate. As it is, Pharaoh believed in so many gods. “The Most Famous Atheist” Richard Dawkins does not believe in any one of them either because he is an atheist!
Comparing Pharaoh and Dawkins, in principle, Pharaoh is better because he did not accuse the God of the Bible being pestilential. It is just that this ruler of ancient Egypt cannot accept that the God of his slaves is more powerful than his gods! Pharaoh can even be considered having a better line of thinking and rationality than Richard Dawkins. It is but expected for a king to believe that his god is more powerful than the God of the nation that served Him as slaves. Richard Dawkins on the other hand has shunned all logic when he accused somebody who does not exist being pestilential!
The God of the Bible in reality may cause pestilences to come to people – people who do not heed his warnings.
DEUTERONOMY 28:15, 21-22
15 But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:
21 The LORD shall make the pestilence cleave unto thee, until he have consumed thee from off the land, whither thou goest to possess it.
22 The LORD shall smite thee with a consumption, and with a fever, and with an inflammation, and with an extreme burning, and with the sword, and with blasting, and with mildew; and they shall pursue thee until thou perish.
Dawkins is a known scientist. I will not guess when I say that he knows how pestilences happen. He knows that bacteria and viruses are the cause of pestilences. Considering that he is an evolutionary biologist and ethologist, he should not blame God for the pestilences that afflict humanity. He should rather blame his ancestors because he firmly believes that he came from single-celled organisms like bacteria, archea and protozoa.
There is another way of looking at the fundamental importance of gradualness for Darwin. His contemporaries, like many people still today, had a hard time believing that the human body and other such complex entities could conceivably have come into being through evolutionary means. If you think of the single-celled Amoeba as our remote ancestor —as, until quite recently, it was fashionable to do – many people found it hard in their minds to bridge the gap between Amoeba and man. They found it inconceivable that from such simple beginnings something so complex could emerge. Darwin appealed to the idea of a gradual series of small steps as a means of overcoming this kind of incredulity. You may find it hard to imagine an Amoeba turning into a man, the argument runs, but you do not find it hard to imagine an Amoeba turning into a slightly different kind of Amoeba.” (Richard, Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker, page 249).
God’s part in pestilences is in allowing them to happen to make people realize their mistakes and rebellion against Him and to bring them back to Him and have a life that is pestilence-free.
I smote you with blasting and with mildew and with hail in all the labors of your hands; yet ye turned not to me, saith the LORD.
Being obedient to God’s laws can set a peaceful communal life that merits His protection and care against pestilences.
And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for am the LORD that healeth thee.
How can a God who wishes to protect His people from pestilences be pestilential? It’s idiotic to claim He is! Actually, the God of the Bible in His creation has outlined the well-being not only of humanity but the entire animal kingdom and the plant kingdom as well.
It is a well-known scientific fact that bacteria and viruses are necessary for the ecological balance that sustains human life. Without bacteria and viruses, we will see a world full of carcasses of animals, humans and other living things. Take the case of the Fallen Monarch in the forest of the USA. Although it seems to be unaffected by the decomposition process carried out by bacteria and viruses, all scientists believe that someday it will finally decompose! But today, it is serving its purpose of being a tourist item.
II CORINTHIANS 4:18
While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
The aging and the final passing away of stars are scientifically recorded in the Bible even before scientists have known that stars die.
10 And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:
11 They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment;
12 And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.
GOD’S MEASURES TO PREVENT PESTILENCES
Upon touching a dead carcass, animals or men, God’s people are commanded to clean themselves and wash their clothes in flowing water.
27 And whatsoever goeth upon his paws, among all manner of beasts that go on all four, those are unclean unto you: whoso toucheth their carcass shall be unclean until the even.
28 And he that beareth the carcass of them shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even: they are unclean unto you.
29 These also shall be unclean unto you among the creeping things that creep upon the earth; the weasel, and the mouse, and the tortoise after his kind,
30 And the ferret, and the chameleon, and the lizard, and the snail, and the mole.
31 These are unclean to you among all that creep: whosoever doth touch them, when they be dead, shall be unclean until the even.
32 And upon whatsoever any of them, when they are dead, doth fall, it shall be unclean; whether it be any vessel of wood, or raiment, or skin, or sack, whatsoever vessel it be, wherein any work is done, it must be put into water, and it shall be unclean until the even; so it shall be cleansed.
He cannot just say that these animals who died by themselves are infected with viruses and bacteria because during those times people were not ready to understand. There were no microscopes or optical instruments for them to see what God was referring to. But He is simply speaking about the spread of communicable diseases that the unseen bacteria and viruses may cause!
One of His agents to prevent the spread of pestilences in animals and in humans is the creation of the vulture.
God’s prohibition about sexual perversion is simply His way of preventing the spread of gonorrhea, candidiasis, syphilis, and the like.
Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion.
These immoral and perverse sexual practices of humans are blamed now to be the causes of AIDS, which scientists believe came from baboons. Here’s an excerpt from a research described by Hartford University –
HIV-2 has been traced to the Simian Immune Virus (SIV) carried by sooty mangabeys. In fact, the genetic sequence of the two viruses are more alike than those of HIV-1 and HIV-2. During the 8th Annual Retrovirus Conference in February 2001 Beatrice Hahn and Eric Delaporte reported on cross species infections. They have documented nine cases in which chimpanzees, sooty mangabeys, and a mandrill passed SIV to humans. Antibodies to SIV were found in the victims’ blood samples. They also analyzed blood samples of nearly 400 monkeys and baboons to assess the degree to which their antibodies bind to HIV. 18% of the samples exhibited strong binding and another 14% showed less strong binding. This result seems to indicate the possibility of further animal to human transmission! (http://uhavax.hartford.edu/bugl/hiv.htm)
If it is true that humanity evolved from monkeys, or chimpanzees, or primates, why is it that his immune system during the evolution period was not trained to produce antibodies against the AIDS virus, which is originally believed to have come from primates – his alleged ancestors? Dawkins, the atheist scientist, must explain this.
The BIBLE AS ALWAYS IS SCIENTIFIC
10 Lest strangers be filled with thy wealth; and thy labors be in the house of a stranger;
11 And thou mourn at the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed,
All animals prohibited by God to be touched and be eaten among the Israelites are animals found by science to be the cause of modern plagues in human society!
In his report for CNN.com, Steve Osofsky in “How to keep viruses in the wild from finding humans,” (October 9, 2014) wrote –
Bats seem to be a unique source of zoonotic viruses (viruses transmissible from animals to people) — from SARS and Ebola to Nipah and rabies — just to name a few. Because of this we should work to discourage the capture, killing and consumption of bats, the disruption of their roosting trees, and the establishment of farms right where they defecate and urinate. (http://edition.cnn.com/2014/10/09/opinion/osofsky-ebola-wildlife/)
And the stork, the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat.
Camels are one of the causes of MERS. News from the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) reporting on MERS cases (2/9/2015) said –
The WHO also reiterated previous warnings that people at risk for severe disease, such as those with diabetes, renal failure, or weak immunity, should avoid contact with camels, drinking raw camel milk or camel urine, and eating camel meat that is not thoroughly cooked. Also, the agency repeated its advice that those who work with camels should practice good personal hygiene and wear face protection and protective clothing. (http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2015/02/mers-persists-who-cites-hospital-linked-clusters)
Nevertheless these shall ye not eat of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the hoof: as the camel, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you.
Meanwhile, pigs were found to be one of the causes of liver diseases. An article on “Hepatitis E Virus and Food” on the website of Food Safety, Authority of Ireland said –
Emerging information on the causes of cases of hepatitis E acquired in Europe suggest that a possible exposure route could be contact with pigs infected with hepatitis E. Some recent studies suggest an association between hepatitis E infections and the consumption of undercooked pork products including wild boar. Studies in other European countries and the USA suggest that men above the age of 50 with pre-existing liver disease (e.g. cirrhosis ) are particularly vulnerable to infections with hepatitis E.
The information in a Q&A format can be found here (https://www.fsai.ie/faq/hepatitis_e.html).
And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be cloven-footed, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you.
What about seashells? There are conflicting reports on shellfish but even travel spots warn their people on the dangers of shellfish.
Shellfish is known to be a bearer of food illnesses, such as E.coli, Salmonella, Norwalk virus, and Hepatitis A. Shellfish is a bottom feeder, and feeds on the sewage and wastes that are thrown into the ocean. (http://www.theluxuryspot.com/reasons-shellfish-is-unhealthy/)
And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you:
To be pestilential is to be capable of producing or tending to produce infectious disease, to be destructive as shown by what we have discussed here.
In sum, God the Creator has already forewarned man about certain plants and animals since the beginning. He was saying to man that these are an abomination and therefore implies a need for obedience to some law. First, physical life is not forever; it is fragile. Second, we need some intervention and that can only come from the creator. Therefore, when pestilence comes, one can be sure there were laws broken, and that God had a part in it. On that score he can be pestilential. But he can also not allow it.
Pestilence to man is scary, but learning what pestilence can do should benefit man. Only when he subjects himself to laws that are meant to be can he appreciate pestilence when it does not come.