We have heard the word pandemic a lot over the
past several months. A pandemic condition
exists when disease indiscriminately
spreads over an entire country or the world. The word
comes from the Greek, Pan meaning, “all”, and the word
demos meaning, “people.” A pandemic is no respecter
of persons. It can affect both young and old, male and
Worth considering is the difference between a
pandemic and the plagues that struck Egypt in the days
of Moses. Consider, for example, the last plague. You
can read the account in Exodus 11-13.
Imagine waking up that fateful morning to discover
the dead in your household and in your fields. Imagine
learning that all of your neighbors suffered the same
thing. The life of all firstborn among the Egyptians was
taken—man and animal, male and female: “And there
was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where
someone was not dead” (Exodus 12:30).
Would a quarantine have prevented the tenth plague
from taking the firstborn? Would a shelter-in-place
order have helped? How about “social distancing”?
Contrasting the Exodus report of the tenth plague
with our current pandemic situation, I see some significant contrasts:
1) The death of the firstborn among both men and
animals, was restricted to Egypt and to Egyptians.
What we are facing today is worldwide. COVID-19 is
no respecter of persons.
2) The last plague was restricted to the firstborn in
Egypt. You must admit that even though this may not
have been immediately apparent to the Egyptians (see
Exodus 12:33), the target was surgically and strategically
specific—unlike the pandemic we face today. There is a
certain randomness to the COVID-19.
3) No one among the captive Israelites were harmed
by the last plague because they were protected by
their observance of the Passover. So, even though the
plague struck Egypt (geographical) and the Egyptians
(ethnical), it did not affect everyone in Egypt. The
pandemic we face is no respecter of geography or
If you are looking for a parallel to the pandemic
we face today, you need look no further than sin. Sin
is pandemic in that it is no respecter of persons (Rom
3:23). It is epidemic (upon us all). It affects all of us. It is
killing more people than the COVID-19.