CORONAVIRUS IN THE LIGHT OF SCRIPTURE
“And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?” [Dan 4:35]
This verse tells us that there is an army in heaven which God controls. But what of the armies of the earth? Even a cursory reading of the Old Testament will show that God controls the armies of the earth as well. Consider just a few verses –
“This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that THE MOST HIGH RULETH IN THE KINGDOM OF MEN, and giveth it to whomsoever He will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.” [Dan 4:17]
“And ye went over Jordan, and came unto Jericho: and the men of Jericho fought against you, the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Girgashites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; and I DELIVERED THEM INTO YOUR HAND.” [Joshua 24:11]
“The horse is prepared against the day of battle: BUT SAFETY IS OF THE LORD.” [Prov 21:31]
“And THE LORD STIRRED UP AN ADVERSARY unto Solomon, Hadad the Edomite: he was of the king’s seed in Edom.” [1Kings 11:14]
Now the Scripture not only speaks of the angelic armies and human armies as being under the control and disposal of the Lord God, but even the army of insects and pests which devastate crops and vegetation needed for man’s sustenance are owned by God as HIS ARMIES!
“And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, MY GREAT ARMY WHICH I SENT AMONG YOU.” [Joel 2:25]
But what of germs, viruses, bacteria and the like which we cannot even see? Are these too controlled and disposed by this great and terrible God? Are these disease and plague causing organisms too under His control? What saith the Scripture?
“For by Him (i.e. Christ) were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, VISIBLE AND INVISIBLE, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and FOR HIM:
And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist.” [Col 1:16,17]
Yes dearly beloved, Nothing moves in this universe without God. “Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?” [Amos 3:6] Even if you translated the ‘evil’ in this verse as trouble, disaster or calamity as some versions do, the fact remains that GOD IS DIRECTLY INVOLVED IN THESE CALAMITIES.
Almost every verse which speaks of plague or pestilence in the Old Testament is directly attributed to God. Do a Word study on that and see for yourselves. Here is just one to whet your appetite – “I HAVE SENT AMONG YOU THE PESTILENCE AFTER THE MANNER OF EGYPT: your young men have I slain with the sword, and have taken away your horses; and I have made the stink of your camps to come up unto your nostrils: yet have ye not returned unto Me, saith the LORD.” [Amos 4:10]
The beloved Spurgeon too believed and taught the same thing –
“I believe that every particle of dust that dances in the sunbeam does not move an atom more or less than God wishes – that every particle of spray that dashes against the steamboat has its orbit as well as the sun in the heavens – that the chaff from the hand of the winnower is steered as the stars in their courses.
The creeping of an aphid over the rosebud is as much fixed as the march of the devastating pestilence – the fall of sere leaves from a poplar is as fully ordained as the tumbling of an avalanche. He that believes in a God must believe this truth.” – C.H. Spurgeon
What does all this mean with regard to the current affairs of the world? Is the pandemic of the Coronavirus a judgment from God? I for one believe that it is! “As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so THE CURSE CAUSELESS SHALL NOT COME!” [Prov 26:2] Read that again in case you didn’t get it right the first time. “The curse CAUSELESS shall not come”. As Eliphaz the Temanite said, “affliction cometh not forth of the dust, neither doth trouble spring out of the ground!”
Trouble and hard times in the life of a Christian SHOULD BE a time of ‘inquiry’. While it is true that all affliction is NOT the consequence of personal disobedience or sinful conduct, nevertheless the child of God is called upon to seek the ‘WHY’ of it. There is a CAUSE for every effect, and a REASON for all God’s dealings.
Amongst the many signs before the ‘end shall come’ which our Lord foretold, one of the significant ones was that “iniquity shall abound, and the love of many shall wax cold!” [Matt 24:12]. If you haven’t noticed that iniquity has now abounded to Biblical proportions, you’re either living under a rock or you’ve just plain gone to sleep spiritually. [Eph 5:14]
There was a day when sinners were either afraid or ashamed of their sin and did what they did in the dark; but NOW every Sorcerer, Satanist, Witch and Warlock, not to mention every sexual pervert of every sort have come out of their closet and are demanding their ‘rights’! And many nations, even those who were once ‘Christian’ have given them those rights!
Back in the day Christians would stay away from the movie house, and so the Devil brought it to their living room in the form of the television which for the most part is in fact ‘The Devil’s Pulpit’! But that wasn’t enough, because in most homes parents usually kept a strict watch on what was viewed on TV and had some restrictions. And so the Devil put the TV in your pocket where every form of sin one lusts after is only a click away. Whether it is his rebellious Rock or Rap music, or foul mouthed Soap Operas or serials or just plain soft or hardcore Pornography . . . it’s all just a click away. Tim Challies in his article on Sexual Detox says, “Today it is actually far more difficult to avoid pornography than it is to find it.”
Incidentally the Lord said that THIS would be the state of the world at large just before His coming – “Likewise also as it was IN THE DAYS OF LOT; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.” [Luke 17:28-30]
Here’s another one –
“Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and PESTILENCES; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven. . . . Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.” [Luke 21:10,11, 25-27]
“Men’s hearts failing them for fear” you can see that everywhere now. Just this evening the ‘Chief of Police’ came on our national television and said that though crime has been curbed to a great extent as a result of people staying indoors, the suicide rate has drastically gone up. . . i.e. people who are without God in their lives are just plain scared! I have said this many times before but it bears repeating: that the world will not continue in this hunky-dory frame of mind for long, for the sole reason that SIN HAS TO BE DEALT WITH. And beloved, sin has now truly reached biblical proportions! And God is not going to sit around and wink at all these abominations doing nothing about it. Even way back before the destruction of the world by the flood one of the things He said was, “My Spirit shall not always strive with man!” [Gen 6:3]
There comes a time when God does say, “enough is enough!” He specifically says, “I WILL punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.” [Isa 13:11] And THIS my dear is no ‘idle threat’! God always makes good His threatenings. And just following this verse the Lord says, “And I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.”
This dearly beloved is talking about you and me – His elect. While the difficult times that are coming upon the earth will cause men to despair with even their hearts failing them for fear; God is simultaneously working in the lives of His elect to purge them and strengthen their faith. This is always the pattern in history – i.e. while the trials and tribulations that come upon the world make the non-elect more and more rebellious and ungodly it makes the elect more strong and dependent on their God.
“Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.” [Dan 12:10]
“For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee.” [Isa 60:2]
Whatever pandemic, whatever financial recession or shortage of food supply may engulf the earth you can be sure that the Lord has His eyes upon YOU – His chosen ones. EVERYTHING in the world transpires with an eye on God’s elect!
So continue to trust Him, and cast all your cares upon Him for He careth for you. [1Pet 5:7] Recall all the past contingencies that He has brought you through. Scripture assures that God will not cast away His people whom He foreknew. And whether you feel like it or not do spend some time reading your Bible and listening to encouraging meditations and sermons, after all Faith does come by hearing the Word of God.
“All things work TOGETHER for good to them that love God and are the called according to His purpose”! [Rom 8:28]
“But all these things, however trying to our minds, however hard to bear, however painful to our flesh, are decreed to “work TOGETHER“.
They do not work SINGLY, but they work TOGETHER with something else. It is like my watch. The wheel that turns the hand is not the same wheel that is moved by the spring; but one wheel works within another wheel, and one cog catches in another cog, until at length, the time of day is shown upon the dial. So with respect to our afflictions, our exercises, the trials of our minds, the various disappointments and perplexities we have to endure; they do not work singly, but together with something else; and it is by this working together with something else that they produce a divine and blessed result.
But what is that with which they work? The grace of God in the soul. The wheel of providence works with the wheel of grace; and the wheel of grace works with the wheel of providence; and together a blessing is the result.
In this word lies the mystery–they work TOGETHER!” – J.C. Philpot
Interestingly the NIV leaves out the word “TOGETHER” and reads –
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose”. [Rom 8:28]
I threw my NIV in the trash a long time ago!