Taking Thoughts Captive


God and the Corona-virus (part #2)

Where is God amid the corona-virus? What a serious question. Serious questions of necessity have serious answers. We tend to quickly ask serious questions only to demonstrate that we have no real interest in the serious answer. Asking serious questions makes something incumbent upon us, to be honest people we must have as much desire for the answer as we have to ask the question.

So, where is God amid the corona-virus? We have initially answered this question in establishing that God is in control of the Corona-virus and all other calamities. So, if God is in control of the calamitous events that take place in the world, then the obvious next question is why? Why does God send such things on the inhabitants of the earth?

Before we venture to answer such an important, serious question, something of the utmost importance must be established. It is a very serious thing to attribute actions to God and define His reasons for such actions. A person must be careful to say no more or less than the Word of God gives a warrant to say about such things. The person who claims to speak for God and misrepresents Him takes his life and soul into his own hands and may soon find out that neither his life or his soul is in his own hands. With this said, let's look to the Word of God.

The first and most obvious explanation for illness and calamity in the world is the fall. The covenant that God made with our first father Adam was that if he obeyed, he would live and if he disobeyed, he would die. Adam's sin ushered in death and with it, the innumerable ways that death can come: heart attacks, cancer, viruses, war, murder would just begin the list of ways that death comes to human beings. Adam's sin is also ours for we are his children. We inherited his sinful nature and the consequences of his sin and our own. Death and what causes it are God's just punishment for our rebellion and so, what you and I have witnessed in history and are now experiencing in the agent of illness and death via the corona-virus is that which God has sent justly.

You and I may not like this. We may gnash our teeth against it in rage and further rebellion, but the simple truth is that we have brought sin and every cause of it upon ourselves. God sending His justice in various ways, times and degrees are His to do as the holy, just God.

Beyond the overarching truth that illness and calamity are God's justice because of the fall, the Bible teaches us that plague and calamity are almost always, the communication of God as to His displeasure with particular sin at specific times:

Ezekiel 14:12-13  

"Then the word of the LORD came to me saying, 'Son of man, if a country sins against Me by committing unfaithfulness, and I stretch out My hand against it, destroy its supply of bread, send famine against it and cut off from it both man and beast...'"

 Deuteronomy 28:15; 20-22

"But it shall come about, if you do not obey the LORD your God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes with which I charge you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you... The LORD will send upon you curses, confusion, and rebuke, in all you undertake to do, until you are destroyed and until you perish quickly, on account of the evil of your deeds, because you have forsaken Me. The LORD will make the pestilence cling to you until He has consumed you from the land where you are entering to possess it. The LORD will smite you with consumption and with fever and with inflammation and with fiery heat and with the sword and with blight and with mildew, and they will pursue you until you perish."

Let me ask you dear reader, how do you explain the illnesses that are attached to the sexual behaviors that God has not permitted? Is it mere coincidence that heterosexual promiscuity and homosexuality have diseases attached to them? Is it a coincidence that the God-ordained monogamous, male-female relationship is crowned with health and offspring? Are you aware that at any given time, 110 million Americans have an STD? If God blesses whatever people want to do sexually as is increasingly claimed, why so much illness attached to the behaviors He has in truth forbidden? Why is it that a married man and woman, faithful to each other, never contract these illnesses? Explain it.

Those who claim to represent God and state that we are entirely victims as to the calamities that come upon us and that God is not in control of them are false prophets and deny the truth that God has revealed in His Word.

In addition to these humbling, fearful truths, the Bible also teaches us that God sends calamity because He loves us and intends to do us good through calamity. Sound a little contradictory to you? A little mean? A lot mean? Well dear reader, I'm afraid that we have caused things to be this way. You and I don't tend to listen to God. You and I often don't want to listen to God. Quite often you and I are determined not to listen to God. Have you ever considered that perhaps God speaks with a harsh voice because we would not listen to a gentler one?

The truth is that God is more kind and gracious than you and I know. It is not His nature to be extreme.

The Bible declares time and again that God is, "slow to anger" (Exodus 34:6). If God must use extreme measures to get our attention, it is because we have forced Him to. If you and I individually and corporately as a nation and world were committed to hearing God and obeying Him, we would certainly find that other measures of getting our attention would not be necessary. Read this passage that almost certainly describes a hurricane:

Job 37:11-13 

"Also with moisture He loads the thick cloud; He disperses the cloud of His lightning. It changes direction, turning around by His guidance, that it may do whatever He commands it on the face of the inhabited earth. Whether for correction, or for His world, or for lovingkindness, He causes it to happen."

A hurricane can be used by God to bring correction, it can be for His world (meaning for the good of the world) or for lovingkindness. Lovingkindness? How can a hurricane be motivated by and used for lovingkindness? Welcome to the mystery of God. I would not presume to think I know all the ways that calamity can be used for good but there are many. Perhaps most importantly, calamity including the corona-virus can be the agents of God to awaken us from the delusion that we are going to live forever. Though we may never say that we are going to live forever, we live like we are going to live forever.

If nothing else, the corona-virus is causing us to see that our lives are frail and that unseen dangers swirl around us. This virus has shaken the things that can be shaken: 

Hebrews 12:25-29  

"See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking. For if those did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape who turn away from Him who warns from heaven.  And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, "YET ONCE MORE I WILL SHAKE NOT ONLY THE EARTH, BUT ALSO THE HEAVEN." This expression, "Yet once more," denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire."

The corona-virus has revealed that life is more than what we have thought it is. Perhaps most of all, the corona-virus has revealed that many of the earth's inhabitants are not living for eternity. The hysterical fear of death proves that we have anchored our lives in this tumultuous, disease-ridden, death certain world. How foolish of us and how kind of God to confront us with the truth that we have gone to every length to avoid.

How sad that we often force God to open our ears through troubles and suffering. Yet, how glad I am that He loves us enough to do so. Far better that God sends temporary suffering upon us to awaken us to the danger of eternal suffering. How merciful of God to force us as it were to see that eternity is a lot longer than our very brief time in this world.

*This article is not intended to be a full explanation of why God allows and sends suffering. Such a job is beyond me. I am aware that at times God sends such things for reasons that are not attached to sin directly (John 9:2-3) yet, they are for His glory and our good.