The question on many lips in this COVID-19 scenario has been whether God is concerned at all about the coronavirus. Many are thinking whether the God that is known to be doing good things can allow an epidemic that is as deadly as the coronavirus to be ravaging the world.

The Psalmist, King David, boasted in Psalm 34:8 “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him!” He further reiterates in Psalm 145:9 that He is not only good but that He is good to all, “The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works.” Perhaps some Christians and non-Christians are wondering whether these Scriptures still apply if they are viewed against the background of the pandemic.

John Lennox, Oxford mathematics emeritus professor, asks the question with a book he has authored, namely, Where is God in a Coronavirus World? He writes to banish fear, provide comfort, support, and hope. He explains that as Christians, we should view disasters such as COVID-19 in the light of an eternity in Jesus' presence, while at the same time demonstrating His love to our friends, relations, colleagues, and neighbours by protecting them from the virus through social distancing, and offering any help we can.

As a matter of fact, a world with coronavirus is a world in pains. It’s a world that needs care, attention, and massive help from God, governments, and all of us. In the midst of COVID-19, God hasn’t and can’t look the other way. Jesus Christ clearly states in Matthew 7:11-12 that, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” Why then COVID-19 in the world?

Is Coronavirus a Biblical Plague?

Some Bible scholars and people argue that COVID-19 is a biblical plague of the end times; some argue that it isn’t. For instance, Ed Jarrett says that COVID-19 isn’t a biblical plague of the end times because the virus is not discriminating; it doesn’t respect nationality, tribe, religion, skin colour, and all that. He claims that it is a natural event instead of a supernatural action of God.

COVID-19 is a Time of Great Awakening

On the other hand, Elizabeth Dias, who covers faith and politics for New York Times, writes that a McLauglin & Associates poll commissioned by the Joshua Fund, an evangelical group run by Joel C. Rosenberg, reveals that “About 44 percent of likely voters in the United States see the coronavirus pandemic and economic meltdown as either a wake-up call to faith, a sign of God’s coming judgment or both.”

Also, John Piper has compiled an audio-book, Coronavirus and Christ. He expounds some of the things God is doing through the coronavirus to include: awakening us for the Second Coming; and realigning us with the infinite worth of Christ. Therefore, he invites readers to put their trust in Jesus Christ, in whom our souls can be sustained by the sovereign God who ordains, governs, and reigns over all things to accomplish His wise and good purposes.

Pew has also confirmed that, through the coronavirus, there is an awakening among Christians. Recently, a Pew Research revealed that, “One in four Americans say the coronavirus has deepened their religious faith...including a majority of black Protestants. Just 2 percent said the virus has left their faith weakened.”

I see the degree of mental and spiritual awakening growing more and more. In April 8, 2020 post, Greg Laurie, an American author and pastor, wrote that he came across a  study published in an academic journal that examined the role of religion and faith in the COVID-19 pandemic. It was found out that Google-searches about prayer skyrocketed when the coronavirus went global, and that the search intensity doubled for every 80,000 new confirmed COVID-19 cases.

He further stated that before COVID-19, the online version of their church service used to have about 8,000 people viewing each week. But with the advent of the virus and introduction of lockdown, the number started increasing every week respectively to 250,000; 350,000; 634,000; and 1.3 million viewers, and so on.

COVID-19 Isn’t an Alarm but a Spiritual Alert
Jesus Christ has instructed us in Matthew 24:32-34 that “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near.  So you also, when you see all these things (wars, rumours of wars, famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places), know that it is near - at the doors!   Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.”

A.W. Tozer, an American pastor, writing about Bible prophecy says that, “The point of Bible prophecy isn't to alarm us but to alert us to the circumstances leading up to the Lord's return. This alertness spurs us on to be ready, and the Bible says a lot on how to be ready for his return.” 

Therefore, the coronavirus is an indication that every man always needs God. All persons should be striving how to get closer to Him. It is a wake-up call, and encouragement to all of us that none should use earthquakes, hurricanes, or pandemic such as COVID-19, to reject God; He’s a good, loving and caring God. If there was no God in the world, life would not be worth living at all. He’s why the worst hasn’t happened.

He didn’t say we wouldn’t have any trouble at all, but He said that in it, He’ll be with us and deliver us. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you” - Isaiah 43:2.

After all, at the end of the day, the ultimate solution to COVID-19 is God. We have seen that in the arena of the coronavirus, even the most advanced economies are scampering for safety because their high-level and high-tech healthcare infrastructure is buckling under the overwhelming pressure exerted by the virus. So, God is even the one who gives researchers the wisdom for whatever vaccine that will be manufactured.

Why God may allow a real crisis or a fundamental challenge to come our way is not to use it to destroy us, but it is for us to use it to gain a better understanding and become better version of ourselves. COVID-19 has really exposed us to the unimaginable depths of God’s love that we’re alive and therefore, this should inspire us to great levels of appreciation, gratitude and closeness with Him. We’ll meet again next Monday.

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