You don’t have to look far to see what is the popular tribulation in the world is right now. COVID-19 has shook the world and impacted economies. This unprecedented virus has served to split the citizens in our country, the United States, as well as other countries, on how to proceed forward and what is the correct path to take to “return to normal”. Politics are heavily involved, as usual, and neither the left or the right is completely correct, and conspiracy theories are plentiful around social platforms. Thankfully, we do have one path, and one source of Truth that we can turn our hearts and minds towards, and that is the Word of God. What does the Word say about all of this? What does it teach us about God’s Authority and pandemics, such as the current COVID-19? I’ll attempt to explain that and more.
Everything we experience in our life and the world today should be put into perspective with the Word. The world view through Faith in the Lord, according to the Bible, comforted the disciples of Christ. They were in strife all the time, and faced many of the very same challenges we face in our daily life still today, but having faith and looking to God and the Word is what kept them sober minded and safe through pandemics.
It is important to understand that we are not promised that we are going to be shielded from every single problem that comes our way, on THIS side of Heaven, and we are also not promised miracles, even though we know miracles do still happen, and God is definitely still in the “miracle business”, but that is another topic for another day.
A scenario in which I see Christians alike get mocked for is our belief that God controls all, and through that we are mocked with sayings such as, “Oh, but won’t God protect you?”. For example, through this pandemic, Christians are mocked for social distancing at church or for wearing masks, with people saying that exact phrase. Well, if you understand the Word and it’s teachings, you would know that yes we believe God has sovereignty over all, but also that we are in no way guaranteed protection from all disease or sickness in the world that we face throughout our life on earth. What we are guaranteed is that we have a Savior in Jesus Christ who died for our sins and will return, and we are guaranteed no sickness or sin once we pass on to our eternal state with the Lord. The life we have with Him now and after death is worth it to us to follow His Command in the Word.
God is 100% in control over all. He is King over the world. Before I continue further, I feel it necessary to mention that I think we should not put all of our thoughts on the idea that God caused this virus, and it ultimately is unprofitable to do so, because we cannot know for certain. What we can do is look to the Word for answers and reasons behind pestilence, and what happened in past biblical pandemics, and understand that the elements in this world, created by God, are all in place for virus’ to occur and sweep the world. Again, we must understand that God is in control 100% of the time, and has a permissive will to allow things to happen for a reason, whether through direct cause or indirect cause :
Jeremiah 19:4-5 (KJV): 4 Because they have forsaken me, and have estranged this place, and have burned incense in it unto other gods, whom neither they nor their fathers have known, nor the kings of Judah, and have filled this place with the blood of innocents; 5 They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind
I will delve into that thought just a bit, however, in case anyone is wondering or can’t seem to escape the feeling. It is especially hard with social media platforms throwing different conspiracy theories at our face every day. Not everything is always a big conspiracy to a sinister meaning, but the general public also likely is never told ALL the details, for a reason. It really does seem Biblical, being that it has affected the entire world, and every facet from going to work to watching our usual sports icons and TV show has been impacted, but we cannot know for sure. But, we do know this: our main attention should certainly be on the Lord and getting on the correct path with Jesus, because in most all of the recounts of disease and peril, the Lord was trying to shake His people back to worshiping Him properly again.
God Owns All
Psalm 24:1 (KJV): 24 The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
Psalm 89:11 (KJV): 11 The heavens are thine, the earth also is thine: as for the world and the fulness thereof, thou hast founded them.
God Rules All
1 Chronicles 29:11-12 (KJV): 11 Thine, O Lord is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all. 12 Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.
God Controls All
Isaiah 45:7-8 (KJV): 7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things. 8 Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the Lord have created it.
Satan is not in charge of anything. The Old Testament and New Testament speak of God’s and Jesus’ power to bring disease and strife to come and pass for specific reasons, such as showing that God is in control, or as reprimand for making a naturally bad decision. When He created this world, He set it up to allow strife to happen as a cause from your choices, and indirectly from Him:
Revelation 2:20-22 (KJV): 20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.
21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.
22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.
The Word also tells us of times where God was the direct cause of disease and strife. For example, throughout the Book of Exodus, we see many plagues caused to Egypt by the Lord, and for different reasons:
Know that He is the LORD
Water to Blood described in Exodus 7:14–24:
This is what the LORD says: By this you will know that I am the LORD: With the staff that is in my hands I will strike the water of the Nile, and it will be changed into blood. The fish in the Nile will die, and the river will stink and the Egyptians will not be able to drink its water.
A warning to free His people, or else He will send strife
Frogs in Exodus 7:25–8:15:
This is what the great LORD says: Let my people go, so that they may worship me. If you refuse to let them go, I will plague your whole country with frogs. The Nile will teem with frogs. They will come up into your palace and your bedroom and onto your bed, into the houses of your officials and on your people, and into your ovens and kneading troughs. The frogs will go up on you and your people and all your officials.
Another chance to heed the warning and go back to worshiping the Lord properly
Locusts in Exodus 10:1–20
This is what the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, says: 'How long will you refuse to humble yourself before me? Let my people go, so that they may worship me. If you refuse to let them go, I will bring locusts into your country tomorrow. They will cover the face of the ground so that it cannot be seen. They will devour what little you have left after the hail, including every tree that is growing in your fields. They will fill your houses and those of all your officials and all the Egyptians—something neither your fathers nor your forefathers have ever seen from the day they settled in this land till now.
The final, and likely worst plague, to get their attention to realize that God is in control
Death of firstborn children in Exodus 11:1–12
This is what the LORD says: "About midnight I will go throughout Egypt. Every firstborn son in Egypt will die, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sits on the throne, to the firstborn of the slave girl, who is at her hand mill, and all the firstborn of the cattle as well. There will be loud wailing throughout Egypt—worse than there has ever been or ever will be again."
Before this last plague, God commands Moses to tell the Israelites to use lamb's blood to make a mark above their doors in order that Yahweh will pass over them (that they will not be touched by the death of the firstborn).
There are many comforting things to remember as Christians and Believers in the Risen King, Jesus Christ, and things to take solace in knowing, especially through times like this when fear mongering, created by man, is high:
-- We are united with our King immediately upon death:
Philippians 1:21-23 (KJV): 21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. 23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better
2 Corinthians 5:8 (KJV): 8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
-- The Second Coming of Christ, and to dwell in an eternal state with the Lord in the New Earth and Heaven, with no disease, sin, sickness, or chaos.
Romans 8:18 (KJV): 18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
Colossians 3:1-4 (KJV): 3 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
This is not to say that we should live whimsically and escape emotion, thinking that nothing matters because we ultimately go to Heaven. Thinking and acting like this could actually lead you to sin more. Jesus wept for man, and we have very real emotions, but whether good or bad we need to set them in our mind and thoughts with a biblical backdrop. The apostles did this often, thinking of things to come, whether they were going through something good, bad, or normal.
A huge source of comfort through times like this, is knowing that God is in complete control, and almost every single time strife has come over people, according to the Word, the result He desired was for His people to begin worshiping Him properly again, and putting Him first. This theme is continually shown through all the plagues on Egypt, and throughout the Word. PUT GOD FIRST!
Nothing in this world can move unless allowed by God, and He is in total control. Amazing things would happen in the world if major players returned to putting God first, but it is up to us as individuals to seek God and seek Jesus - no one can make us do it. We can certainly be influenced by church, bishops and pastors, and hopefully my writings and website that you come across are also a motivation - but ultimately, you have to make the choice for your own soul.
There is a promise made in the Word for the unbeliever:
Revelation 21:7-8 (KJV)
7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
There is a promise made in the Word for the Believers, and this is my absolute favorite part of the Revelation of Jesus Christ:
Revelation 21:1-7 (KJV)
21 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
Which scenario do you like better? The choice is easy. Choose Jesus!