The coronavirus is holding the world captive. The World Health Organization has issued strong travel advisories, cruise ships have been quarantined, and the USA has barred travel to numerous countries. What should we think about this?
Well, is it a pandemic? Maybe. Could it erupt into a mass death machine, like the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918, where some 500 million people were infected and 50 million plus died?
There are questions: 1) What’s the source? 2) What’s the cure?... and for me, as a Christian, 3) Is it a judgment from God?
The news media reported that the source was bat soup. Yeck, but authorities generally agree that no bats were sold in the Huanan sea food market at this time (Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention). Live Science reported that the virus may have originated with bats, but another animal host is likely involved between the bats and humans.
Michael Adam’s Nature News gave another theory that the coronavirus was engineered in a Chinese Bioweapon’s lab at Huanan We know that such labs exist, even here in the USA, but Adam’s has an unreliable history of spinning conspiracy theories of everything from chemtrails to GMO food products.
The Washington Post wrote that the lab at Huanan did not weaponize the coronavirus. Okay. So here we are, living is a state of anxiety that may or may not have been caused by men messing with biogenics.
But God, who is “the blessed controller of all things,” is not “a man that He should lie” (1 Tim.6.15; Num. 23.19).). God has told us what is good, and He admonishes us to walk in that path (Micah 6.8; Deut. 6.4, 16; 30.19). Yes, He’s a God of mercy, but He’s also a God of justice, and He can bring judgment on the earth just as in the days of Noah, or when Pharaoh resisted Him (Gen.6.5-8; Ex.7). Yet, even though, “He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the lovingkindness of the LORD” (Ps.33.5). God is able to bless or curse; He both “gives and takes away” (Job 1..21).
The coronavirus is no more a judgment from God than any of the natural calamities that befall us: tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, plagues, pestilences and disease. This is planet earth, a fallen world, not heaven.
Our part is to pray and seek God’s will. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Phil.4.6).
Tom Brown is the pastor of New Hope Christian Fellowship.