Can it be possible? We are literally experiencing a global pandemic…a new virus previously unheard of in humans, although veterinarians have been vaccinating cattle against a strain of it for many years! Perhaps the fear and media hysteria surrounding this new Corona Virus have created more panic than reason, largely because this event is unprecedented.
One thing we as Christians can be assured of: This event has not taken God by surprise! He in His ultimate sovereignty has allowed this crisis to take place and as His children, we can believe Romans 8:28, And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (NASB) We know God is at work and has allowed this to happen!
Let’s take a look at a few facts: Global pandemics are not new; the term means, “an outbreak of a disease that occurs over a wide geographic area and affects an exceptionally high proportion of the population.”
In 1918, the most severe pandemic of influenza in recent history took place. It was the H1N1 virus with genes of avian origin, and it is estimated that about 500 million people (1/3 of the world’s population at that time) became infected with the virus. At least 50 million worldwide died; in the United States there were 675,000 deaths. This dwarfs the current pandemic by huge amounts! My grandmother’s sister sadly lost her one-year-old twin sons to this horrible plague. In 1956-1958 the “Asian flu” caused 1.1 million deaths worldwide, 116,000 here in the United States. The flu epidemic of 1968, the “Hong Kong flu”, caused a death toll worldwide of over 1 million; and most recently the H1N1 “swine flu” pandemic of 2009-2010 infected 60.8 million worldwide, with nearly 13,000 U.S. deaths. Do you remember this one? Our Federal government passed a supplemental funding aid bill of $350 million dollars. It seemed life went on pretty much as usual, although it was obviously horrific for those affected.
The Corona Virus (Covid-19 is apparently a bit different than the flu in that the bacteria attack the lungs instead of the stomach and is extremely contagious. Also, the death rate is a bit higher than that of the flu, although most cases range from very mild to severe with a death rate a bit over 2%, and the vast majority of people with it recover.
Some people feel this is God’s judgment on people who have refused to repent of their sin. There are a number of passages in the Old Testament where God sent plagues, pestilence, famine, wars and thousands and thousands were killed, because the nation of Israel refused to obey His laws and keep His commandments, preferring instead to worship in idolatry and commit acts of debauchery. You may want to read about some of these instances: II Kings 17:6-20; II Chronicles 34:24-27; Isaiah 24:4-6,10; Amos 4:6-12. In these cases either prophets were predicting horrible events in the future if they did not repent of their sins, or God Himself was explaining why He had done what He did… if they would not obey and serve Him instead of other gods, He would do thus and so; and then He would end by saying, “Yet you have not returned to me!” But He continued to love them.
It is easy to see why God might want to send judgment on wicked people. However, this is something that we must leave up to Him and not proclaim judgment if He has not directly stated that this is the case! Of course, during the great tribulation on earth before His second coming (when the Church has already been raptured out), He will pour out His wrath on the earth by sending mighty plagues such as boils, hail, fire and other judgments. These are detailed in Revelation 16. Does the Word of God say that the people repented? On the contrary it states that “they blasphemed God!”
So, you say, if this is not a judgment at this time, just what is it? While we do not always know everything God is up to, I promise you we can trust Him! He is at work and is allowing this pandemic not only to wake people up, giving them a chance to turn to Him, but to give us as His people a chance to show the world we do not fear these things, but our trust is in the Lord God! Our reaction during this time is so important!
When Habakkuk turned to God and asked the question, How long, O Lord, will I call for help, and You will not hear? I cry out to You, “Violence!” yet You do not save….Yes, destruction and violence are before me; strife exists and contention arises. Therefore the law is ignored and justice is never upheld….”; God answered Him, Look among the nations! Observe! Be astonished! Wonder! Because I am doing something in your days—-you would not believe if you were told. Habakkuk 1:2-5 (NASB)
Wow! If God really told us everything He is up to, we would probably not be able to handle it! He truly knows the end from the beginning and all He asks of us, His children, is to “trust, obey and leave the results to Me!” That really frees us from worry, doesn’t it? So, in these trying days where you are perhaps feeling a bit inconvenienced, perhaps stressed because of the constant barrage of negative information flowing from the airwaves each day, afraid for what lies ahead, perhaps worrying that your finances will be drained, not to mention the fear of you or your loved ones succumbing to the virus itself, rise up in faith and stand on the promises of God! II Timothy 1:7 says, For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (NKJV) Philippians 4:6 &7 tell us, Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. (NASB)
Psalm 91 is one of the best psalms I know of to read, memorize and quote each day! It speaks of God delivering us “from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence”; “a thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you”; “no evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling”, and on and on! What beautiful words to live by! Verses 1 and 2 start out, He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust.” (NKJV) What is there to fear when God is on our side?
I would like to close with a song I wrote several years ago called “In the Secret Place“….I took the title from Psalm 91 and I pray it will bless you in your worship time today! Remember: “For the child of God, as believers, the best is yet to come!”
Rebecca’s music is available on Pandora and Spotify, and by going to the link to the right on this page to “purchase Rebecca’s music”.