Everywhere I turn these days I am inundated with news about COVID19, the coronavirus. Many people are panicking because of it and stocking up on essentials such as food, water, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, etc. Stores like Costco, Sam’s Club, Target, and Walmart have sold out of these products and as fast as they restock the shelves, boom, they’re sold out again!
What are we to make of this situation? The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared COVID19 a pandemic meaning it is greater and more widespread than an epidemic. Some in the media are minimizing it and declaring that it’s simply another form of the flu and nothing to fear. Alarmists are calling it dangerous and predict that anywhere from 20-60% of Americans will become infected with a 4% death rate.
I don’t know which camp you fall into but I want to propose a different way to view this virus. Could God be using COVID19 to compel us and the world to look to Him and Him alone for our security? We cannot look to anything else to keep us safe and secure. Perhaps God, in His mercy and grace, has chosen to use a virus to draw us to Himself because nothing else has worked. Instead of judgment, as in the days of Noah, God has been patient and longsuffering toward us not willing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).
We are at war against an invisible, lethal enemy and must adopt a wartime mentality. The COVID19 virus cannot be stopped by anything we typically look to for security:
- Science-has no known cure for this virus
- Wealth-no amount of money can prevent its spread
- Military-conventional weapons cannot stop it
- Academic-the best and brightest in our schools have no answer on how to eradicate it
- Media-no amount of warnings from the media will curtail it
- Government-no legislation, policies, or required quarantines will impact it
God is our only hope. He alone can stop this pestilence. He did just that in the past. Consider the pestilence God used to punish King David’s sinful census of Israel. The angel of the Lord struck down 70,000 with pestilence before the Lord relented of the slaughter at the threshing floor of Araunah (Ornan). As an aside, it is on this very site that King Solomon built the temple (2 Chronicles 3:1)! God alone can stop pestilences from their destruction.
Why is this happening to us and nations around the world? Our sins deserve God's judgment. We are sinners living in a sinful nation in a sinful world. We legally permit murder by abortion. We have made money our god and look to it for our worth and security. We have normalized the sin of homosexuality and cast a blind eye to all manner of sexual sin from sex trafficking to adultery to pedophilia to pornography. Our sins have piled up as high as heaven but God has shown such patience and grace toward us!
What will stop the pestilence of COVID-19? Repentance! God forgives repentant sinners. We need national repentance and pleading with God for mercy. Perhaps He will relent.