- Has anything like this ever happened before?
Yes, there have been several infections like this before. The ‘Spanish Flu’ of 1918 / 1919 is most often referred to when tens of millions died. Before that there was the Great Plague of London (1665) which killed around 100,000 people and the Black Death (1347-1350) which is thought to have killed even more than the Spanish Flu.
- This time it’s brought society to its knees!
It has! Today’s highly advanced and ultra-sophisticated world is totally inter-dependent, and if something affects trade, or transport, or communication, or supply lines, or the workforce, or whatever, the ramifications are momentous.
- Is the coronavirus a judgement from God on a wicked world?
It could be, and some have drawn that conclusion, but this is an area where we need to tread carefully. There will be many things across the world which displease God, but to specifically link one event (such as this infection) to evil actions could be unsafe. What about other ‘evil’ actions which have gone unpunished? What about the indiscriminate nature of this outbreak? – is everyone who gets it very evil, and those who don’t especially good? That kind of reasoning doesn’t make a lot of sense.
- But why does He allow this to happen?
Again, we need to be careful. If we conclude it’s not a punishment from God, why are we blaming Him? Our world has its share of heartache, sadness, illness and tragedy even without this pandemic. This could just be another one of these, but on a larger scale.
- OK, but isn’t He supposed to be a God of love?
Indeed He is. And God’s love is evident in many different ways. Most people in the developed world enjoy lives of reasonable health, comfort and security. As Jesus says, God “makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” yet it’s easy to forget this and be unthankful. Nor must we forget that it was because of God’s love for the world that He gave the Lord Jesus to die for us.
- Why doesn’t God bring it to an end?
He will. The Bible speaks plainly of a coming time when God will intervene dramatically in the affairs of men. He will send His son Jesus back to the earth to reign as king. When God’s kingdom is established on earth all suffering and sadness will come to an end.
- What am I supposed to learn from this?
Perhaps several things.
- An appreciation for the NHS, care workers, key workers and the thousands of volunteers who are helping in numerous ways. This engenders a spirit of gratitude for the efforts of others. We can learn to be more grateful.
- The outbreak has caused much suffering and bereavement. Perhaps we could be more sensitive and thoughtful for the sufferings of others.
- We can appreciate things taken for granted – health, family, freedom, employment, food.
- By bringing society to a halt, perhaps we have been given the time to reflect on our lives – past actions, opportunities squandered, to consider again what kind of people we ought to be.
- That mankind is not invincible. Solving the world’s problems seems overwhelming at times, even without diseases like Coronavirus. Perhaps it’s time to look for the God who made all things and has an evident plan to put things right. It’s clear enough in the bible for those willing to take a look.
- Do we know if God’s kingdom is coming this time?
These infections have happened before and did not result in God’s kingdom being established. But there are other momentous signs this time. The greatest of these is the existence of the Nation of Israel with control over the city of Jerusalem. This was prophesied in the Bible and fulfilled in 1948 and 1967. This event alone indicates we are living in the ‘end times’ talked about in the Bible. (See Luke 21:24-28)