In many Christian circles, there are talks that the recently WHO declared pandemic COVID-19 could be a judgment from God on the nations of the world as a result of sin, homosexuality and probably high level of immorality.
The alarming rate of the Coronavirus has led many to believe that God intends to do a purge on all unbelievers using this plague. They rely on examples of cases in the scriptures where it was recorded that God used plagues or disasters to judge people with evil.
The million dollar question is this? Does a good God use evil to kill people?
If there is any person that best reflects the nature of God to know if he does such, we need to see Jesus. The scriptures tells us that Jesus is the best replication of God’s character.
“The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being..” (Hebrews 1;3b)
Jesus told his disciples in John 4 that if they had seen him, they had also seen the father. A close look at the ministry of Jesus, one would see that one major aspect of his teachings was to put proper light on the nature of God as father.
The journey from the old testament shows us that disasters and plagues were attributed as acts of God. One significant place is in the book of Job, where the main character stated “…the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” (Job 1:21)
Now we have read that book and we all know what Job didn’t see behind the scenes. God blessed but God didn’t take away anything. The accuser and enemy did. Job didn’t know that. This concept has on its own formed many doctrines bothering on the nature of God in connection to unfortunate events.
The concept of the wrath of God as found in the new testament had a strong connection to the expressions of curses found in the old covenant. In the book of Deuteronomy 28-32 we see Moses calls out the curses on Israel and spoke about a generation that would see catastrophic events play out.
For they are a nation void of counsel, neither is there any understanding in them.
O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end! (Deuteronomy 32: 28-29)
When Jesus arrived on the scene, he merely told the Jewish people of his time that those events prophecied by Moses and other prophets was due upon that generation that didn’t recognize his visitation to them. They rejected the messiah sent to them for their deliverance.
For the days will come upon you when your enemies will barricade you and surround you and hem you in on every side. They will level you to the ground— you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation from God.” (Luke 19:43-44)
The Apostles recognized the times that they were living in and preached the good news of salvation to as many Jews possible within a short time to get them out of a worship system that was doomed to fail. They rejected Jesus, his disciples and the messages that was God’s rescue plan for them.
Paul in one his letters expressed his frustrations realizing what was ahead of the Jews.
I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, 2 that I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my [a]countrymen according to the flesh, 4 who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises; 5 of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen.
What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith; 31 but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law [d]of righteousness. 32 Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, [e]by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone. 33 As it is written:
“Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense,
And whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”
(Romans 9:1-5, 3-33)
Relating the “wrath of God” to the same Jews, he writes in 1 Thessalonians 2:
“For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God which are in Judea in Christ Jesus. For you also suffered the same things from your own countrymen, just as they did from the Judeans, 15 who killed both the Lord Jesus and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they do not please God and are contrary to all men, 16 forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they may be saved, so as always to fill up the measure of their sins; but wrath has come upon them to the uttermost.”
Clearly we see the “the wrath” was to come upon, following the timeline of the writing of that book. This is a confirmation to the prophecy of Moses and others that a time would come when Jerusalem would be destroyed. It has nothing to do with people 2,000 years after. This was fulfilled when the Romans attacked and destroyed Jerusalem in ad70. God’s salvation was to get them out so that they would not be objects of that catastrophe. John’s revelation followed same theme. This theme of “judgment” is same throughout the entire new testament.
None of it involves God sending Bird flu, Ebola or Coronavirus to existing nations on the earth to underscore God’s anger. As James rightly puts it,
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1:17 NIV)
Jesus faced death-threatening situations like tempest on sea. He calmed the waters, knowing it was not God’s plan to kills his disciples. He healed the sick because He knew that God would have them healed. It would be absurd for us to this as the act of God while humanity battles the act of God.
The Spanish Flu from 1918-1919 infected 500 million people and killed as many as 50 million. Yet humanity moved on with a solution and conquered that virus.
It is important for us to know that this is not setting up an arrival of an “Antichrist” or the end of the world. With the gift of inspiration mankind will record another victory because God loves humanity. God has given us the victory in Christ.
Let us be guided in the faith of Jesus and not the fear of the enemy. As Paul wrote:
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7)
God has given us the victory in Jesus!