Sunday morning, March 22, at 9:30 AM on 92.7 FM the Pastor’s Roundtable will be discussing the Coronavirus. Many people are tired of hearing about it, but no one can deny the impact of this disease on the world today. All are being forced to confront the changes in society being imposed as a result of this infection. As everyone try to make sense of the situation, we can’t help but wonder, does the Bible say anything helpful about the Coronavirus?
The Bible does not, and would not, mention this particular virus by name. However, the Bible warns that as the return of Jesus approaches there will be wars, famines, earthquakes and widespread disease. In a sense, then, this virus is addressed by the Bible. The coronavirus is not addressed in any specific way, but it is part of what can be expected as things in the world get worse and worse in preparation for the return of Jesus.
The same passage in Matthew 24 that warns of increasing trouble also teaches Christians to not be troubled by the great difficulties that will come upon the world. Because of Jesus, the troubles of this world should hold little terror for the children of God. “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27)
The most important thing the Bible says about disease, plagues, pestilence and other widespread affliction is that God is in absolute control of every single catastrophe in the world. Whether it be a virus or the economic problems which come as a result of widespread quarantines, God is in absolute control of all things. Do not treat this declaration as a trite, religious saying that offers only hollow comfort to those who need an emotional crutch. This is bedrock truth more substantial than granite. This truth was Joseph’s comfort when he was sold into slavery by His brothers. “You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good”. (Genesis 50:20) This truth runs throughout the Bible and assures people of every age in any trouble that God is still in control.
God’s control over all things is comforting because God is good and wise. He is working out all things according to His perfect plan. Nothing is random, accidental or contrary to God’s good purposes. Those who trust God know this infection will ultimately bring about the glory of God and the good of His children. God is working through the Coronavirus to bring people to salvation (Acts 17:26-27). God is using this sickness to remind humanity we are living in a world cursed by sin.
This virus also shows the powerlessness of the things worshiped in the modern world. When fear and panic is spreading around the globe, then it becomes obvious all the things we depend on for happiness and security are completely unable to secure those things for us. If coronavirus shuts down the sports we love so much, then maybe sports are not powerful enough to give the security and satisfaction we crave. If coronavirus shuts down the movies we anticipate every weekend, then maybe entertainment is not powerful enough to give us lasting joy and peace. Though the coronavirus is far less severe than the plagues that afflicted Egypt, it illustrates the same principle. The gods of this world are powerless. The Bible shows that only the God of heaven rules. He is not dismayed or embarrassed by this infection. He is orchestrating its spread to accomplish His loving purposes. Those who trust God realize this virus is not an interruption in His plans. The coronavirus not hindering what God is trying to do. The coronavirus is completely under the control of God. Through it He is accomplishing His perfect plans for this world.