I find it both settling and faith-building to seek answers to important questions. That’s how I became a follower of Jesus–God answered my deepest questions about life and meaning.

Looking for perspective on vital questions continues to be a “peacemaker” in my heart and mind.

I believe many people are seeking answers to our global situation involving the coronavirus. Today I will give my best shot.

Why the pandemic?

Why the Pandemic?

When Covid 19 first appeared, one of my students (from South Korea) sent me this note:

“I’m feeling extremely confused about everything that is happening. I keep thinking of when God allowed the enemy to go after Job. I know this virus isn’t from God but how do I make sense of God allowing things like this virus?”

That day I shared a perspective with her that I will expand here.

Let’s begin with simple honesty. Last week, Jim Stier, an international leader of Youth With A Mission and one of the deepest thinkers I know, spoke to hundreds of our missions leaders via ZOOM. He began his message with the question: “Did God cause the global coronavirus pandemic?” He then paused and gave his answer:

“I don’t know.”

Humility is a great place to begin when seeking truth. We don’t know for certain many things above our pay grade. But there are some things we do know and some principles that can help us make at least some sense of complicated issues.

I can think of at least five “whys” behind the Covid 19 pandemic.

Our Fallen World

We must default to one huge truth over most problems in life: we live in a fallen world.  Things are not the way they were intended to be.

Genesis 3:1-19 describes in agonizing detail how the sin of Adam and Eve forced God to change his once perfect world to help control the ravages of sin. God did the altering (the curse), but we are responsible for it.

Isaiah 24:4-6 explains: “ The earth mourns and withers, the world fades and withers, the exalted of the people of the earth fade away. The earth is also polluted by its inhabitants, for they transgressed laws, violated statutes, broke the everlasting covenant. Therefore, a curse devours the earth, and those who live in it are held guilty.”

When I hear of war, disease, natural disasters and the like, I always return to the biblical truth that ALL these things are ultimately the fruit of human sin. I never blame God.

Never.

Human beings bear the guilt of the disasters around us–starting in the Garden of Eden and continuing to this day. A fallen world (including free will) explains most tragedies. It also brings hope that God will create a new heaven and earth one day where the curse of evil will be obliterated forever (Revelation 21:1-5).

We will get to God’s role in a moment.

Fallen Angels

My Korean friend referenced the story of Job (one of the oldest in the Bible) where a man and his family experienced excruciating agony through warfare (Job 1:14-15, 17) and natural disasters (Job 1:16, 19) that left Job dirt poor and in physical pain (Job 1:16, 19). The Book of Job tells us that Satan was involved in these calamities (1:12 and 2:6).

At least in Job’s case, some of his suffering was directly caused by invisible forces of evil (fallen angels). Unfortunately, many aspects of demonic destruction still play mayhem in our world.

Near the end of his life, Dr. Ralph Winter, founder of the US Center for World Missions, began studying the connection between cancer and the satanic realm. His wife died from cancer and he too was afflicted. He felt that many human diseases went beyond corrupted DNA (that’s part of it), to possibly direct demonic activity.

Fallen angels could be active agents in our current coronavirus pandemic.

The Communist Chinese Government

Despite propaganda to the contrary, the Covid 19 virus began in a “wet market” in Wuhan, China, was handled carelessly and dishonestly by the Communist Chinese government and allowed to go global because of their neglect.

From Western Journal, a trust-worthy news website:

“Patient zero was discovered on Dec. 1, thirty days before the government’s admission that a new virus had been identified. Before the end of the month, nearly 200 people were infected. Life in China largely continued as it normally would. Days later, however, the government could no longer hide the severity of the outbreak…The growth of the novel coronavirus in China became exponential.”

Newt Gingrich explains: “The simple fact is that Communist-ruled China has a long record as a source of potential epidemics and pandemics…The Chinese government did nothing to stop the sale of wild animals in wet markets or to stay adequately alert for a potential virus. In fact, the dictatorship took the opposite position in the early days of the coronavirus outbreak. It wanted to hide any potential disease outbreak and hoped it would go away.”

I agree with two national commentators that the proper name for the global pandemic should be the “ChiComm virus.” The Chinese people were not the problem in the spread of the disease–nor the city of Wuhan. That falls squarely on their authoritarian overlords (ChiComms).

We must change our view of the Communist leaders of China and remember who they are–ruthless dictators. Soviet Communism fell after 77 years of tyranny (1912-1989). Maoist Communism currently stands at 71 (1949-2020).

Will God use Covid 19 to help topple the ChiComms in the Middle Kingdom and free the Chinese people to bless the world?

Globalization/Population

A globalized world including air travel stands as a major factor in the spread of the pandemic. In former times, diseases couldn’t multiply so quickly. In late 2019 and early 2020, millions of people going in and out of China, carried the disease to 202 countries and territories with 841,285 confirmed cases and 41,593 deaths (as of March 31).

And with 7.8 billion people on earth today (as opposed to 700 million as recent as 1800), the number of deaths can skyrocket.

God’s Providence

An important starting point in any question about tribulations begins here:

It’s not about you.

We tend to view suffering through the narrow, self-oriented lens of “I don’t deserve to suffer” or “Why me?” In truth, we all deserve to suffer because of our sins (Romans 3:9-19). Also, many of the trials we experience in life are part of God providentially guiding the world toward His loving purposes (Romans 11:33-36).

This may shock modern readers, but the Bible is very clear that God causes many calamities in life both for just and merciful reasons (e.g. 2 Chronicles 7:13 and Isaiah 51:20). He also allows other trials to play out unimpeded (both the sins of people and the corruption of nature) to speak to us about sin, salvation, and other important truths (Romans 8:28).

And we’ll probably never know the difference (God causing or allowing tribulation).

We do know this: life is not about you and your happiness. It’s about your relationship to God and His purposes in the cosmos. Personal and corporate suffering are some of God’s greatest schools of training in our fallen world (Hebrews 4:4-12). Even judgment remains a “severe form of mercy” because everything God does is love–1 John 4:8 (willing the highest good).

So why the Covid 19 plague?

Because of a fallen world, fallen angels, Communist leaders, globalization/population and God’s providential works in you and 7.8 billion other people.

How should we then live (Ezekiel 33:10)?

Let’s respond like a returning soldier from Operation Desert Storm in 1991 (another global calamity) who said:

“Before I came to the Persian Gulf. I didn’t consider myself a very religious person. Now I find myself talking to God a lot.”

That’s the reason for the pandemic.

Keep talking to God, serving others, and repenting of your sins.

 

5 Comments

  1. Judith White on April 2, 2020 at 7:04 pm

    The evil one is “The prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience.” that reference from God’s Word is what came to mind. My prayer is that in the face of this epidemic that people will seek JESUS! Thanks Ron for sharing this. My spirit witnesses with your words. I have been sharing your words with many. God Bless you and yours.

  2. Antoinnette Williams on April 1, 2020 at 7:06 pm

    Thank you for your humble perspective! I pray that in this season, Let revival fall on us and bring all to their knees! Thy kingdom come!! I SHOUT IT FROM THE ROOF TOPS!!

  3. Nate Krupp on April 1, 2020 at 5:28 pm

    There is a way to heal our nation/world of this virus – 2 Chron. 7:14.
    This pandemic may be part of the preparation for a mighty, end-time revival.
    For more on a coming end-time revival we recommend the book “The Church Triumphant at the End of the Age – Characterized by Revival, Restoration, Unity, World Evangelization, and Persecution” (available from Amazon).

  4. Don Schiele on April 1, 2020 at 2:32 pm

    Thanks Ron for this insightful explanation!

  5. Steve Herzog on April 1, 2020 at 2:27 pm

    YES!!!
    Yesterday we had an earthquake here in central Idaho. Our house shook for about 30 seconds… enough to remind that other forces in a restless world are not taking a break.
    It got me wondering…How much does the universal propensity to deny or overlook reality (Truth) figure in? Most blatantly manifested in China’s communist leadership, as you outline, denial is of course the original and most common reaction to being caught with your hand in the cookie jar, or with a cookie crumb trail from your chin back to the source. Denial and blame-shifting. Just like Adam pointing at Eve and Eve at the Serpent. It was China’s fault!
    Where it gets complicated is when all the factors conspire together (as with Job): the corrupted world, our very mortal bodies, our corrupted pride (I know what’s wrong with Job!), the still-active Serpent(s), godless governance, and God’s gate-opening permission.
    What amazes me is how even long-time believers (including me) can get sucked into denial and blame-shifting, spending so much emotional energy on fear and second-guessing every decision made by leadership. I’ve heard and read so many theories and worldly prognostications that have little to do with truth.
    What IS the reality? Can we talk about death? Can we admit it’s inevitability? Can we discuss the afterlife? Can we point to God’s good character? Can we remind each other of His promises? Can I keep this pandemic in perspective and realize the truth: No earthly power can stop the spread/consequences of sin (our ongoing denial of God’s rightful place); we will all die, except those who see Christ return. This disease is the latest proof.
    I can sit in silence with Job. I can weep with those who’ve lost loved ones and with the care-givers who are stretched so thin. But I can live in peace and courageous service, without fear of my impending death. I can live in eternal reality. I can share the goodness of God with those in fear. I can demonstrate His reality by my actions, attitude, words and moldable heart.

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