We know God does bring judgment on sin, but we also know that sometimes things happen in our world simply because it is infected with sin and rebellion that are not a result of the direct judgment of God. [If you are wondering what God's original good design for you and the world was, take our email course: How To Know God Loves You.] So is Coronavirus a judgment from God?
There are a wide variety of opinions on this subject. There seem to be two extremes that people, in general, tend to gravitate toward. One is that God is a harsh Judge Who delights to crack the whip and bring punishment whenever someone sets a toe over the line. The other is that God is a divine Santa Claus or indulgent parent Who loves everyone so much that He just blesses them all the time and turns a blind eye to anything wrong they may be doing.
Both of these extremes are caricatures of aspects of the True God. Remember, we do not define God. We did not make Him, He made us. Therefore, we need to work at discovering Who God really is, not Who we would like Him to be. Before we look at our question of Is Coronavirus A Judgement From God, we need to example the true image of these two aspects of God’s character: A God of Justice and A God of Love.
God is a God of justice. Even a brief look through the Bible shows that God loves justice, that He wants the weak and helpless defended, and that He will judge oppressors and abusers.
The Lord loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of his unfailing love. Ps. 33:5, NIV
“For I, the Lord, love justice;
I hate robbery and wrongdoing… Is. 61:8, NIV
Administer justice every morning;
rescue from the hand of the oppressor
the one who has been robbed,
or my wrath will break out and burn like fire
because of the evil you have done—
burn with no one to quench it. Jer. 21:11, NIV
However, it is important to note there is a vital difference between the harsh, legalistic judge of the caricature and a judge who loves justice and defends the innocent. The legalistic judge cares nothing for justice and is often opposed to it. His concern is with the details and technicalities of the law. [As I am sure you have recognized, this is where much of our humanistic legal systems are today - guilt or innocence is not as important as crossing all the “t’s” and dotting all the “i’s”.] God demands justice on His earth, not legalese.
The only way to achieve justice in society for the benefit and prosperity of the majority of the people [whether or not they are Christians] is to implement and follow the laws of God. Evil men hate the law of God and fight against it. Yet God did not give us His laws for His own benefit. He already knows the perfect way to live. It was in His mercy and love that He gave us His laws so that we would know how to live healthy, happy and fulfilled lives. It is the violation of God’s law that brings injustice, misery, pain and death.
The law of the Lord is perfect,
refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is pure,
The decrees of the Lord are firm,
and all of them are righteous. Ps. 19:7-9, NIV
God has given mankind the responsibility for maintaining His justice for the benefit of all His creation. He has given the laws and the appropriate consequences to maintain justice so people can live healthy, prosperous and joyful lives. It is our responsibility - particularly the civil government [in democracies we are responsible for electing and requiring our leaders to maintain Godly justice] - to make sure Biblically-defined crimes are punished and innocent victims have their lives restored and repaired by the offender - even if that includes capital punishment.
“Whoever sheds human blood,
by humans shall their blood be shed;
for in the image of God
has God made mankind. Gen. 9:6, NIV
Are we a world that maintains the justice of God for the benefit of all?
- More Christians have been abused and martyred in the last 200 years than at any other time in history.
- 125,000 unborn babies are murdered every day around the world, often with the full support and promotion of governments and citizens. Even in the midst of this coronavirus pandemic - with the shortage of medical supplies and personnel - abortion continues as an "essential service" even through its supporters claim it is a "Choice" and; therefore, non-essential.
- Governments and citizens support the life-time mutilation and drugging of confused children.
- Millions [literally] visit porn sites daily where perverse acts of sex and violence are graphically enacted, and sometimes [many times?] the “actors” are victims of human trafficking being abused and raped on camera for their viewing pleasure.
- We hold parades of deliberate defiance of God and all that is wholesome and healthy.
- Not to mention the prideful spirit that infects us all as we attempt to live lives apart from God, rejecting our Creator and His generous offer of mercy, forgiveness and amnesty.
The injustice and the evil that we are committing and allowing to be committed against each other is horrifying. However, there is an even worse offence. Every sin - even if directed against another person - is a personal violation of God. In every sin - from a “white” lie to a murder - God’s Person is violently attacked and violated. For the creature to so abuse and assault his Creator is far worse than the crimes we commit against each other.
Do we deserve the judgement of God? Yes! Ever since Adam’s sin, every single human being has deserved the horrors of Hell. [Yes, Hell is real.] Because God is Just He cannot allow our treasonous, defiant rebellion to go unpunished. However in mercy, He delays justice giving us the opportunity to accept the fact that He Himself took our punishment so that He could offer us mercy, forgiveness and amnesty.
Does God bring judgment on the earth? Yes. He allows evil to go so far, and then He judges. The Flood is the most comprehensive example of this judgment, but all nations and civilizations which insist in pursuing evil will eventually meet with judgment. But is Coronavirus a judgement from God or a natural consequence of living in a sinful world?
Before we look at that, let’s look at another aspect of God’s Character. God is Justice and must judge sin, but He is also Love and desires to redeem and restore rather than destroy.
For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to anyone. Lam. 3:33, NIV
God loves His creation, especially His human creation which He made in His own image. His love far exceeds any love we may have felt, experienced or even imagined. His love was so great that while we were treasonous, God-hating rebels, He sent the best heaven had to offer - His greatly loved Son - to suffer the consequences of our actions so that He could offer us love and forgiveness.
But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Rom. 5:8, NIV
Not only that, but even when we are ignorant of God’s love and gracious offer of amnesty or deliberately rejecting it, He delays His justice giving us every opportunity to escape the judgment we deserve.
In the case of the extremely rebellious and sinful cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, He was willing, through Abraham’s intercession, to spare the cities from judgment if only ten righteous people could be found living there.
Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let my speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?” He answered, “For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it.” Gen. 18:32, NIV
There are many righteous people in North America and around the world who are praying and interceding with God for the people suffering from the coronavirus pandemic and for covid-19 to come to an end. God hears those prayers.
[What people who hate Christians and Christianity don’t realize is that Christians are the only ones standing between them and the full judgment of God. Attacking Christians is a suicidal act for any individual, organization or nation.]
The people of the land practice extortion and commit robbery, they oppress the poor and needy and mistreat the foreigner, denying them justice. I looked for someone among that who would build up a wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not destroy it, but I found no one. So I will pour out my wrath on them and consume them in my fiery anger, bringing down on their own heads all they have done, declares the Sovereign Lord. Ez. 22:29-31, NIV
God’s desire is for mercy, forgiveness, peace and prosperity. [See our email course: How To Know God Loves You.] However, that can only come as we end our war against Him and accept His generous offer of amnesty.
So how do we answer our question of Is Coronavirus A Judgment From God? From our place in the midst of this pandemic it is hard to make an accurate judgment. We certainly deserve judgment from God, but whether this is that judgment or not we will have to allow Christian scholars and historians to assess in about a 100 years from now. Then they will be able to examine the causes and the final results. There are a few things we can say with confidence now however.
1. God is in control - whether Covid-19 is a judgment from Him or not.
2. God can and does bring justice on individuals, organizations, nations, civilizations and even the entire planet.
3. We deserve the judgment of God.
4. God greatly desires to show mercy and love. He is slow to bring judgment and quick to grant forgiveness.
5. Whether something we are experiencing [as an individual, organization, nation or civilization] is a judgment or not, genuine repentance and turning to God can shorten or eliminate it.
6. God expects His people to react in times of disaster - regardless of the cause - to express His infinite love through prayer, intercession and acts of mercy, kindness and self-sacrifice. This they have always done down throughout history, and this they will continue to do unto the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to perfectly reveal the love of the Father and restore perfect justice.