Every time the world faces a major disaster or disease, inevitably someone proclaims that this is God’s judgment. They believe that either the specific location, or just the world at large, has become so evil that God has chosen to punish them. What about the recent Coronavirus pandemic? With the death toll in the thousands, and many more likely to come before this is resolved, we face this question again. Is the Coronavirus judgment from God?
Judgment from God in Scripture
There are a number of examples in scripture where God enacts judgment upon a nation. However, in all of them God is not subtle about it. For one, there was typically a message preceding the destruction by a prophet. There was never any ambiguity as to whether it was from God, or why he was doing it. Second, the destruction tended to be pretty swift and thorough. Sodom and Gomorrah did not have time to panic. I don’t imagine there was anyone surviving longer during the Flood because they stockpiled toilet paper and instant ramen. I’m not going to tell you that the virus is absolutely not judgment from God, but it doesn’t fit with what we know about him.
Then Why Would God Allow It?
If this isn’t God’s wrath upon us, then why would God allow it to happen? Doesn’t God care enough about us to stop such a dangerous pandemic? First off, any question beginning with why does/doesn’t God is probably not going to have a complete answer. We can get some questions answered from scripture, but he doesn’t always reveal clear or specific details about his own thought process.
That said, there are two ways to look at this kind of evil. The virus itself would fall under the category of natural evil, like an earthquake. While these kinds of things can be destructive, they also tend to serve a necessary roll in maintaining the planet. However, there is plenty of human sin involved in this as well. In many cases these natural evils would not be nearly as devastating without human brokenness exacerbating the problem. Lies, corruption, greed, and so much more have made this virus exponentially worse than it could have been.
Is the Coronavirus judgment from God? It’s possible, but probably not. However, it is an opportunity for us as Christians to reflect the love and hope of God to an anxious world. Don’t waste this moment.
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