The coronavirus has unleashed fear, panic and raw havoc on the world. Governments, businesses and the church globally has had to shift, and in some cases dramatically so. With more than 1.5 million persons being infected, and more than 100,000 people dead, a natural question arises for people of faith: Where is God in all of this?
Let me reassure you that God is in 100% control. Corona did not catch Him by surprise like many businessmen, he isn’t tumbling in turmoil with the stock market and he certainly isn’t in self-quarantine hoping to protect his health. Now we may be able to swallow the concept that God knew about it; but let’s take it one step further. Can our understanding of God allow us to accept that the coronavirus could be God’s doing?
Smashing this fake view of God
In my last article I sought to comprehensively obliterate the false notion that Jesus Christ, the Lord of All, is some kind of saintly Santa Clause, or heavenly teddy bear. Our culturally curated versions of Jesus, which seek to soften Him out of existence, and distort our holy God into someone accepting that which He has explicitly said he hates, will soon melt in the piercing heat of the end of the age.
The coronavirus is a drop in the bucket compared to what is coming soon on God’s global calendar of events. Jesus emphatically stated that it will be worse than World War 1 and World War 2. “For then [in the end] there will be great distress, unequalled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equalled again” (Matthew chapter 24, verse 21). For measure, Revelations chapter 9 shows us that in a single judgement event more than a billion people will be killed by powerful angels.
I don’t get the feeling that the western church is preparing us for these events. Do you? If we don’t adjust our extremely deficient view of God, when things much worse than corona start to unfold, we will be offended, depressed and may even lose faith; because we trusted in a fairy tale image of God.
Jesus Christ is supremely powerful, amazingly loving, but it would be wise to know that He is terrifying too. Psalm chapter 2 frames three responses to this Glorious King, verses eleven and the first part of verse twelve say “Serve the Lord with fear, rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son.” (NKJV) Our God is a consuming fire! (Hebrews chapter 9, verse 28)
Bring back the fear of the Lord to your church, Lord! Let us feel what the early church felt when you killed Ananias and Sapphira: reverence, fear and awe! And may we find joy before your glorious and breath-taking throne.
Food for the proper time
Covid-19 brings many messages with it. This is a global call for the church to wake up and pay attention to the times we are in. The time of preaching only of a loving God is over. He is so much more than just loving! When we feed people a half-baked, half rotten view of God we do them a great disservice and indeed the Lord will punish leaders who fail to feed the people the Word of God in line with the season in which we find ourselves.
I assure you, I am not blowing things out of proportion, (but rather trying to do Jesus’ tone justice), check out Matthew chapter 24, verses 45-51. See what Jesus Himself says in the overarching context of the end times. “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time.It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns.” Jesus continues, “But suppose that servant is wicked… begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards.” The master will return and “cut him to pieces...”
The prime instruction concerning the servants over God’s house from this passage is to feed the people with the proper food at the proper time, the opposite of which is equated with being abusive, self-serving and sinful. Every pastor and leader must take heed. The Lord is passionate about His people. Covid-19 is a wakeup call, so we may know the season that we are in and feed the people accordingly.
Responsible for our own intimacy
Even though our pastors will be held responsible, we are not off the hook at all. The times also call for every believer to ensure we have an appropriate view of God, and that we love Him passionately and have generated much intimacy with Him.
Jesus tells the parable of the ten virgins and that of the talents further down in his end time teaching in Matthew chapter 25, calling for each believer to be found with enough oil and in right relationship to God in these times. At the end of the day we are the ones that will stand before the Lord and give account for what we have done with Jesus, it did not end well for the foolish virgins or the young man who assumed the master was wicked and unjust. Those who have not spent the time seeking the Lord, how will they have enough oil of intimacy to sustain them in the day of trouble? How will those that think the Lord is wicked and corrupt in the context of pandemics that can be treated with medication, love the Lord when they see him leading the army of heavenly hosts, riding victoriously in a robe dipped in the blood of his enemies?
May we gaze upon the Lord in all his beauty and love him passionately for who He really is, in all His kindness and severity (Romans chapter 11, verse 22).
Dr. Daniel Thomas is a medical doctor and Christian Advocate who loves the Lord deeply. He is married to Grace-ann Thomas the love of his life and currently leads a youth organization called the Love March Movement; which is committed to empowering the youth to fight for sexual purity and the family in Jamaica.