By Buddy Venable, April 9, 2020
Questions are filling the hearts and minds of people as they wrestle with COVID-19. Did God send this virus? Is this God’s judgment on the nations of the world? Is God’s wrath being poured out on sin? The answers to these questions take us back to the beginning and God’s creation.
God Gave Mankind a Perfect World
The story of creation begins in Genesis 1:1 where we read, In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. Then on the sixth day God created mankind and God saw all that He created and He declared; it was very good. God created a perfect world for all living beings.
God Gave Man Dominion Over His World
Upon the creation of man God said; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. (Genesis 1:26) God gave man dominion and the responsibility to care for this world.
It is important to understand that as man has been given dominion over this world, he also has the responsibility to be a steward of the perfect world that God provided for him. To properly manage the world would bring rich blessings, but to improperly manage God’s gift would bring devastating consequences.
Man’s Rebellion Brought a Curse
Man chose to disobey God and that choice brought devastating consequences that continue to this day. Due to man’s rebellion this world was placed under a curse and according to Genesis 3 man would work by the sweat of his brow and the earth would bring forth thorns and thistles.
Romans 8:22 further tells us, for we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now.
Many of the natural disasters that we see are the natural result of this earth groaning and travailing under the curse brought on by the rebellion of man.
God’s word is clear, rebellion against God brings consequences. Consider the following verse…
Galatians 6:8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
Not All Natural Disasters, Sickness, or Evil is God’s Judgment
While sin brings consequences not all disasters are a judgment upon mankind. In the first chapter of the book of Job we see a satanic attack upon Job and his family. That attack came in four waves as Job lost his possessions and his family. Job’s response… in all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly. (Job 1:22)
In the New Testament we have the story of a man born blind. Those around him attributed his blindness to either his personal sin or his parent’s sin. The Lord made it clear that neither this man sinned nor his parents but that his blindness and healing would be used to glorify God. (John 9:3)
Are Plagues and Natural Disasters God’s Judgment
Yes! We can point to many places in the Bible where God used plagues and natural disasters as a means of judgment. God used natural disasters to bring judgment upon His chosen people for their rebellion against Him. God sent 10 plagues upon Israel for refusing to release His people from bondage. God sent judgment upon the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. However, these plagues and natural disasters were often preceded by a warning or call to repentance. For example, God used Noah to warn people regarding the coming world wide flood.
God sent Moses to Pharaoh to warn him of God’s judgment if he refused to release God’s people. God sent Jonah to Nineveh to warn them of God’s coming judgment if they refused to repent.
However, as we consider the COVID-19 virus there is no Bible evidence that gives one the authority to declare it judgment upon mankind. Rather, this virus should be seen as a result of man’s failure to properly exercise dominion over this earth and due to his own rebellion against God.
Tomorrow we will explore man’s response to COVID-19.