“So, Why Would a Good God Allow This?”

It’s the same question on many people’s mind: Why would a good God allow a global pandemic like the Coronavirus? How do you deal with this question? ◊

As this virus spreads further throughout the globe this week and many of us are at various levels of social lockdown, the question continues to be raised in many quarters, from churches, social media, and family living rooms, as to God’s purposeful hand and reasons for bringing such suffering to so many people that He supposedly loves. Specifically, the question is: “So, why would a good God allow this?”

Great question. Lots of varied answers out there.

Interesting how we always ask about God in times of pain and suffering, and forget all about Him (or take things for granted) in times of peace and plenty. It’s also interesting how many, including some pastors, always relate it to some last days or end times scenario and cite words from Jesus in Matthew 24 about birth pangs and coming tribulation and apocalyptic scenes from the Book of Revelation. These references seem to stir some level of fascination within us to think that we could be the generation that sees the ending of the world.

And then the major calamitous event passes and we all settle down and go on with our lives. There’s got to be more to all of this.

So What’s the Answer?
At the risk of offending some Christians and their firmly-held end times belief system, I do not believe the premise that we are on the brink of global extermination with wars and rumors of warsfamines and earthquakes…and days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven (Matthew 24:6, 8, 29). No, I do not believe that this coronavirus is about end times eschatology at all. Nor is it tied to any popular theory about the Rapture, Great Tribulation, and the Battle of Armageddon. At the end of this article I have listed several past Biblical Viewpoints that address these popular but misguided notions that I too used to believe wholeheartedly.1

No, this virus is simply about God and Mankind. God is God, Holy and Almighty, who creates and destroys, punishes and rewards, allows and obstructs. He is worthy to be worshiped and feared by all of Mankind, His creation.

As outlined last week, the Bible is fully evident of God’s hand in judgment and justice throughout the Old and New Testament. This coronavirus may or may not be another example of God’s judgment on a defiant world. As shown, God’s done it before. Specifically regarding plagues and pestilence, if one looks in the Scriptures as well as human history books, there are many significant examples of horrific pandemic occurrences that have destroyed civilizations and altered human history:

  • 430 BC – Athens – two-thirds of the population died in Athens, Greece during this pandemic that also struck Libya, Ethiopia, and Egypt during the Peloponnesian War. Led to the Spartans defeat of the Athians.
  • 165 AD – Antonine Plague – a smallpox epidemic that began with the Huns in Germany and then passed to the Romans and the entire Roman Empire, even claiming the life of Emperor Marcus Aurelius.
  • 250 AD – Cyprian Plague – started in Ethiopia and then moved northward with recurring outbreaks to even Britain and impacted the alliance with the Saxons against the Scots.
  • 541 AD – Justinian Plague – started in Egypt then spread throughout the Byzantine Empire and throughout the Mediterranean. The apocalyptic atmosphere spurred on the rapid spread of Christianity. Recurrences over two centuries eventually killed about 50 million people or over 25% of the world population.
  • 1100’s – Leprosy – though leprosy was around during the days of Christ, this grew into a pandemic in Europe in the Middle Ages.
  • 1350 – The Black Death – this bubonic plague started in Asia and moved west into Europe in caravans resulting in the death of one-third of the world population. The British feudal system collapsed changed economic circumstances and demographics. The Vikings halted exploration of North America.
  • 1492 – The Columbian Exchange – with the arrival of the Spanish in the Caribbean, diseases such as smallpox, measles and bubonic plague were passed to native populations by Europeans throughout north and south American continents. It is estimated that 56 million Native Americans in the 16th and 17th centuries died from diseases.
  • 1665- The Great Plague of London – another bubonic plague led to the deaths of 20% of London’s population.
  • 1817 – First Cholera Pandemic – the first of seven cholera pandemics over the next 150 years originated in Russian where 1 million people died. It was later spread by British soldiers to India were millions more died.
  • 1855 – The Third Plague Pandemic – starting China, the bubonic plague claimed 15 million victims. This plague led to rebellions in China and even India.
  • 1889 – Russian Flu – the first significant flu pandemic started in Siberia and moved west to the rest of Europe over to North America and Africa, killing 360,000.
  • 1928 – Spanish Flu – an avian-born flu originated in China and spread around the world resulting in 50 million deaths. Called the Spanish Flu due to wire service reports coming out of Madrid.
  • 1957 – Asian Flu – starting in Hong Kong and spreading throughout China and then the US and England. Over 1.1 million deaths globally; 116,000 in the US.
  • 1981 – HIV/AIDS – identified in 1981 in American gay communities, originated from a chimpanzee virus in West Africa in the 1920s; spread to Haiti in the 1960s, then to New York and San Francisco in the 1970s.
  • 2003 – SARS – started in China possibly with bats, spread to 26 countries, infecting 8,000 people with 774 deaths.. Quarantine efforts were first implemented by global health professionals to keep this and other diseases like H1N1, Ebola and Zika under control.2

This is a fairly sobering list. Yes, pain and suffering has always been a part of human existence in a sinful and cursed world. Why would we think otherwise in assessing this very real experience with the coronavirus today?

But God has given us His answers in the Bible. Out of God’s pure love, mankind has been given free will to choose and follow God or not. Even His chosen people, the Jews, who were merely handpicked to produce His Son, Jesus, as the Redeemer of the world who would remove the curse once and for all, were a hard-headed and defiantly disobedient people.

Yet God loved them greatly. And He loves us greatly too. We, all Gentiles throughout the world who too can claim Christ as our Redeemer and be assured a place in eternity, according to the promises of His Word. And while we will not be free from sin, disease, and death in this life, we can live with the peace and love of God which transcends anything this world offers, even in the midst of pain and tragedy.

Until one day the Lord will come again, in one fell swoop and final judgment.

Can you answer the question “Why God?”
_________________________
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and He will do it. – 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

1 Rapture Miscalculations, by Michael Griego, BiblicalViewpoint.com, March 23, 2013
More Rapture Miscalculations, by Michael Griego, BiblicalViewpoint.com, August 17, 2013
‘Last Days’ Understanding, by Michael Griego, BiblicalViewpoint.com, August 24, 2013
Jesus and the Book of Revelation, by Michael Griego, BiblicalViewpoint.com, May 1, 2015
The Fallacies of Blood Moons, Harbingers, and the Shemitah, by Michael Griego, Biblicalviewpoint.com, September 18, 2015
Armageddon: What’s the Truth?, by Michael Griego, BiblicalViewpoint.com, June 10, 2016

2 Pandemics That Changed History, https://www.history.com/topics/middle-ages/pandemics-timeline, March 20, 2020.



Categories: Abundant Living, Discipleship, End Times, Evidence, Evil, Faith

Tags: , ,

7 replies

  1. Is your belief based on revelation from the Holy Spirit, or just human wisdom? The Lord also says his thoughts are higher than our thoughts, and he retains wisdom that is higher than any human teacher.

    How the Lord views this pandemic may be very different than how we view it. His plans in the midst of this may be very different than our plans in the midst of this.

    We really need to spend this time seeking His will going forward. There are literally billions of unsaved people around the world who are nervous and feeling vulnerable. There needs to be a discussion about doing more than just a general prayer for life to go back to normal.

    How are we as a church responding to the physical, economic, and spiritual needs of people in this time? People in our congregations need financial support, etc. It seems we are too focused on keeping everyone calm, at a time when we as a church could be doing more collectively to be relevant in this time.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Harry, I make no claim of a special revelation here relative to this virus, only my belief that this is not necessarily an “end time scenario” and that God is God and always does as He wills. (A reading of the links at the end of the post will help one understand my point of view on end times.) Relative to God’s sovereignty, I’m trying to make the point that God can do and allow anything and we are mere men who should succumb to Him in worship.

    Indeed, His ways and thoughts are beyond ours, but we can have wisdom and perspective through His Holy Spirit and the study of His revealed Word. We do know through the study of history and the Bible that viruses come and go with devastating impact. These must be seen in light of a Holy God who can and does bring judgment against disobedience and allows strife and destruction to happen.

    As with Israel in the Old Testament, and now the Church of Christ-followers around the world, the right response has always been to reset our devotion to God and be a light to a dark, hurting, lost and unsaved world. You are correct – now more than ever. True followers of Christ see it as their duty to aid and support those in need around us all the time, and now especially in this urgent time of suffering.

    Like

  3. When Jesus came, he healed the sick and cast out demons. By doing these things, he pushed back the kingdom of darkness and advanced the Kingdom of God. May God continue to bring healing through the advance of Gospel of the Kingdom with power as well as words. I think the coronavirus is a consequence of Satan’s kingdom, which God allows for purposes we only vaguely grasp, if at all. Thank God that it is being limited in scope, even though the control measures are extremely painful. May he guide those who are making decisions.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Spot on. The spiritual realm we only vaguely understand. But as we know from the Book of Job, Satan has limits of power and authority here, and always moves or is allowed to move under the authority of a higher power, the God of all Creation, the God of Abraham, Jacob, and Moses. I too agree that God allows viruses, as shown through human history, and they are either from dark realms or, as in the case of the 10 plagues of Moses, wholly created by God for the very specific purpose of shaming pagan gods (Egyptians), demonstrating His might, and leading His selected set-aside people to worship Him, the One True God.

      Like

  4. Also, Jesus went about healing all manner of sickness and disease, including leprosy, etc. We need to represent Christ in this time with not just faith, but works.

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    • Yes. the Christian Church should absolutely reflect the availability and full power of the Holy Spirit as comforter, friend, and guide. At all times, not just in times of need. Spirit-led faith overflows with works of great might and love.

      As God was with Moses and the Hebrews dwelling in the desert tabernacle, now post-Pentecost (when the Holy Spirit was given to Christ-followers), He/God/Jesus/Holy Spirit is available to all who would believe and indwells spiritually in our hearts. Therefore, Christians today can and should engage a broken world with full confidence and power as Jesus taught His disciples.

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  5. Here are a couple of Bible Scholar/theologians to read that speak specifically about Christ and this Corona virus trial.

    John Piper – American theologian and autho
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Piper_(theologian)

    Corona Virus and Christ, by John Piper
    https://www.desiringgod.org/books/coronavirus-and-christ

    click on the “Download” button located on the bottom left corner of the page below the red book image.
    PDF book version:
    https://document.desiringgod.org/coronavirus-and-christ-en.pdf?ts=1586278809
    Note: There is also a free MP3 Audio book version currently available for download as well.

    &
    John Lennox https://www.johnlennox.org/ is a Professor of Mathematics at Oxford University, is an internationally renowned speaker on the interface of science, philosophy and religion.

    Where is God in a Coronavirus World? | John Lennox, Michael Ramsden | #RZIMLIVE | RZIM

    Reference: RZIM Ministries https://www.rzim.org/ with Ravi Zacharias.
    —-

    Even if we don’t have all the answers as to what’s going on in this strange time,
    I can challenge myself by asking….
    *How can I grow and honor our Lord and make the most of this trial we are going through?
    & pray and keeping asking…..
    *Lord what are you teaching me personally through this trial?

    Like

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