A terrible calamity was thrust upon mankind over the past year. Our thoughts ran the gamut. Has there been a cultural shift in human will? How about Christian faith and hope? ◊
You cannot say that before the Coronavirus (Covid) struck the nations that the world was a happier place. There have been and always will be human and economic strife and issues.
Covid simply took us all to a difference place.
And looking back at this 1-year anniversary mark of the Covid pandemic, lockdown, and fallout, I would highlight an observed cultural shift in human will and Christian faith and hope.
Though tragedy abounds around the world and everyone knows someone with a family member that succumbed to a “Covid-related” death, the worst has seemed to pass and the world is moving forward with varying degrees of agreement on the current and future outlook.
It appears that life goes on.
But what about God and His coming judgment or the Bible and the often-cited prophecies of apocalyptic global destruction?
A Human Calamity, Not Biblical Apocalypse
One year ago we were seeing fear and even a low-grade buzz among some Christians and non-Christians alike that this pandemic was perhaps the beginning of the end of the world. And as people are wont to do, they have questions about God.
Here is the opening of a Biblical Viewpoint post I wrote on March 13, 2020 entitled God’s Virus Apocalypse?:
This week I read an international article with a headline as follows: “Coronavirus – Is God Unhappy with Mankind?” Interesting how the topic of God gets raised up during times of a global or national crisis. While God is present in and around times of peace and prosperity as well as times of war and famine, He is also around during times of plagues and a modern pandemic like the Coronavirus.
But is this virus some special curse of God? Not necessarily. Is this the beginning of the end of world? No, I don’t believe so. Is this part of some epic punishment mentioned in Biblical literature as part of the apocalypse? No.
This Coronavirus is a newly identified virus originating from Wuhan, China in late 2019. It is highly contagious, easily transmitted, and has an apparently higher mortality rate, particularly among the aged. Like many other viruses in past and modern times, it will wreak its havoc over a period of a few months and be gone. Regions and nations that contain the spread and manage education and their treatment response will fare better than others. Financial markets will rise and fall and stabilize accordingly until order is perceived to be maintained.
The world will go on.
While we can and should be cautiously optimistic, we should not believe that God cannot and does not bring judgment at any time upon any one or any nation. He’s certainly done it in the past. We would be foolish to underestimate the power of God and His evidently heavy-hand that has been played throughout human history.
Though we need not necessarily see a Biblical apocalypse in this modern virus.1
So What Happened?
As stated, either through accident, human error, or worse, a terrible calamity was thrust upon the world. And God allowed it, if not caused it. Yes, God can stop plagues, wars, tragedies, murder, evil, cancer, and all matters of human sadness and tragedy. In fact, there is anecdotal evidence that sometimes great calamities are “miraculously” averted or stopped.
But as one reads the Word of God, that’s not God’s purpose for mankind and this world, His creation. God has put in place a human restoration program that reconciles God to Man for all eternity. That’s what Jesus was all about in His birth, life, sacrificial death and resurrection. The redemptive work has already been done. Now it’s on sinful and separated Man to respond to this great love-gift.
And Man hasn’t responded well. Cursed and separated since the time of Adam in his original disobedience, sinful Mankind has marched onward with futile attempts to get it right. It’s a lost cause but for the saving grace of Jesus.
The bulk of the Bible’s entire Old Testament is simply the story of the restoration plan played out, from Abraham to Isaac and Jacob, to Joseph and Moses, to David and prophets foretelling of a coming solution.
The Bible’s entire New Testament is the story of that Jesus solution, told as historical narrative in the Gospels and then in helpful explanatory letters from a God-selected teacher, coach, and guide, Saul/Paul of Tarsus.
So, with that backdrop, our modern era is hit with a terrible virus with casualties and human suffering that match wars and even plagues from past eras.
So Now What?
Depending on one’s worldview perspective, one is either angry at God, mankind, or our leaders, or confused by God, our leaders, or our media, or saddened yet at peace in the midst of a lost world that keeps missing the overarching purpose of life:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength…. [and] Love your neighbor as yourself.” – Mark 12:30
While most true Christ-following Christians are in the latter camp, saddened but at peace, I see a subtle shift in all of mankind’s human will – a will that is worldly, self-serving, obedient to authorities, and somewhat beat down.
At the same time, I see an encouraging and renewed Christian hope – an eye-opened view of the short-comings and fallacies of man, and a revitalized perspective of the never-changing love and grace of God, even in the midst of pain and suffering.
No, it’s not on us to ask God, “Why?” It’s on us to renew our faith and devotion to the God of Creation. It’s not about our sliver of time here on earth with struggles of illness, pain and loss. The so-called heroes of the faith (see Hebrews 11) have suffered more than many of us in our one year of Covid.
And just like all things good, evil, and in between, this virus, one year later, is about God and Mankind. God is God, Man is not. God is Holy and Almighty, who creates and destroys, punishes and rewards, allows and obstructs.
And we are mere vessels to respond in worship and grateful submission to a great and merciful God who has plans for us in and beyond this present world that can never be put down.
Do you have a renewed faith in God or Man?
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. – Hebrews 11:1-3
1 God’s Virus Apocalypse? by Michael Griego, Biblical Viewpoint, https://biblicalviewpoint.com/2020/03/13/virus-apocalypse/, March 13, 2020.