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“Tonk Talk Is This From God?”

Categories: Christian Principles

 

I have been asked is the coronavirus or Covid-19, a plague from God?

Well, I do know that in Exodus 7–10, we read about the ten plagues God inflicted upon the Egyptians, that were used to free the Israelites from bondage.

Then three times during the Israelites wandering in the wilderness God sent plagues upon them. The first time was when they were eating the quail that God sent to satisfy their longing for meat (Num. 11:33). The second time, a “plague” claimed the lives of spies who discouraged the Israelites from entering the Promised Land (Num. 14:37). The third plague came as God’s punishment upon the Israelites. Aaron stopped this “plague” by offering incense to God (Num. 16:46–47). On one other occasion, Phinehas saved the Israelites from a plague by killing a man who brought a Midianite woman into their midst. Nevertheless, 24,000 people died (Num. 25:8–9).

The Old Testament describes many cases in which God sent “plagues” to discipline His people. One example is found in 2 Samuel, where David built an altar unto the Lord and prayed that the plague would stop; it did after 70,000 men died (2 Sam. 24:15; 25).

We know these plagues were brought on by God as punishment and served His purposes because we have the Bible to explain to us what happened.

            But our world has known other plagues, not recorded in the Bible.  Such as the black plague which emigrated from the Orient in the fourteenth century, spread westward and wiped out one-third to one-half of Europe’s population. Cholera that began in India in 1816 reached Russia and the Near East by 1830. By 1832, it had swept through Europe and England. Irishmen brought it to Canada, and from there it was brought into the United States via Lake Champlain, killing thousands in the most severe plague since the black plague.

Then between July and October 1918 over 50 million died from swine or the Spanish flu.  Now most recently we have experienced the coronavirus, which has killed over 15,000 people worldwide, as of the writing of this article.  

The question is raised again, are these plagues from God?  The Bible tells us at least two things:  First in Matthew 24:5-7, where Jesus tells us that living on this earth there will be a continuous cycle of bad things that will happen, but the end will not be yet.  So, we live in a world where disease, war, and all kinds of calamity will take place.   Jesus will go on to encourage His followers in Mt. 24:13 to endure and those who do will be saved.  Second, in John 9, Jesus’ disciples asked Him when they saw a blind man, whose sin had caused his blindness?  In their thinking, birth deformities, sickness, and suffering were the result of sin or even God’s judgment.  Jesus goes on to state in, John 9:2, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him.”

So what we can understand from these two passages is that we live in a world of continued chaos, where there is going to be things like Covid-19 that wreak havoc on our world and yet we are not to lose heart because God’s work can be displayed during difficult times.  

It just might be God is using this virus as a reminder for spiritual renewal as He used the plagues in the Old Testament, but if not it is still a reminder that in the most trying times God still is in control and as in John 9:2  the works of God might be displayed.  Think about it! By Mark T. Tonkery

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