God's Agenda For Coronavirus, Part 1
The world’s news is awash with the corona pandemic, which by all accounts has created a global corona pan-panic. The virus and its effects are real. Being vigilant, safe, and sober minded are vital. Humanly speaking, it looks as though we are doing everything that can be done to halt the virus and mitigate the collateral carnage that a pandemic like this can cause. Indeed, for most people alive today this is the greatest natural threat they have experienced. Truly, unprecedented.
For people of faith there is a greater perspective that must be considered. As we honor and respect the leadership of our governments, where does Almighty God stand in the midst of what is happening? If you read the comments and commentary of believers from world-renowned to relatively unknown there appears to be a multitude of positions foisted upon God that may or may not represent His heart in all of this. Can we really know what God is thinking and what He is doing right now in our current crisis?
I would like to share and submit to you for your consideration my thoughts and convictions regarding God’s position. My hope is that by considering the revealed nature of our Heavenly Father in the scriptures we must take a step back and allow God to speak. In the end, all of us must consider with the Apostle Paul that in our humanness we see through a tinted glass and must allow for God to adjust our vision. (I Cor 13:12)
To get the proper perspective we must plant ourselves on an unalterable, unshakable foundation, one that will serve as a reference point for all other views to be considered. If we read through the Bible we can pick and choose numerous depictions of God acting in ways that would make believing in a loving, saving God very hard to grasp. The Old Testament, especially, is filled with death, destruction, violence and wrath. Is God the author and agent of all of this? If He is, then a plague like the one that the world is currently facing and all the disasters and wars of history could be seen as being sent by and directed by God as a form of punishment by releasing His anger and judgment against evil and wicked people.
On the other end of the spectrum, there are those who see God as being totally disinterested and un-involved in the affairs of humanity. In this view, God sits idly by and just lets the humans He created duke it out and whatever happens, happens. Is there any way to get the right perspective?
Yes! If we are to have faith in and a relationship with God, the first and foremost important truth must be that God is always God and there are no faults in His nature. God must always be the same in His nature or He would be un-trustable (Numbers 23:19, Heb. 13:8). So what is the real nature of God? Without a foundational starting point definition, the Bible depicts God’s nature in so many ways: loving, harsh, patient, angry, vengeful, forgiving... Who is He really?
Consider this scripture:
In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. [Heb 1:1-3 NIV emphasis added]
I submit to you that any understanding of Who God is must be poured through the grid of this revelation. So what is this really saying? Here is my paraphrase: Before Jesus came to Earth, human understanding of God was only partial and incomplete. What we have recorded up to Jesus was only a small glimpse into the true nature of God. God in His graciousness has allowed an incomplete and sometimes inaccurate portrait of Himself to be part of His book. Much the way a parent of a 3-year old would allow this child to draw a picture of the parent that in all intents and purposes looks nothing like the parent, so our Heavenly Father has allowed His children to depict Him in ways that do not paint the full, accurate picture. (1 Cor 13:11)
Why would He allow this? Why would God allow horrible things to be done and said in His name? I believe that He has allowed all of this for the sake of keeping a relationship with us until He could reveal Himself in a way that would express His full glory and true nature, and at the same time, remove the problem of sin that blinded us from seeing Him for Who He is, and separated us from the unfathomable love He has wanted to lavish on us! (1 John 3:1).
In the above verse from Hebrews 1, Jesus is said to be the EXACT representation of God’s nature. In essence, Jesus is God’s nature, because He is God! If we want to know God, we must know Jesus. If we want to know how God thinks and acts, we need to look at Jesus. If we want to know God’s heart and all of His intentions for humanity, we must look at Jesus. Jesus told His disciples that to see God they must only look at Him. Jesus is the perfect theological understanding and explanation of God!
If this be so, and I believe it is, then every true attribute and attitude of God can and must be found only in Jesus.
So what about all the ugly, violent, wrathful depictions of God in the Bible? Doesn’t God send wrath and judgment on evil people and an evil world? Complicated question, easy answer: If I don’t see it in Jesus, I can’t attribute it to God. So what about all the “stuff.” In all humility we must say to all of this, “there must be something else going on in those depictions that I don’t fully see or understand.” Jesus is the truth and Jesus reveals the Father. Remember, Jesus is the EXACT representation of His nature.
Consider the following scriptures:
"But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you... But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.” [Luk 6:27-28, 35 NIV]
If Jesus is commanding us to do these things, imagine how much more God is doing these things. God, our Father is KIND to even those who hate Him! The Apostle Paul taught us that it is the kindness of God that brings us to repentance.
So back to the original thought in this blog, where is God in this present crisis? Is this part of His judgment on evil, wicked people? Is God pouring out His wrath? Do we as believers need to implore God to pour out His mercy? I will give you my thoughts in the next blog…
Stay tuned and tune in...
by Pastor Jim Anan