It would be a grave mistake to view COVID-19 as simply the latest example of the forces of nature at work. It would be equally erroneous to view this illness only from a political standpoint, whether of conspiratorial thoughts that the virus is manmade or partisan thoughts about how governments have handled the response. And as we survive, it would also be wrong to dwell on the economic havoc that is being created by this disease, its consequences, and the governmental responses to it.
Consider Noah. He lived in a world teeming with business, industry, agriculture, and the arts. Civilizations and great cities had sprung up everywhere. Commerce flourished. But it all quickly ended. “For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away” (Matt. 24:38, 39a). Though they had never seen rain before, water falling out of the sky seemed to the world to be a natural, if not normal, phenomenon. For the first few hours, they were fascinated by the novelty of water dropping out of heaven. As it continued, it became an annoyance, hampering their normal activities. But then as the rain continued to fall and the water began to rise, as their houses were submerged, as they were forced to flee to ever higher ground, as more and more partially submerged corpses of animals and humans began floating by, fear turned into terror. The floods became torrents of water as the fountains of the deep were opened up and the earth vomited out water to join the water gushing from the skies. It became difficult just to breathe. Men jumped on horses, riding them till they dropped as they tried to reach higher ground. All semblance of civilized behavior evaporated, people screaming, cursing, wailing, tearing out fingernails to clamber up rocky walls, stepping on weaker women and children to gain higher ground. All to no avail. For in one day, Noah was shut off from all but seven other souls, losing sight of them, never to see or hear from any of them again.
And the world he emerged to was void and silent except for the rustle of the wind. The landscape Noah had known before the flood had been utterly transformed. No recognizable landmark remained. As far as the eye could see in any direction, there was no human life, no evidence that it had ever existed, no city, no building, not even the rubble from a little cottage. No street, no road, no well-worn path. Sprigs of green vegetation just beginning to grow were the only evidence of life. Noah might well have responded with anger, fear, resentment, and despair. But we know that he didn’t. “So Noah went out [of the ark], and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives with him. Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth’” (Gen. 8:18, 20; 9:1). Though animals were at a premium, Noah offered copious thanks and copious sacrifices to the Lord. He knew, both by faith and experience, what the psalmist would write many centuries later.
The Lord looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men; from His dwelling place He looks out on all the inhabitants of the earth, He who fashions the hearts of them all, He who understands all their works. The king is not saved by a mighty army; a warrior is not delivered by great strength. A horse is a false hope for victory; nor does it deliver anyone by its great strength. Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, on those who hope for His lovingkindness, to deliver their soul from death and to keep them alive in famine. Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. For our heart rejoices in Him, because we trust in His holy name. Psa. 33:13-21
Did you read that Scripture? Those alone are the words of God. This is neither the first (see Gen. 7,) nor the last (see Rev. 6-20), nor the worst worldwide cataclysm. All happened in accord with “the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God” (Acts 2:23b). Believer, you may and you must rest in Christ. Encourage your brethren. Tell the lost that Christ is the Ark.
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