In these uncertain times when we are facing a world-wide pandemic and the potential for a world-wide depression, I felt an urge from the Holy Spirit to address several relevant questions through a blog series.
These are difficult questions, and you may be surprised how the Bible answers them. Let’s explore the truth together.
***This blog addresses the first question. Check here for answers to the other questions.
Scripture is taken from the King James Version.
1. If God is love, why does he allow things like the COVID-19 virus to spread across the world?
Wow. Before I was saved, this was my main problem with the Christian God. How could an all-powerful, loving God allow horrible things. Why not stop all tsunamis? Why allow war? Why permit viruses to spread world-wide and claim so many lives?
The answer is actually in Genesis. After Adam ate of the forbidden fruit, God gave him a chance to confess (admit) his sin (wrong). Instead of coming clean, Adam blamed his wife, Eve, and Eve blamed the snake. In response, God proclaimed judgments against all three. Relevant to us now is the judgment against Adam. In Genesis 3:17-19 God says:
“And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”
How does this work?
Well, God made Adam the caretaker of the Earth (Genesis 2:15). Adam disobeyed and rejected God. Therefore, God’s good work was stained with Adam’s brokenness. If you never noticed, God created man to live forever. Physical decay only existed AFTER Adam sinned. That’s why we have storms. That’s why our bodies grow old and decay. God did not create these things. Instead, they are faults in the creation generated by our rejection of God.
Now, you might wonder if that’s fair of God. Just because of one man’s sin, should all of us have to deal with thorns, diseases, death, and a broken world?
Unfortunately, it is very fair. God created a beautiful world, and man wrecked it. We are still wrecking it. Have you seen our dump piles? We do far more to harm the world we are designed to protect than God.
If you love someone, do you stomp them under your foot? For example suppose you had a child who was a murderer. Would you personally drag him to the electric chair to pay for his crimes? Wouldn’t you instead try to reach out to him and save him from living an evil life? Rather than destroying him, wouldn’t you try to correct him? And if he refuses and ends up in the electric chair, wouldn’t you weep over him?
Well, God is no different. When people abandon him, he does not squash them. Instead, he allows us to live our lives as we please while he gently calls us to repentance and instructs us in righteousness. He allows evil-doers to grow along the righteous so that both are given opportunity to thrive and repent (Matthew 13:27-30). But we reject his corrections. And so God weeps as we condemn ourselves to hell (Luke 13:34, 2 Peter 3:9).
COVID-19 is not the result of a cruel God who doesn’t care about us. Neither is it a result of purely physical causes. Instead, it is just another sign that we live in a broken world that groans in pain until the day of redemption when both man and the creation will be restored to the glory they had before Adam’s sin (Romans 8:19-22).