Eye of Prophecy is back with the second and final post on the subject that has dramatically dominated headlines and adversely affected people’s lives all over the world.
So radically that it has been compared to the upheaval experienced during the last global event … World War II.
The previous article concentrated on the characteristics and consequences of the first pandemic since the Spanish Flu struck in 1918. With COVID-19 on an even greater global scale in terms of the lightening-quick spread of this highly contagious and insidiously infectious disease. One that can (and has in great numbers) be transmitted even by those who have no symptoms whatsoever.
As said in the prior post: it is a plague not playing by the rules; it’s a game-changer and a game-stopper (no sports for the foreseeable future). So much so that many pandemic pundits are predicting that there will be a “new normal” in people’s lives the world over.
Will I ever get to hug my five grandchildren again?
Two weeks ago (May 9, 2020) when Part I of this two-part series was posted, the numbers were: 3.9 million people from 212 countries diagnosed with the coronavirus strain that causes COVID-19. With a global body count of 274,655.
In the United States the count was 1.3 million infections, higher than any nation, including China and India the most populated countries on earth. At 4.24% of the world’s population, the U.S. coronavirus related fatalities of 78,200 (two weeks ago) represented 29% of world-wide deaths from this dreadful disease.
At time of today’s post, the numbers are: 5.3 million cases worldwide … a 36% increase in just two weeks. Global deaths have risen to 338,480 … a 23% increase.
(Shows current cases in the United States, compared to other countries. Latest death count in the U.S. is 95,971)
This week’s article will shift gears just a bit and delve more deeply into if and how COVID-19 fits with Biblical calamities. Whether it is a direct judgment from God or perhaps just a warning … albeit one that could reach Biblical proportions.
But first, an excerpt from the latter part of the previous post (in italics):
In preparation for the Part II sequel to this week’s post, I will propose a premise as to where the COVID-19 pandemic falls within the framework of God’s sovereignty over all things. To, in that next article, provide Scriptural case studies to support this premise, including examples of when God causes a disaster, or when he just allows it, or when he does neither. To conceivably find some answers to the questions posed earlier.
…The Bible provides compelling evidence to demonstrate that there is a difference between ordinary natural disasters and those that are extraordinary … supernatural.
Premise: The Lord did not cause (initiate) this virus, but he permitted it to spread … as opposed to divinely intervening to stop it sooner. The purpose of which is to prepare … the world for the soon-to-come Great Tribulation in which the Wrath of God will be poured out on a global scale for the second and final time in human history. That and man-made carnage which will result in death and devastation, including economic, that far (beyond measurement) exceeds the impact of COVID-19.
Thus, without forecasting the severity of the numbers, this pandemic will subside with infections and fatalities less than most models predict.
Disclaimer: The last part of the premise is by no means a prediction. I am not a prophet. Rather, it is an opinion; albeit it one that relies heavily, if not exclusively, on the principles and parallels of Scripture concerning natural disasters and diseases (plagues).
Two of the questions posed in the prior article, each one somewhat rhetorical, were:
Did God merely allow this pandemic, or did he send it? Meaning, is it simply a warning or is it a judgment? Is there even a difference between the two, considering God’s ultimate sovereignty?
Is this global epidemic, in fact, a wake-up call from God to get our attention? A preview of and preparation for coming attractions? In which His sovereignty will be on universal display….
Natural or Supernatural?
Concerning the “extraordinary” (supernatural) disasters, including plagues and famines, we will examine the Lord’s occasional divine intervention in the lives of his people to accomplish his plans and purposes for them. That God uses extraordinary events to either deliver his people or discipline them. We will look at a few Biblical examples that fit this “supernatural” criteria.
As opposed to ordinary (natural) disasters—both geological and biological—that are (as stated in the previous post), a direct result of the loss of the earth’s original perfection found in and represented by the Garden of Eden?
(The perfect Garden of Eden, part of an unblemished earth. Now, an earth that is imperfect and flawed)
Continuing with that excerpt (in italics):
With the Biblically based premise that supernatural entails God’s sovereignty which may use something natural but with divine design and direction, i.e. providential purpose.
In contrast to a natural (event) absent divine control or intervention. Meaning that God is not in it, as such.
Consequently, when some (I would propose most) disasters strike us, they are not caused by the Lord … because he has already permitted nature to periodically alter its normal activity, hence natural disasters. Which, then, are a direct result of the monumental geological and geophysical changes the earth has undergone since the Great Flood of Noah’s time, i.e. earthquakes, tsunamis, famines, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes.
This also includes, both before and after Noah’s flood, the progressive and devastating biological consequences of our original parent’s original sin … diseases that affect animals and people alike.
Thus, some disasters are an ordinary feature of life, just as death is a natural part of life. Others are supernaturally initiated by God or allowed to intensify.
Said God to King Solomon and all Israel: “At times I might shut up the heavens so that no rain falls, or command grasshoppers to devour your crops, or send plagues among you. Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore (heal) their land” (II Chronicles 7:13-14, emphasis added).
The meaning and repercussions of the first four words of this passage are crystal clear. There are times when the Lord causes (sends) droughts, crop failures, and diseases. And there are times when he does not, but they happen anyway. Moreover, these examples are just three of several types of disasters, including geological disturbances, e.g. earthquakes.
Based on that verse alone (there are others like it) plus Biblical precedents and principles of God’s sovereignty and supernatural direction in some ways we can understand and other ways we simply cannot grasp, there are four basic explanations (dynamics) for geological and biological calamities. If you like, feel free to come up with more, less, or different ones than these. With, however, an understanding that supernatural or extraordinary entails that which is above and beyond; at the very least exceeding the natural/normal in scope and severity.
A. God’s Supernatural Intervention to Deliver/Protect Israel & the Jews From Their Enemies
B. God’s Supernatural Intervention to Discipline His Chosen People, Individually and Nationally, Thereby Rescuing Them from Themselves & Fulfilling Their Destiny
C. God’s Hands-Off Allowance of Nature to Continue Its Progressive Deterioration, via “Natural” Geological and Biological Calamities
D. God’s Warning to Believers and Unbelievers of Catastrophic Judgments, Through Bible Prophets, His Written Word, and/or Allowing Otherwise Natural Adversities to Intensify
We will look at examples in each of these categories along with some pertinent commentary; to see if COVID-19, indeed, fits into Category D, as suggested by the previously stated premise, partially repeated as follows:
The Lord did not cause (initiate) this virus, but he permitted it to spread … as opposed to divinely intervening to stop it sooner. The purpose of which is to prepare (warning, not a judgment) the world for the soon-to-come Great Tribulation….
(A) God’s Supernatural Intervention to Deliver/Protect Israel & the Jews From Their Enemies
Although most of Israel’s ancient victories required that the Jews fight in battle, Scripture is clear that when the Lord was on their side, they were invincible.
This dynamic was again on display after Israel’s rebirth as a nation in 1948, via their astonishing triumphs against all odds in that War of Independence; the Suez War of 1956; the Six-Day War of 1967; and the Yom Kippur War of 1973. There are several accounts of supernatural events that enabled the Jews to win strategic battles of those wars. Indeed, God was on their side. Which should not be at all surprising because there are hundreds of prophecies regarding the Jews return to Israel, Israel’s rebirth as a nation, and God’s renewed protection of Israel during the last days of the end times in preparation for her national restoration and redemption.
Two of the following three examples in this category are those of God’s deliverance of his people without the Jews needing to lift a finger. Which also will be the case shortly after the Rapture (during the early months of the Great Tribulation) when God will unilaterally and supernaturally vanquish the Gog/Magog coalition—spearheaded by Russia, Iran, and Turkey—when they invade Israel.
(1) Defeat of an Entire Army: This incredible incident occurred in 701 B.C. during the reign of Israel’s King Hezekiah. It is found in II Kings 18 & 19; II Chronicles 32; and Isaiah Chapters 36 & 37.
The mighty nation of Assyria had already conquered the ten northern tribes of Israel (722 B.C.) and had now invaded the southern kingdom of Judah. King Sennacherib led the Assyrian army which had defeated several cities in Judah and were on the verge of attacking Jerusalem with a vastly superior military. Sennacherib was so confident of victory that he sent his chief of staff to goad (humiliate) the Jews into surrender. Not only the Jews, the Assyrian king also taunted the true and living God. Big mistake!
King Hezekiah pleaded for help through God’s prophet Isaiah and directly to God by prayer. In response, the Lord told Isaiah that the Assyrian armies would not even enter Jerusalem, let alone destroy it. Do you remember what happened next?
“That night the angel of the Lord went out to the Assyrian camp and killed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers. When the surviving Assyrians woke up the next morning, they found corpses everywhere. Then King Sennacherib of Assyria broke camp and returned to his own land. He went home to his capital of Nineveh and stayed there” (Isaiah 37:36-37).
In the II Chronicles account, we read: “And the Lord sent an angel (just one angel is all it took) who destroyed the Assyrian army with all its commanders and officers… This was how the Lord rescued Hezekiah and the people of Jerusalem from King Sennacherib of Assyria and from all the others who threatened them. So there was peace throughout the land.” (II Chronicles 32:21-22, parenthesis mine).
It is highly unlikely that the angel killed so many soldiers with a sword. That would have awakened many of their comrades plus taking much more time than just overnight. Instead, the implication is that the angel slew so many in their sleep by a deadly plague that began and ended all in one night. The survivors were not even aware of what happened until they awoke!
(2) Demolition of an Entire City: Even many unbelievers know the Biblical account of Joshua and the walls of Jericho; the mighty walls of Jericho came crashing down, allowing the Jews to easily defeat their enemies. The only thing required of the Israelites was for the fighting men and seven priests to obey the Lord by marching around the city for seven days with the Ark of the Covenant, while blowing shofars (seven times on the seventh day). To then trust the Lord to give them victory.
Although there was no plague involved in this supernatural event, the miraculous collapse of the entire perimeter wall surrounding Jericho was akin to what happens during an earthquake. But in this case with divine direction and supernatural intervention at precisely the time called for by the Lord.
“When the people heard the sound of the rams’ horns, they shouted as loud as they could. Suddenly, the walls of Jericho collapsed, and the Israelites charged straight into the town and captured it. They completely destroyed everything in it with their swords….” (Joshua 6:20-21).
Although it was necessary for the Jews to finish the fight, it is obvious that the defenders of Jericho were already stunned and demoralized at the sight of their impenetrable walls tumbling down.
(3) Destruction of an Entire Nation: Recorded in Exodus Chapters 5-12. Who has not heard (at least something) about one of the greatest (series of) events of all time: God’s deliverance of his people from hundreds of years of Egyptian bondage? Commonly referred to as The Exodus.
Which was accomplished through the Ten Plagues against Egypt that decimated the land—crops, livestock, and people. Beginning with God (through Moses and Aaron) turning the Nile River to blood. With the grand finale that of the first-born son of every Egyptian family, including the arrogant and defiant Pharaoh, mysteriously killed by an angel of death.
Some have tried to explain away the divine (supernatural) origin of the first nine plagues by pointing out the “natural” disaster potentially inherent in each one; although the entire Nile river becoming blood instantly is considerably beyond natural or normal causes or explanations.
“So Moses and Aaron did just as the Lord commanded them. As Pharaoh and all of his officials watched, Aaron raised his staff and struck the water of the Nile. Suddenly, the whole river turned to blood! The fish in the river died, and the water became so foul that the Egyptians couldn’t drink it. There was blood everywhere through the land of Egypt” (Exodus 7:20-21, italics for emphasis that it was real blood and it happened instantly).
Same thing with the fifth plague in which the domestic animals in Egypt (horses, donkeys, camels, cattle, sheep, and goats) were killed by a deadly plague, that didn’t touch the livestock of the Israelites. There was no natural explanation for this. It was clearly a God-thing. Likewise, with the 6th plague of festering boils that struck only the Egyptians while sparing the Hebrews.
Even God’s use of frogs, gnats, flies, hail, and locusts was immensely greater (in terms of scope and severity) than any normal disaster of that kind and quantity before or since these plagues against Egypt. Plus, the fact that they started and stopped at Moses’s command—as he was given the power and authority by God to do so!
It’s obvious that each of these divinely orchestrated events were supernatural in origin. They were God’s judgments against Gentile nations to either deliver his chosen people or to protect them after they entered the Promised Land as the nation of Israel. There are other Biblical and post-Biblical incidents in history to demonstrate that from time to time disasters (geological or biological or through warfare) are judgments from God against Gentile nations whose national defiance of God included persecution of the Jews.
There are also incidents since Israel’s rebirth as a nation in 1948 of natural disasters (such as hurricanes) striking countries, including the United States, at about the same time that unfavorable decisions/actions were handed down against Israel.
Make no mistake: God is once again actively protecting Israel in preparation for the final restoration of the Promised Land and final redemption of God’s chosen people the Jews.
“And so all Israel will be saved…” (Romans 11:26)
Thus, COVID-19 should not be considered as a plague “sent” (initiated) by the Lord as judgment. As it has also affected Israelis, albeit with a much lower (proportion to population) infection and death rate than most nations on earth. On the other hand, it has disproportionally killed Jews in New York City, particularly the Orthodox among them. Consequently, there seems to be some divine protection going on in/with Israel as a nation.
(B) God’s Supernatural Intervention to Discipline His Chosen People, Individually and Nationally, Thereby Rescuing Them from Themselves & Fulfilling Their Destiny
The greatest and longest-lasting periods of discipline in Israel’s mostly painful history was a result of the Lord withdrawing his protection of his people; thereby, allowing Gentile nations to conquer Israel and even to exile them from the Promised Land. Before, between, and after those periods, God “sent” geological and biological scourges against Israel that were less serious than eviction from the Promised Land; nonetheless severe. This was particularly true during the times of the Judges. Although those events could be considered judgment, the more accurate concept clarified by the Bible is that of God’s discipline of Israel, as a Father disciplines his children … out of love and concern for their ultimate welfare and destiny. Indeed, God called Israel both son and daughter at various times.
Although God’s discipline of Israel (Jews) was harsh at times, it was still different than the heavy, sometimes total, punishment of Gentile nations for their mistreatment of His people—even the ones that God used to punish Israel, i.e. Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Roman Empire. No matter the degree of the Lord’s discipline of Israel, he has always preserved a remnant—by and large those faithful to him. For the providential purpose of God’s Son, Messiah Jesus one day ruling and reigning from Jerusalem, Israel as the physical and spiritual center of Planet Earth.
Here is one of many verses that splendidly portrays the Millennial Reign of Messiah.
“Arise, Jerusalem! Let your light shine for all to see. For the glory of the Lord rises to shine on you. Darkness as black as night covers all the nations of the earth, but the glory of the Lord rises and appears over you. All nations will come to your light; mighty kings will come to see your radiance” (Isaiah 60:1-3)
In the context of COVID-19, let’s briefly look at three examples from Scripture regarding God’s discipline of Israel via geological or biological incidents involving an individual, a group, and then all Israel.
Discipline of an Individual: In Numbers Chapter 12, we read the story of Moses’s sister, Miriam whom the Lord struck with leprosy, instantly. Though Miriam was devoted to God and to her brother Moses (God’s servant), she and their brother Aaron made the mistake of unreasonably criticizing Moses for marrying a Gentile woman. With an even more serious mistake of unjustly accusing Moses of monopolizing access to and contact with God.
“They said, ‘Has the Lord spoken only through Moses? Hasn’t he spoken through us, too?’ But the Lord heard them” (Numbers 12:2).
After Aaron confessed his and Miriam’s sin (essentially that of pride and jealousy, plus questioning God’s choice to speak directly to and through Moses), he and Moses pleaded with the Lord to heal Miriam. Which God did, but only after Miriam was banished from camp for seven days. During that time, the entire nation of Israel waited for her to recover before they continued their journey.
Discipline of a Group: Also found in the book of Numbers during Israel’s 40-year trek to the Promised Land. As with Miriam and Aaron, there was envy in the camp that God led them only through Moses. But this resentment was about to become a revolt against Moses that even included contempt for God in not allowing some of them more power and authority.
“One day Korah … conspired with Dathan and Abiram… They incited a rebellion against Moses, along with 250 other leaders of the community, all prominent members of the assembly. They united against Moses and Aaron…” (Numbers 16:1-3a).
Hugh mistake! One of many grumblings and mumblings against Moses and even against the Lord, made by some of the people all the time and by all the people some of the time.
Immediately after Moses predicted what would happen if the Lord did not support him as the chief chosen leader, exactly what Moses said would transpire did:
“He had hardly finished speaking the words when the ground suddenly split open beneath them. The earth opened its mouth and swallowed the men (Korah, Dathan and their families), along with their households and all their followers who were standing with them, and everything they owned… The earth closed over them, and they all vanished from among the people of Israel… Then fire blazed forth from the Lord and burned up the 250 men who were offering incense” (Numbers 16:31-35, parenthesis mine).
Discipline of Israel as a Nation: Even mighty King David (a man after God’s own heart) of Israel’s glory years sinned against the Lord and not just with Bathsheba. Late in his life David ordered a totally unnecessary census to be taken of Israel’s population. His motive was a combination of pride in his accomplishments and an implied lack of trust in the Lord to defend Israel. David wanted to know how many “capable warriors in Israel who could handle a sword” (II Samuel 24:9) there were.
The passage tells us that God was already angry with Israel. When David realized that what he had done was a sin (that of pride) against the Lord, he immediately confessed it. But there was still discipline that must be administered. Through the prophet Gad, the Lord even gave King David a choice of three punishments: “…Will you choose three years of famine throughout your land, three months of fleeing from your enemies, or three days of severe plague throughout your land? Think this over and decide what answer I should give the Lord who sent me.” (II Samuel 24:13).
David chose the plague with a good motive, “…But let us fall into the hands of the Lord, for his mercy is great. Do not let me fall into human hands” (II Samuel 24:14).
On the other hand, when 70,000 people in Israel died in less than 3 days, David realized that his choice wasn’t the least severe after all. He pleaded with God to end the massive death count. Which God, in his mercy, did.
Commentary: Scripture shows us that anytime God chastised Israel either partially or totally, it served two primary purposes. One is an object lesson from which others can learn. Second is to restore and return Israel to the Lord their God. To also note that when God disciplined Israel, the punishment did not include surrounding Gentile nations. Thus, once again, the COVID-19 pandemic is not God’s punishment (discipline) of Israel, as both Jew and Gentile have been affected world-wide.
(C) God’s Hands-Off Allowance of Nature to Continue Its Gradual Deterioration, via “Natural” Geological and Biological Calamities
Many argue (particularly unbelievers but also some Christians) that all geological and biological calamities—famines, epidemics, earthquakes, tsunamis, and the like—are “natural disasters”, because they are simply part of nature. That they are not divinely directed or providentially planned as such. And I would agree that most calamities are, indeed, part of nature’s gradual decline to the extent that we are experiencing more catastrophes on a regular basis greater in severity than ever before. Particularly in the last 100 years or so.
The Bible clearly supports this option as one of the four dynamics or paradigms … meaning that God is “not in” every natural calamity. Neither, however, does that state or even suggest that God does not “send” plagues and such things on select occasions, as we saw in the first two models.
In this Section C, we’re going to look at three back to back “natural disasters” that the Lord created, but for the unusual reason to show Elijah that he didn’t cause them to get Elijah’s attention. Moreover, had there not been this object lesson, the three events would have been exclusively “natural.”
Instead, the Lord captured Elijah’s attention with a “gentle whisper.” Meaning that some (probably most) calamities happen normally and naturally as part of creation’s abnormalities because of mankind’s fall. That God does not cause/create them either as a judgment or a warning. But as we will see in Section D, God does specifically allow certain disasters to increase in scope and severity, which is what’s happening with COVID-19.
Do you remember the entire episode? Elijah had just won a great victory over King Ahab and Queen Jezebel’s false prophets on Mount Carmel in northwest Israel. Soon afterward, God sent rain after 3 ½ years of drought/famine in Israel—a direct discipline of Israel because virtually the entire population had left the Lord to worship Baal. Then Jezebel put out an all-points bulletin for Elijah to be captured and killed for what he did to her (bogus) prophets.
Elijah ran for his life, all the way to Beersheba in southcentral Israel. Then later walked to Mount Sinai, about 200 miles away. There God met with him.
“Go out and stand before me on the mountain, the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper… And a voice said, ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’” (I Kings 19:11-13).
(Depiction of Elijah on Mt. Sinai)
Commentary: God is clearly showing Elijah that he doesn’t always (in fact, seldom) cause natural disasters. That is even more true after the Canon of the Bible was completed with the last book of the New Testament … Revelation. Since then, God “speaks” primarily through his Word, the Bible. There’s not nearly as much need for the Lord to get our attention (warning) via nature as he did more often in Biblical times, when much of even the Old Testament wasn’t yet available to the people. The exception being the Torah (first five books) which, unfortunately, Israel time and time again violated and/or ignored. And when they did, they suffered the discipline that God specifically detailed through Moses.
Thus, as God told King Solomon (who knew all about the plague in Israel after his father’s ill-advised census), “At times, I might shut up the heavens so that no rain falls, or command grasshoppers to devour your crops, or send plagues among you” (II Chronicles 7:13).
Elijah knew all about God’s power to shut up the skies, “so that no rain falls.” He himself prayed to God for that to happen, and God answered his prayer.
On the other hand, God is showing/telling Elijah that sometimes he does supernaturally cause or expand otherwise “natural” events to get his point across. That even though the Lord caused the (rapid) succession of a mighty storm, earthquake, and fire, he was not in them. That it was up to Elijah to wait for and then listen to God. Who simply asked Elijah, “What are you doing here?”
With the obvious implication that the Lord still had work for Elijah to do. That Elijah needed to get back to total trust in and service for God. Which is exactly what happened.
(D) God’s Warning to Both Believers and Unbelievers of Catastrophic Judgment to Come, Through Bible Prophets, His Written Word, and/or Allowing Otherwise Natural Adversities to Intensify
For the following reasons (there are others), I am convinced that the COVID-19 is a plague of warning—to prepare for judgment, not judgment itself.
(1) Still Waiting For the Rapture: At the time of this article’s posting, the Rapture has not yet occurred. Which means that the COVID-19 pandemic is not one of the Seal, Trumpet, or Bowl calamities (to come). During the Great Tribulation, there will be one judgment of God after another. Other than Noah’s flood, most of them will be more devastating than any single disaster experienced by mankind prior to the outset of the Great Tribulation. The exception could be the bubonic plague of the 14th century.
However, the cumulative effect of the Seal, Trumpet, and Bowl Judgments graphically depicted in the book of Revelation will dwarf all pre-Tribulation natural disasters and plagues. That includes the Covid-19 Pandemic. The very fact that the Rapture has not occurred means that this global virus—as devastating as it has and (for a while) will continue to be—will fall far short of the death and destruction during the Great Tribulation.
(2) Comparisons/Contrasts: The ten plagues of Egypt were plainly supernatural (from the Lord), directed specifically against Pharaoh and Egypt to deliver God’s people from bondage. Likewise, with God’s discipline of Israel after King David’s wrongly ordered census. Whereas the coronavirus is natural in origin, affecting those over 65 and/or those with pre-exiting medical conditions far more than other segments of the world’s population. Also, those with type A blood are more susceptible than type O blood. That’s all physical … natural. If it were divinely designed to punish everyone, everywhere, then far more young people would succumb to the disease. Thus, the Lord is allowing this coronavirus to serve as a warning, not a judgment.
(3) Precedents/Parallels in Scripture Still Applicable in Today’s World: There are highway digital signs (messages) all over my home state of Arizona, as I’m sure there are where you live. With words like, Help Stop Covid-19. Stay Home, Stay Healthy.
One unique feature of the COVID-19 pandemic is more than just coincidence. I am referring to the chief means of protection against this amazingly contagious disease. That of seeking shelter within one’s own home. It is a parallel to two major Biblical precedents in which there was a place of refuge for those who sought safety from the coming judgment.
The first example was the first time God judged the entire world … the Great Flood. It took Noah over 100 years to build an Ark that would provide refuge for Noah and his family and pairs of many animals. During this time of preparation, the entire world of Noah’s time had the opportunity to abandon the evil and violence that had clearly permeated the earth. They did not and God protected Noah and his family by sheltering them in the Ark.
The second major incident was the 10th (final) most devastating of God’s judgments against the Egyptians, which most know was the death of all firstborn males—both people and animals. With God’s provision to spare the Israelites from this same angel of death that of spreading the blood of a (Passover) lamb over the doorposts of each house. Plus, staying in one’s house throughout the night until this final plague had run its course.
(Passover … Pesach in Hebrew)
In the comparative context of these examples that involve warnings to both believers and unbelievers (to get ready), COVID-19 is a tune-up; a preview of coming attractions that will be anything but attractive.
(4) Condition of the World Just Prior to the Rapture: Another reason why COVID-19 is a warning and not a judgment from God comes directly from Jesus’s description of the dynamic activities of people all over the earth just before the Rapture occurs. Although there will continue to be an increase in natural disasters (geological) and plagues (biological), the general overall situation or status will be:
“…like was in Noah’s day. In those days before the flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat. People didn’t realize what was going to happen until the flood came and swept them all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes” (Matthew 24:37-39).
As we speak, the gloom and doom of COVID-19 is still overshadowing Planet Earth—despite governments of all levels lifting restrictions in varying degrees. However, this fear and uncertainty that goes with a (any) pandemic, will not be what people are experiencing just before Jesus takes believers home to heaven to spare them from the Great Tribulation. It will be a time of “partying” the world over. Which, in turn, suggests that this corona epidemic will diminish even if it makes somewhat of a comeback soon.
Once again, this is NOT a prediction. It is simply a word picture based on Biblical precedents, principles, and parallels. To include specific Biblical prophecies about the shape of the world in these last days of the end times.
Things to Ponder
Sadly, despite many people on earth quarantined or sheltered to some extent or another, few will take the time to sit up and take stock of this pandemic. That maybe, just maybe, it will be God’s final warning, for the main reason that it is truly global in scale. Instead, as the coronavirus subsides in scope and severity, the world will party like never. Oblivious to God’s impending final judgment of a wicked and violent world.
Comparing the condition of the world just before the Rapture to Noah’s flood, when Jesus said that, “people didn’t realize what was going to happen” he didn’t mean that they were innocent or that God was unfair by doing something so catastrophically and suddenly. The people knew full well that God had warned them through Noah. God also warned Pharaoh and Egypt of the plagues, including the death of Egypt’s firstborn sons.
What Jesus was saying is that those left behind at the Rapture (all unbelievers) will fail to realize that what God said would happen will, indeed, happen. When God issues warnings like the coronavirus to get our attention, we best take heed and be reminded that Biblical prophecies ALWAYS come true … 100% of the time.
“So, you, too, must keep watch! For you don’t know what day your Lord is coming” (Matthew 24:42, words of Messiah Jesus).
I and many believers—both Jew and Gentile—are yearning for the magnificent return of Messiah Jesus to establish his Kingdom of righteousness, justice, and peace on this earth. A planet rampant with corruption, evil, and violence; ravaged by disasters, disease, and death.
While we watch, we must also wait upon the Lord, knowing that his plans are perfect. That for his people: “He causes all things to work together for good…” (Romans 8:28).
( Verses 12 & 13 read: “In those days, when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me”)
Many people feel things are out of control. They want direction. They want someone or government to tell them when all this will end and make everything better. They want certainty and reassurance.
There is a GPS that will get us through this pandemic, that will guide us through the uncertainty of a world that is teetering on the edge of the abyss.
That GPS is found in the Bible. God’s Plan of Salvation. Summed up in the most quoted verse in Scripture: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16, NASB).
Since we are spending more time in our homes than out there; and since we are doing a lot more waiting than ever, let’s ponder this:
“For since the world began, no ear has heard and no eye has seen a God like you, who works for those who wait for him!” (Isaiah 64:4).