Devotion – Is the Coronavirus a Judgment on our Nation?
Bible Text: Luke 13:1-5 | Preacher: Andrew Schaller | Questions…days and times like these are fertile soil for questions.
Many of us are spending more time alone with ourselves and our thoughts. We frequent social media and, well, people ask other questions and make assertions.
How long will we be asked to quarantine?
How long will we be unable to go to work?
How long before we can gather to worship without defying God’s appointed representatives?
We don’t know the answer to these questions…at least not yet, not here in Michigan.
How about another question?
Is the Coronavirus a judgment of God on our Nation?
In the Gospel of Luke, the Lord Jesus had something to say about making personal judgments about certain events and concluding that they were specific judgments of God.
We can be sure that Jesus didn’t pull these examples out of the air, but knowing what His disciples were thinking…he addressed it.
There were present at that season some who told Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 And Jesus answered and said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? 3 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. 4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:1–5, NKJV)
It seems remarkably easy for human beings to leap to conclusions based on little or no information. Just because people open the hole on their faces doesn’t mean that what comes out of it is true!
People make judgments – sometimes so frequently that they become ‘cliché’ – whether they are really true or not. People confidently assert, for example, “Good things happen to good people; Bad things happen to bad people.”
So, is it really true? Do only good things happen to ‘good people’ (whatever ‘good people’ means)?
There were two tragic events that had happened recently when Jesus spoke these words. 1) Pontius Pilate killed certain Galileans and their blood came to be mingled with their sacrifices. 2) A tower in Siloam fell on 18 people, killing them all. Well, that sounds bad.
Sure, it does, death always does. So apparently it was assumed by many of the people of the day that the Galileans killed by Pilate had it coming, were worse than others or even being judged by God. No doubt folks also believed that those individuals crushed by Siloam’s falling tower had done something terrible to earn it.
Again, it’s easy for us to jump to conclusions based on little information.
But notice Jesus’ response to the unspoken questions and conclusions. In fact, let me paraphrase His conclusion:
“Don’t you worry about whether this was a Judgment of God, you worry about your own hearts, about confessing your own sins and seeking God’s Forgiveness.” It isn’t your business to make judgments about events that happened to certain people and making your own judgments about it.
Sure…but is the Coronavirus a judgment of God on our nation?
It’s a persistent question, isn’t it?
Is our nation ripe for judgment? Well, certainly parts of it in the ‘crosshairs of God’s Judgment’ having defied God and approved what He disapproves. People are self-centered, not God centered. It’s always dangerous to defy God’s will as revealed in His Word. God forbids murder, but some approve of the murder of unborn babies (and even right up to birth). Does God approve of this? NO.
Will God hold accountable and judge those who practice such things and approve of them? Yep, God will judge.
So, is all this happening simply because of these sins?
Now that people are dying from the coronavirus (or at least complications brought on by Covid-19) people seem eager to enter into the mind of God and declare that this is all a judgment of God for a particular sin or set of sins.
So, here’s the thing…unless God reveals it Himself in His Word…we should be very careful about saying and declaring what God Himself has not said.
We better be careful that we do not think we can divine God’s unspoken thoughts. We should be afraid of putting words into God’s mouth that He hasn’t spoken.
The real question to ask is, “Can we say that God’s Word tells us that this event is a Judgment of God?” Well, no we really can’t…at least not without yanking certain passages out of context and reading our own meaning into them…which we should never do.
Is the Coronavirus a judgment of God on our nation?
It’s not our business to ask or answer questions like that!
What should be our concern? Well remember what Jesus said.
It should be our concern to look into our own hearts (not God’s) and seeing our own sins confess them to God.
It should be our concern to see the blood on our hands and looking to the cross of Jesus find forgiveness and reconciliation with God.
Our concern should be our hearts, our sins, our Lord.
Let our concern be to listen to Jesus and find life in Him and His Word.
Let God be God and carry out His Business!
Let our concern be sharing the Good News of what our God has done to save and deliver us from eternal death in hell.
God has given us work to do…and figuring out whether the ‘Coronavirus’ is or isn’t a judgment of God…isn’t that work. Let’s stick to what God has given us to know and to do…and share the message that Jesus Lives!
Let us pray:
Gracious God, we turn to you in this hour of distress. We know from Your Word that your thoughts are not our thoughts, neither are your ways our ways; for as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are your ways higher than our ways, and your thoughts than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9). We do not ask to understand why this Virus has come upon us, but we do ask that you comfort and sustain us with the assurance that your love in Christ will not fail us. Strengthen us in the conviction that in all things, you work for the good of those who love you. Remove all doubts and complaints from our hearts, and help us in humble submission to say with Job, ‘The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.” Amen.