What Does Covid-19 Teach Us About God?
Updated: Jul 20, 2020
By bro Alvin Lin
The world today is gripped by a pandemic that has affected the lives of many around the world. At the time of writing this article, there has been over 8 million Covid-19 infections and over 400,000 deaths. Many more have been affected indirectly by the economic downturn and suffered pay cuts and job losses. In trying times like these, we can certainly understand the sentiments of many in the world who wonder, “if the LORD be with us, why then is all this befallen us” (Judges 6:13)? In this article, I would like to discuss three things that Covid-19 teaches us about God.
There is a God
There are some who perceive suffering and God as mutually exclusive concepts, notwithstanding the benefits of suffering (Psalms 119:71), which is a topic for another discussion. On the contrary, the coronavirus presents to us evidence that demands the existence of a Creator. For example, consider the current treatment for Covid-19, for which there is no cure yet. Patients are dependent on their immune systems to fight off the virus and the research for a vaccine also involves training the immune system to recognize and combat the virus. How is our immune system able to defeat foreign organisms which it has never encountered before? Why is it that scientists spend so much time to find a cure, yet our bodies are able to “self-cure” and develop antibodies? Surely such a well-designed mechanism is evidence for an intelligent Creator. No wonder the Psalmist says, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psa 139:14).
We need God
This pandemic has also taught us that man is powerless without God, “for in him we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28). A tiny organism is all it takes to throw the most powerful of governments into panic, the richest of businesses into despair, and render the smartest of doctors helpless. This reminds us of what God said through Jeremiah, “let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches” (Jeremiah 9:23). Even the wicked king Jehoram, son of the notorious Ahab, recognized that healing comes from God. When the Syrian king sent his commander, Naaman, to Jehoram to be healed of his leprosy, Jehoram cried out, “Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man doth send unto me to recover a man of his leprosy?” (2 Kings 5:7) Truly, man needs God because “his days are determined, the number of his months are with thee” (Job 14:5).
God wants the best for us
For many of us, this period is probably the most difficult that we have had to go through in our lifetime till date. There are a host of other problems we grapple with on top of the global pandemic, such as the economic downturn, rising inequality in society, and climate change. But this does not mean that God has abandoned us; rather, it should cause us to reflect on how much God has blessed us in the past and how He still continues to take care of us by giving us “rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness” (Acts 14:17). Take the example of the Israelites: although they were going to suffer in Babylonian captivity for 70 years, God comforted them and assured them that “I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end” (Jeremiah 29:11). God’s love and grace towards man is so astounding that the Psalmist exclaimed, “what is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him” (Psa 8:4)? Remember, this world was never meant to be our permanent home. All the sufferings we go through in life are only temporal, to refine us and spur us on towards our heavenly home, a place where “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (Revelations 21:4).
Certainly, this Covid-19 situation has shown us that there is a God, that we need Him, and that He wants the best for us. Amidst the hustle and bustle of life, we often lose sight of things that matter, resulting in misplaced priorities. Let us use this period of time to take stock of our lives and learn what God would have us to learn – “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psa 46:10).