Summary: It’s always relevant and right to ask, ‘What does the Bible Say’ and repent today!
What Does the Bible Say About the Coronavirus?
Rev. Brian Bill
April 18-19, 2020
We’re all facing a viral villain we can’t see, an invisible and insidious enemy that is silently stalking us.
My pastor friend Cisco Cotto, who was scheduled to preach at Edgewood during my Sabbatical, posted something early Wednesday morning you might relate to…
“The age of coronavirus involves waking up in the middle of the night in a panic because you think you have a fever. You rush to the medicine cabinet. Pop the thermometer in your mouth. In the 30 seconds it takes to get a temperature reading, the real panic sets in…You plan where you will quarantine. There are no good options. You remember to tell someone you trust where your will is. You plan to remind your wife where the insurance papers are, even though she knows. Will you be quarantined, or worse, for your child’s upcoming birthday? Will you stay strong emotionally during an illness, like so many, or will you crumble? Will you have to go through the ritual of an uncertain wave to your family from a car on the way to the hospital? And then...you hear beeps. Then a loud silence. You don’t have a fever. Yet, that doesn’t mean you’re not infected, or won’t be tomorrow. So many are. So many more to come. You can’t get back to sleep. You barricade yourself in a room and start to pray, “I believe, Lord Jesus, help my unbelief.” And then, in the darkness with birds chirping outside your window, you just sit there. Wondering if you are losing your mind. Wondering when it will happen again. Wondering if next time you will have a fever. Wondering if your infection will come without a fever...or already has. There are so many. So many more to come.”
I’m reminded of how Psalm 91:6 describes disease: “…the pestilence that stalks in the darkness…the destruction that wastes at noonday.” The term “pestilence” is what the prophets referred to when predicting coming judgment and destruction. The word “stalks” was used of the slithering of snakes and of beasts crouching near the ground before pouncing on their prey.
For many, the coronavirus has created a “pandemic pandemonium.” Actually, there’s so much pandemonium about the pandemic that the pandemonium itself has become pandemic.
Images of empty shelves and empty streets almost seem apocalyptic. Since this can all be unnerving and unsettling, we want to ask and answer this question, “What does the Bible say about the coronavirus?”
A couple thoughts…
• This is a very relevant question. I’ve been asked this several times and according to Google, this question has been one of its trending searches.
• This is always the right question. Whenever we’re faced with issues, struggles or questions, we should always ask, “What does the Bible say about this topic?”
It’s always relevant and right to ask, ‘What does the Bible Say’ and repent today!
Let me be totally upfront and say the Bible doesn’t specifically mention the coronavirus. Now, that’s a short sermon isn’t it? Well, you know better than to expect brevity from me, so let’s dig into God’s Word and see what we find. You might want to buckle up because it could be a bumpy ride.
I was tremendously assisted in my preparation from a paper by Joel Rosenberg called, “What does the Bible say about pestilence, plagues and global pandemics?” Some of what I’ll share reflects his insight.
According to Merriam-Webster, a “pestilence” is, “a contagious or infectious epidemic disease that is virulent and devastating.” The definition of a “plague” is, “an epidemic disease causing a high rate of mortality.”
While the terms coronavirus or pandemic are not found in Scripture, the Bible does use Hebrew and Greek words for pestilence and plagues some 127 times.
As we survey the Scriptures, we’ll discover four truths for today.
1. Viruses and pestilences are part of living in a fallen world. Before Adam and Eve made their voluntary choice to rebel against God, there were no earthquakes, hurricanes, natural disasters, coronaviruses or diseases but when they sinned, creation was cursed, and the earth became an environment of disease and death. Genetic disorders and multiple diseases have been unleashed to do their work of destruction. Pain and death are now part and parcel of the human experience.
Listen to God’s description of the consequences of their decision in Genesis 3:17-18: “Cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you…” Adam and Eve’s sin resulted in personal guilt and shame, alienation from God and others, and the disruption of nature itself. This sin was so contagious it was passed on to each of us according to Romans 5:12: “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned.”