Devotional for Thursday March 26th

Good Morning Everyone,
Our theme for this month: “Life on this side of the cross”
Our Bible verse for today: “Don’t be deceived: God is not mocked. For whatever a person sows he will also reap.” Galatians 6:7 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Did God send the COVID 19 virus?”
More and more, as this COVID 19 pandemic continues to spread across the world, I’m seeing Facebook posts declaring that God is pouring out His wrath upon the world and that we had darn well better straighten-up fast before He really gets mad! Then the inspired (and often angry) writer of the Facebook post will cite a Bible verse (almost always Old Testament) to prove his or her prophetic insight.
So, is that what we’re experiencing right now? Is God fed-up and ticked-off to the point that He is now pouring out His wrath upon the earth – giving us all a huge celestial kick in the pants? Well … maybe. But I doubt it.
It’s true that Old Testament history is filled with many instances where God did indeed initiate a plague for a specific purpose, such as punishing the enemies of God (the plagues upon Egypt), or for correcting His people (too many to mention). More than 100 times in the Old Testament we read about a plague from God actually occurring; or of God promising there will be a plague if the people kept sinning; or the reader of Scripture is reminded of times past when God did bring plagues. More than 100 times. All from God. That’s a lot. So yes, it has happened.
But those occasions all occurred in the Old Testament, and we don’t live in Old Testament times. We live in the New Testament age. On this side of the cross God has chosen to deal with the world in different ways – and not just with respect to the issue of plagues, but in many different and significant ways.
So when we consider whether or not God Himself created and sent the COVID 19 pandemic, we really do need to consider what the New Testament reveals about such things. And, as it turns out, in the New Testament we find no examples of God creating and sending a plague upon the earth until we get to End Times Prophecy (buckle your seat belts, we’ll get to that one in a couple of days). But before then … nothing. That does not necessarily mean that God hasn’t done it, or won’t do it, until the End Times. It just means that whereas the Old Testament pictures it a lot, the New Testament does not.
In the New Testament, in descriptions of the End Times, we do begin to read of the kinds of things we read about in the Old Testament, but not before then. Aside from the End Times passages, there are references made in the New Testament to wars and famines and natural disasters that happen as a natural result of living in a fallen world, but no explicit statements that God directs those things to happen.
Although God certainly could have created and sent the COVID 19 virus, I think it’s more likely that the world did this to ourselves and God, rather than directing it, has simply permitted it. He is allowing us to suffer the consequences of our own bad choices. The things we have done to the planet have created an environment in which “super bugs” exist and spread and are extremely difficult to contain, and God is simply permitting us to experience the consequences of what we have done to ourselves. That’s what Galatians 6:7 is about, you reap what you sow.
The question of whether God created and sent the COVID 19 virus, or if this is something we have done to ourselves, is a complex issue which needs further discussion, therefore we will come back to it tomorrow.
God Bless,
Pastor Jim

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