Moses was sent by God to Egypt. He ushered in a series of pandemics, all of which were designed to get the Pharaoh’s attention. Because his heart was hardened, Pharaoh didn’t turn to God. Instead, he turned to his medical and environmental professionals, the “magicians and sorcerers”. As long as they could traffic in the causes and effects of these pandemics, the divine purposes – the real reason behind them – would be de-legitimized.
This lasted for awhile. The staff-turned-snake. The bloody Nile. The frogs. “We can answer these things without having to acknowledge Moses and his god.” But, with the infestation of gnats, their bag of tricks had run out, and even they came to the conclusion that “This is the finger of God” (Exodus 8:19). Moses knew that already, as did the in-the-loop Israelites. Now the magicians were seeing the light.
But Pharaoh’s heart remained hardened. So… on would come the other plagues: flies, livestock pestilence, boils, hail, locusts, darkness, and ultimately the killing of firstborn children. By the 7th plague, God had this to say to Moses:
“Tell Pharaoh that … this time I will send all my plagues … so that you may know that there is none like me in all the earth. For by now I could have put out my hand and struck you and your people with pestilence, and you would have been cut off from the earth. But for this purpose I have raised you up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth. You are still exalting yourself against my people.”Exodus 9:13-17
The appropriate response to a pandemic is to acknowledge God. The refusal to acknowledge God by Egypt’s leaders is (not A but) THE reason why the pandemic disasters took place, and continued. And the response from the top exacted a terrible toll on the people of Egypt. But it wasn’t for lack of understanding of what God wanted from them — Moses kept making his case very clear. They just rejected the call to repent, and suffered the consequences.
The godless response to the pandemic of 2020 is exacting a terrible toll on the people of our world. The refusal to acknowledge God by the world and its leaders is (not A but) THE reason why the pandemic disaster has taken place, and continues. A six-foot gap, a mask, washed hands, and even a man-created vaccine cannot and will not be enough to stop God’s initiative. Only God will stop it.
One huge difference between the Exodus story and the Covid-19 pandemic is this: Unlike Moses, God’s representatives have failed to adequately explain what’s happening. Instead of pointing people to a God-related answer to our issues, the “orthodox” party-line, even in our churches, is “trust the science.” Like in the Pharaoh’s day, “trust the magicians and sorcerers”. But, it needs to be understood that our best solution to the problem is our best solution to the problem. I have yet to hear a bold proclamation that God is the cause of the pandemic … God’s visitation of our sins.
So what is the cause of this pandemic? Why is God doing this?
As residents of the U.S., we might think that this is all about us. That God is upset with our nation. That may be true … but this pandemic is global. Yes, we are hard hit, but not as hard hit as many other countries. This is truly a world-wide act of God. So, what’s up between God and the world He created?
Duh. At the time of this posting, there have been over 6 million abortions worldwide since January 1st. (There have been fewer than 2.5 million Covid-19 deaths during that time – what is the real disaster here?) Over 42 million babies were aborted in 2020, making abortion the leading cause of death worldwide last year – higher than cancer, malaria and others COMBINED. Just last year’s abortion total is greater than the total number of global HIV cases ever. The World Heath Organization reports that “73.3 million induced (safe and unsafe) abortions occurr worldwide each year” on average for the period between 2015 and 2019 — That’s 350 MILLION over five years. Even if the global number is only half that since Roe vs. Wade, the cumulative total would be 1.7 BILLION. A fourth of today’s world population. Or, roughly 243 Nazi holocausts.
God may find fault in our lingering sexist or racist ways of thinking. He may be disappointed in the way that his creatures are ransacking the planet’s environment. He may also be incredibly grieved by the “wisdom” churned out by the halls of academia of our most “developed” (e.g., most educated, prosperous, powerful and influential) nations that is shredding a godly understanding of His creative order. But there can be no doubt that God condemns the unconscionable genocide going on all around us for the past 50 years.
Our response? I’m sure the Egyptians had gotten used to having a slave race amongst them, and knew they were being treated harshly. What’s an Egyptian to do?
Then there’s the macro-political level: Like Pharaoh ordering that the Israelite slaves make bricks without straw, thus exacerbating the country’s sin against God’s word and people, so our U.S. shows no sign of repentance. Rather, we have elected an executive branch and a new set of lawmakers who are committed to doubling down on the genocide. They promise to fight for the the ongoing slaughter to not only remain legal, but to be celebrated as a right. They are also committed to expanding genocide funding to other countries. The global approach is similar, with more and more “progressives” fighting for genocide rights in their countries.
This is the opposite of repentance. Pharaoh thought that the plagues would run their course without the need to change. I believe our world thinks the same way – that we’re one good inoculation away from normalcy. If God has mercy on us, and lifts the bloody-Nile-curse of Covid-19, do we really think that there won’t be nine more plagues? Or worse yet, that God would put out His hand and strike us and our people with a pestilence that would cut us off from the earth? Unless we repent?
Or maybe God simply delivers His people, and takes them to a new promised land. Maranatha! Until then it’s up to God’s representatives, His church, to unabashedly proclaim both the true cause and the true cure of any pandemic: I beg you: Repent, and be reconciled to God.