It started as a local challenge in an obscure market in mainland China, nobody took it seriously. Gradually it began to spread, from mainland China to Asia, Asia to Europe, Europe to the Americas, then to Africa and it’s now blooming. We are now faced with a global pandemic! The last count indicates that about half a million persons have been infected by the virus while over twelve thousand have died from the infection.
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has left the world in limbo, governments are confused, Medics are inadequate and seems stuck without solutions, everyone is at “sea” floating without knowing where this will end or will go.
It is fundamental that in the midst of all these, discerning what God is saying remains critical. A clear prophetic word seems absent. There appears no open vision at the moment. In the midst of this confusion, one must ask the question, what can we glean from biblical prophesy as contained in the sacred scriptures? This perhaps could serve as a prophetic roadmap or pathway in discerning the times.
1. God is faithful: Though there are a lot of uncertainties around the globe, Our God is still faithful! Even though COVID-19 is ravaging the world, He is still faithful to preserve and keep His covenant with His people and His world. Our God can be trusted to bring the pandemic not only under control but to an end, and triumph over this disease.
Let us look at His words in the sacred scripture for the assurance of His faithfulness
Know therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations; Deuteronomy 7:9
God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. – 1 Cor. 1:9
He is a faithful covenant keeper; He will not forsake His people at this critical time in the global crisis. He keeps covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandment! So as the world goes through this crisis, the child of God can be assured of His faithfulness to keep His covenant and mercy towards His own! We can find comfort in His faithfulness.
2. Our God is still in charge of the world: Many leaders across the world have lost charge due to COVID-19, the outbreak of this disease in many countries is growing at alarming rates. This has confounded world leaders but our God remains in charge. Many are anxious and afraid that the world is in disarray and COVID-19 is leaving no one in charge! But it is comforting to know that God is in charge of His world. The virus will never spin the world out of the control of the maker of heaven and earth! hallelujah!!! This should be a comfort to every child of God.
He is before all things, and in Him, all things hold together. – Colossians 1:17
One God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all – Ephesians 4:6
“It is I who made the earth, and created man upon it I stretched out the heavens with My hands And I ordained all their host – Isaiah 45:12
You made him for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honour, putting everything in subjection under his feet.” – Hebrews 2:7,8
Everything has been put in subjection under his feet including COVID-19! Our God is still in charge! He has not lost control of the world to COVID-19. Be encouraged!
3. We do not have an enduring city here on earth: COVID-19 is a clear reminder that we do not have an enduring city here on earth! The ultimate consolation for any child of God is his/her final berthing in heaven after their sojourn on earth. At a trying time, such as this, it will be nice for us to remember that as children of God, we are on a journey to eternity where there will be no more tears or sorrow. In as much as the outbreak of COVID-19 is unfortunate, it should also raise the hope and comfort of our final home in heaven.
The reality of COVID-19 reinforces much more the reality of heaven!
For we do not have an enduring city here; instead, we seek the one to come.- Hebrews 13:14
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And 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.
And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. – Rev. 21:1 -4
After all the sorrows and fears of COVID-19; along with other sicknesses and diseases, a time will come when all tears from our eyes shall be wiped away and everything shall be made new! This is the ultimate joy of the Christian! Our home of peace forever. Hallelujah!
4. COVID-19 provides an opportunity for the Church to make a difference: The presence of darkness presents an opportunity for light to shine! The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic is clearly an opportunity for the Church of Jesus Christ to show forth the glory of God in such trying times in the world! The Lord has made the Church light and salt of the world.
“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. -Matthew 5:13 – 16
The Church is the hope of the world even at a time as this. This is the opportunity for the church to be in the forefront of seeking a solution to the pandemic, in inspiring hope at this time of hopelessness.
At a time like this, this is the opportunity for the Church to be the Church!
This is the opportunity for the Church to be like the city on a hill that cannot be hidden.
Several opportunities abound for the church to make the difference. Top on the list is the opportunity to call on the God of heaven to intervene. The hope of the world hangs in the balance. The Church is needed to call for God’s intervention!
And call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.” – Psalm 50:15
God has asked us to call on Him in times of troubles and He will deliver, this is the time for the Church to be the Church and call upon God. He is our refuge and strength, our ever-present help in times of trouble. (Psalm 46:1,2). This is the time to call on God for help and intervention. This is also the time for the Church to be at the forefront of working with governments to contain the pandemic. As the World also look for a medical solution, Christian medics should trust God for the solution! The God that reveals the King’s dream to Daniel can still give revelation of COVID-19 medical solution to His people!
This is also the time for the Church to proclaim the redemption in Jesus much louder, in far more lands and through much more media across the world (through safe means though). It is time for the Church to tell the world that Jesus saves, Jesus heals and Jesus delivers. He is the hope of the world. The world in pain is waiting to hear the message of comfort. Many people, families and countries are in limbo, they need the Church for support and encouragement. The Global Church cannot afford to be found wanting at a time as this. O Church of the living God, arise and shine at this time of terrible darkness over the earth! (Isaiah 60: 1-2)
5. COVID-19 is dangerous, but the consequence of sin is even much more dangerous: COVID-19 is a dangerous viral disease, it has brought down monarchs, movie stars, great sportsmen and even medical professionals. COVID-19 is very dangerous, it has locked down countries, it has paralyzed economies and is threatening world peace. To many, the fear of COVID-19 is the beginning of wisdom. But unfortunately, there is a much more terrible “virus” than COVID-19. It is SIN!
there is a much more terrible “virus” than COVID-19. It is SIN!
Sin is very dangerous; it is to be avoided much more than COVID-19! The Bible warns that the wages of sin is death!
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 6:23.
The implication of sin is eternal separation from God. A portion in the lake of fire and brimstone.
But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. Rev. 21:8.
Sin blocks the ears of God from any man indulging in it, it shortens God’s hand from saving such men.
Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear; but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.- Isaiah 59:1,2.
Sin is terrible and very dangerous. Everyone should run from sin more than they run from contracting COVID-19! If you do not yet have a relationship with Jesus, run to Jesus to be delivered from sin. Jesus is the cure for sin. (Matthew 1:21, Romans 10:9,10). If you are a Christian and you still indulge in sin. Repent! SIN is more dangerous than COVID-19!
6. Be careful to obey God more than COVID-19 prevention strategies: Social distancing, keeping the hygienic habit of handwashing are some of the habits and strategies to avoid COVID-19. They are very important to prevent the virus. In the same vein, the current pandemic is a pointer to be careful to obey God! Obedience to God and His commandments is a blessing. It is the sure way to peace, progress and well-being. Let us glean from the eternal prophetic scroll:
“And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you if you obey the voice of the Lord your God. Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock. Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.
“The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before you. They shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways. The Lord will command the blessing on you in your barns and in all that you undertake. And he will bless you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. The Lord will establish you as a people holy to himself, as he has sworn to you if you keep the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in his ways. And all the peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they shall be afraid of you. And the Lord will make you abound in prosperity, in the fruit of your womb and in the fruit of your livestock and in the fruit of your ground, within the land that the Lord swore to your fathers to give you. The Lord will open to you his good treasury, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hands. And you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow. And the Lord will make you the head and not the tail, and you shall only go up and not down, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you today, being careful to do them, and if you do not turn aside from any of the words that I command you today, to the right hand or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them. -Deuteronomy 28:1-14
Obedience to God is a blessing. Be quick to obey Him and it shall be well with you.
As the world goes through this challenging time of COVID-19, the Church should not and is not confused. The sure word of prophecy from the sacred scriptures can be our succour and navigation.
And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. -2 Peter 1:19-21
May God’s Shalom flood your heart in such a time as this.