In the past two months, we have witnessed the devastating effects of the pandemic spreading all over the world.
Large numbers of people are falling sick and dying, drastic governmental restrictions are restraining social activities, and an economic fallout of unprecedented proportions threatens. On the religious side of things, Christians in Singapore are having to adapt to using social media platforms for their weekly worship services. So, the question arises: since God is sovereign and all-powerful, why are these things happening?
The only way we can understand God is through His revealed Word. If we observe how God had acted throughout the Old and New Testaments, the consistent picture is that God acts to save His people, in the midst of judging a wicked world.
A most obvious example for us is the Exodus. God delivered Israel from their slavery to Pharaoh, in the midst of judging the pagan Egyptian civilization; God sent the ten plagues and caused great devastation. But God’s purpose was to save Israel. He brought them to Mount Sinai, made them His own special people and gave them His Law, so that Israel could come before His holy presence to worship Him. That’s salvation in the midst of judgment.
In fact, Scripture begins and ends with the same theme. When Adam and Eve fell into sin in Gen 3, God’s response to the serpent was judgment (his head will be crushed in v. 15) but God gave hope of salvation to mankind (the woman’s offspring will crush the serpent’s head, v. 15). The Book of Revelation ends in much the same way: Rev 18 talks about the final fall and judgment of Babylon, and immediately thereafter comes the great rejoicing of the saints and their permanent union with Christ in Rev 19. So, Scripture is about the God who acts in history to save His people, in the midst of judgment.
While God’s people may succumb to the devastating effects of the virus, that is deliverance into the presence of Christ, and believers who remain do not mourn as those who have no hope. As we continue to witness this unprecedented devastation, we need not be discouraged nor paralyzed by fear or anxiety. Our response to this crisis is to repent and return to God and urge others to do the same. Our confidence must turn away from the systems of this world, our possessions or any material things; because all these cannot stop God’s judgment. Instead, let us come back to our Creator, anchor our faith in what Christ has done, renew our hope in what Christ will do and persevere in our Christian walk by exercising love.
Finally, in the midst of God’s judgment, there is salvation. As God’s people, we possess the only Gospel that will lead people to a saving relationship with Him. We are witnesses of this Gospel, so we must be prepared to be used by God for this very purpose. May God help us.
Peter Low Ying Kit
Grace to Asia
P/S: During this Circuit Breaker period, we want to encourage you to request for your free copy of Pastor MacArthur’s study guide entitled Unity in Action, Part 2 by clicking on this link.If you do not have Part 1 of this study guide, please write us an email (email@example.com) to notify us and we will send you a copy of that too (while stocks last).