A Biblical Perspective on Corona

03.18.20 | Hope | by Clinton Manley

    THEOLOGICAL AND BIBLICAL FOUNDATIONS

    • The number one question in our approach needs to be how can we glorify God in this?
      • 1 Corinthians 10:31 (NET) — 31 So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do [deal with corona], do everything for the glory of God.
      • Philippians 4:11–13 (NKJV) — 11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
    • Our comfort is the sovereignty and goodness of God.
      1. God works all things for good (His glory and our joy)
        • Romans 8:28 (NKJV) — 28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
        • Romans 8:31 (NKJV) — 31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
      2. God controls sickness and disaster
        • Amos 3:6 (NKJV) — 6 If a trumpet is blown in a city, will not the people be afraid? If there is calamity in a city, will not the Lord have done it?
        • Isaiah 45:7 (NKJV) — 7 I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the Lord, do all these things.’
        • Deuteronomy 32:39 (NKJV) — 39 ‘Now see that I, even I, am He, And there is no God besides Me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; Nor is there any who can deliver from My hand.
      3. God ordains and uses disease and death to glorify His grace and power.
        • John 9:1–3 (NKJV) — 1 Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. 2 And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3 Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.
        • John 11:1–4 (NKJV) — 1 Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany...Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.” 4 When Jesus heard that, He said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”
      4. Martin Luther once called the devil "God's devil." If that is the case, certainly corona is God's virus.
        • Job 1:20–21 (NKJV) — 20 Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. 21 And he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away [by the hand of Satan]; Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
    • Because of the Fall, all things are inclined to disorder and decay, including this world and our bodies.
      • Romans 8:20–23 (NKJV) — 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him [God] who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. 24 For we were saved in this hope.
    • The Fear of God protects us from the fear of conspiracy or disaster.
      • Isaiah 8:12–13 (NET) — 12 “Do not say, ‘Conspiracy,’ every time these people say the word. Don’t be afraid of what scares them; don’t be terrified. 13 You must recognize the authority of the Lord who commands armies. He is the one you must respect; he is the one you must fear.
      • An awestruck adoration of God frees from fearing what ungodly men fear. 

     

    PRACTICAL GUIDELINES

    • We are commanded to be wise and discerning
      • Proverbs 14:16 (NLT) — 16 The wise are cautious and avoid danger; fools plunge ahead with reckless confidence.
      • Proverbs 22:3 (NLT) — 3 A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.
      • When Joseph dealt with famine in the land, he did so with wisdom and discernment, using all the ordinary means he could to mitigate risk.
    • There is Biblical precedent for quarantine in the Old Testament
      • Leprosy in the Old Testament stood for many kinds of communicable diseases and there were strict procedures for dealing with it.
        • Leviticus 13:46 (NKJV) — 46 He shall be unclean. All the days he has the sore he shall be unclean. He is unclean, and he shall dwell alone; his dwelling shall be outside the camp.
        • 1 Kings 15:5/Lev 13/Lev 14:8/Num 5:2/Num 31:19/Deut 23:10-11/2 Chron 26:21
    •  Jesus said not to put your God to the test by taking unnecessary risk.
      • Luke 4:12 (NET) — 12 Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You are not to put the Lord your God to the test.’ ”
      • We should be very careful and discerning when someone says that to take precautions is to lack faith in God. God gave us methods, means and medical wisdom as a gift of common grace to be stewarded.
    • Our general approach to government should be obedience.
      • Romans 13:1–2 (NET) — 1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except by God’s appointment, and the authorities that exist have been instituted by God. 2 So the person who resists such authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will incur judgment
        • We should obey the authorities up until the point of sin. Only when obedience to government means disobedience to God must be choose between the two.  
      • A sabbatical from regular church meetings for a short time period is not sinful.
        • Hebrews 10:24–25 (NET) — 24 And let us take thought of how to spur one another on to love and good works,25 not abandoning our own meetings, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and even more so because you see the day drawing near.
        • A short time period does not constitute "abandoning" our meetings especially if we are diligent to stay in fellowship through other means.
    • Acting from fear and acting from wisdom and discernment are very different.
      1. The Bible often commands us not to fear and positively commands us to be wise and understanding in our discernment of risk and danger.
        • Proverbs 2:7 (NKJV) — 7 He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly;
      2. 2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV) — 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
    • Our own instinct of self-preservation should be the measure of how we deal with others.
      • Matthew 22:39–40 (NET) — 39 The second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’40 All the law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.
        • All the quarantine and cleanliness laws hang on loving others to the degree that we love ourselves.
      • Philippians 2:3–4 (NET) — 3 Instead of being motivated by selfish ambition or vanity, each of you should, in humility, be moved to treat one another as more important than yourself. 4 Each of you should be concerned not only about your own interests, but about the interests of others as well.
      • We must look out for the elderly and the fragile since. Love does not merely seek it's own private comfort.
        • Covid-19 is far more dangerous to the elderly (65+), and so we must keep their safety and well-being in mind. 
        • 1 Corinthians 13:5 (NET) — 5 [Love] is not self-serving.
    • Corona is not necessarily a judgement, but it definitely is a call to repent and seek God. 
      • Luke 13:1–5 (NKJV) — 1 There were present at that season some who told Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 And Jesus answered and said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? 3 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. 4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”
      • This should motivate us to share the hope of the gospel of Christ!

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