The Virus and God 3

Who is regulating affairs on this earth today–God, or the Devil? That God reigns supreme in Heaven, is generally conceded; that He does so over this world, is almost universally denied—if not directly, then indirectly. More and more are men in their philosophizings and theorisings, relegating God to the background. Take the material realm. Not only is it denied that God created everything, by personal and direct action, but few believe that He has any immediate concern in regulating the works of His own hands. Everything is supposed to be ordered according to the (impersonal and abstract) “laws of nature.” Thus is the Creator banished from His own creation. Therefore we need not be surprised that men, in their degrading conceptions, exclude Him from the realm of human affairs. Throughout Christendom, with an almost negligible exception, the theory is held that man is a “free agent,” and therefore, lord of his fortunes and the determiner of his destiny. That Satan is to be blamed for much of the evil which is in the world, is freely affirmed by those who, though having so much to say about “the responsibility of man”, often deny their own responsibility, by attributing to the Devil what, in fact, proceeds from their own evil hearts (Mark 7:21-23).

But who is regulating affairs on this earth today—God, or the devil? Attempt to take a serious and comprehensive view of the world. What a sense of confusion and chaos confronts us on every side! Sin is rampant; lawlessness abounds; evil men and seducers are waxing “worse and worse” (2 Tim 3:13). Today, everything appears out of joint. Thrones are creaking and tottering, ancient dynasties are being overturned, democracies are revolting, civilization is a demonstrated failure; half of Christendom was but recently locked-together in a death grapple…Unrest, discontent, and lawlessness are rife every where, and none can say how soon another great war will be set in motion. Statesmen are perplexed and staggered. Men’s hearts are “failing them for fear, and looking after those things which are coming on the earth” (Luke 21:26). Do those things look as though God had full control? (The Sovereignty of God, Arthur W. Pink)

Pink wrote his book in the late 1920’s, but with a few changes regarding circumstances it is very descriptive of what is going on today. It is so easy to look to scientists, medical people, and politicians as our hope. People are running around blaming people for political gain. While there may be enough blame to go around, that is not the biggest issue and it is not the biggest problem. People are running around with great fear and in general looking to their governments as those having the answers.

If we truly believed in the sovereignty of God over all things, we would know the source of our problem and the answer for the problem as well. Back in the day when people really believed in the sovereignty of God, they knew that in all things God was in full control though He was hidden behind a dark cloud of events. This is nothing more than practical atheism. If the virus that has taken over the attention of the world is sovereign and God is not, then we are in far more trouble than we think. However, if God is sovereign and the virus is not, we should know where the real answer is. While fear and events cannot change the hearts of men from the spiritual death they are born with as that is the sole prerogative of God, yet this should move men to seek Him if perhaps He would grant them repentance.

Some people are indeed driven to some form of religion out of fear of the virus, but being driven to religious activities can harden a heart. Each and every aspect of the virus is under the full sovereignty of God. We must seek Him during this time. Many will be hardened against God and His sovereign rights over human beings, but perhaps some will be softened. The greatest problem of our time is not the virus; it is our rejection of God as sovereign over us. The virus is in His hands and not in the wisdom of scientists, medical people, and politicians. Sure enough we are to take the necessary steps to protect ourselves from the virus, but that does not mean we are to trust in those things. God is sovereign and not the experts. While the Bible states that the hearts of all rulers are in His hands and He turns them as He pleases, let us not think that the scientists and medical experts are removed from His sovereignty. Treatment for this virus and a vaccine for this virus are in His sovereign hands too. Even at the molecular level the virus itself is in His sovereign hands and it is passed on to those whom He pleases and those whom He desires will not get it. But again, He uses means and we are not to be foolish and turn our backs on the means or methods He uses to protect. The point is that these are methods God uses, but His hands are not tied by using these means.

This can be illustrated by the Gospel and the preaching of the Gospel. Preachers preach from the Bible, but we are not saved by preaching in and of itself and we are not saved by the Bible. It is Christ alone who is the only Savior of men. Preachers are one method God uses, but He is not bound by that method. The Bible gives us objective truth, but the Holy Spirit must open our eyes to that truth and the truth is about Christ. It is Christ alone who saves. As such we use methods to protect ourselves from the virus, but we are to know that God is the real Protector who protects as He pleases. He is not bound to the means. It is also true that He may use scientists and medical people to discover a treatment for the virus, but He is not obligated to do so. He must open the eyes of the scientists and medical people for the treatment. We must seek Him and His good pleasure.

God is not standing in heaven pacing back and forth nervously hoping that someone will come up with a cure or a treatment for this virus. No, He is still showing forth His wrath every day. He is also showing grace and mercy each and every day. He is sovereign over each and every thing each and every moment. Our hearts are not to fear, but instead they are to look to His sovereign hand for all good and yet with contentment with what He is pleased to do. We should seek Him for any good and seek Him for protection. However, if He is not pleased to protect us, we are in His hands as clay is in the hands of the potter. It is true that this is far easier to write and read than it is to do it. However, all spiritual blessings come to us by grace alone. Our contentment and our level of anxiousness are also in His sovereign hands. We are to seek Him for those things too. He is sovereign over each and every thing in the physical realm, but He is also sovereign over each and every thing in the spiritual realm. All things come from His hand. By His grace let us rest in that.

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