Is the Coronavirus being used by God to call us to repentance?

Three natural disasters have occurred recently demonstrating a parallel to a warning that God gave Solomon and one of them involves the Coronavirus. Solomon had just dedicated the temple in Jerusalem that had been completed. As a response to the sacrifices and prayer that Solomon offered, God appeared to him in a dream and this is part of what he said to the King,

When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land

2 Chronicles 7: 13-14

What God warned as acts of judgement for sin in this verse have manifested through recent disasters on different continents around the world which made headlines. These events have also happened in the same sequence as communicated in the scripture!

The Australian Bush fires

Towards the end of 2019, Australia made news headlines around the world because of bush fires that ravaged a large part of the nation. These were not the worst that Australia has suffered. However what made them significant were the record breaking temperatures and drought that the continent experienced during this time. On the 17th of December 2019, Australia experienced its hottest day on record with the national average temperature reaching a high of 40.9C (105.6F). These very hot conditions created by the lack of rainfall fueled the fires that blazed in Australia causing many to alarm that climate change was to blame.

As the fires blazed, one of the Australian Rugby players called Israel Folau said that the fires were Gods judgment on the nation for legalizing abortion and same sex marriage. He called on his countrymen and women to repent. He was subsequently heavily criticized for being insensitive by the Prime Minister. Israel’s statements seemed outrageous and insensitive on the surface, but when compared with the scripture above, fit with the first judgement God talked about in the scripture.

The Middle East and Africa’s locust invasion

The same weather phenomenon that was responsible for the extreme temperatures in Australia also caused exceptionally wet weather coupled with cyclones in the Middle East and Africa. This weather phenomenon, called the Indian Ocean dipole was unusually strong last year. This was blamed on climate change by activists and it created perfect conditions for large swarms of desert locusts to thrive in the region.

On the 17th of December 2019, the very same day that Australia was experiencing its hottest day on record at the time, the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organistation (FAO) declared an emergency in Somalia due to the locust invasion. FAO warned that the locusts threatened food security in the region since they can consume enough food to feed millions of people in a single day. For Ethiopia and Somalia, it is the worst locust invasion for 25 years and in Kenya, it is the worst invasion for 70 years.

This locust invasion, linked to the Australian bush fires by climate and key declarations that happened on December 17th 2019, fit the second judgement God mentions in the scripture above. Most of the countries in this region are characterized by corruption. Was this what God was pointing out by this invasion?

The Coronavirus plague

The current Coronavirus pandemic by the COVID-19 strain which is currently affecting 189 countries and territories started in the city of Wuhan in the Hubei province of China.

On December 31st 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) was notified about unusual cases of pneumonia in the city. Several of those infected worked at the city’s Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market which was later shut down on January 1st. The first recorded death was a 61 year old man who was a regular customer of the market in Wuhan. This was announced one day before China’s biggest holiday, when hundreds of millions of people travel across the country. On January 23rd, Wuhan was quarantined by Chinese authorities by canceling planes and trains leaving the city, and suspending buses, subways and ferries within it. By this time, 17 people had died and 570 others had been infected in several countries. By the end of February, it was clear that the virus was spreading out of control in several countries and in March, countries started closing their their borders, imposing travel restrictions and shutting down cities with explosive cases. Right now the epicenter of the outbreak seems to be Italy with close to 54,000 cases and 4800 deaths!

When compared to the scripture above, the current Coronavirus pandemic that has put much of the world on its knees fits the third judgement God mentions. Not only has the virus caused death and pain to those affected, but it has also greatly impacted the economy. Conferences,Sporting events, bars, schools, churches, cinemas, restaurants, offices, transport systems around the world have all been shutdown. This directly affects millions of peoples incomes and threatens others job security due to the resulting low revenue streams. Is God judging us for worshiping the gods of money and materialism that characterize this generation?

What should our response be?

Fortunately, the scripture above does not leave any doubt to the remedy required for the current situation. It is repentance by Gods people from particular sins, perhaps those that have been pointed out by the judgements. In our case, Gods people who need to spearhead the repentance is the church. It is interesting that the church has not been spared from this judgement in many parts of the world because places of worship have also been shut down for a time to curtail the spread of the virus! The church seems to have compromised in various ways in many parts of the world, including in the area of sexuality. Some church leaders have also exhibited the love of money and materialism. Just like we need to wash our hands and maintain good hygiene to prevent spreading of the Coronavirus to ourselves and to others, we need to wash our hearts and minds with the word of God and get back to doing his will for this season as the church of Jesus. God has forced us to pause, reflect and repent. When we do this with a sincere heart, God promises to bring restoration to the earth.

Prophecy is pattern

I am sure many reading this will think,

“This scripture was not meant for us today! It was dealing with Israel in the time of Solomon.”

While it is true that the statement was made by God to Solomon during the First Temple’s dedications, the parallel with events today is undeniable. Bible prophecy is more than predictions and their fulfillment. Its also about patterns. God never changes and what he expected from Solomon in response to judgement is the same expectation he has for us today, to humble ourselves, repent and turn from our wicked ways in preparation of the coming of his Son, Jesus.

Consequences of not repenting

Many in the world even in the face of judgement respond with defiance. Just last week as we are in the middle of the Coronavirus crisis, New Zealand decriminalized abortion!

This is also a time of sifting, where God is separating and exposing those who are truly his from those who are set in their wicked ways. Jesus indicated that epidemics will be a sign of his soon return.

Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.

Luke 21:10-11

Those who recognize and act on Gods call to repent and submit to his will be granted safety from more severe judgements in the future meant for those who remain defiant. This safety will be provided through the rapture of the church. My Hope and prayer is that you are responding to the call of God to prepare and be saved from Gods coming wrath.

This post was originally published on the 22nd of March 2020 but was updated on the 19th of July 2020 due to additional information we have been made aware of.

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