The Lion Roars: Thoughts on COVID-19

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By Dr. Joseph A. Pipa, Jr. - Posted at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary:

I was asked by one of my students at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary to reflect on the current situation with COVID-19 (novel Coronavirus).

First, we assert with Scripture that all that is occurring with this virus around the world and in our own country is part of God’s sovereign good purpose. God has foreordained all that comes to pass, and He executes His decrees by His providence (Daniel 4:34-35; Psalm 135:6). By asserting God’s universal decree, we do not rule out second causes, but confess the first cause is God’s good pleasure. This work of God embraces every illness and death; also, all the disruptions in society and in the economy. Moreover, Christ as mediatorial king is directing all things for the sake of His church (Eph. 1:22,23). The reality of God’s sovereign control over the novel Coronavirus and its spread has direct bearing on our thought, speech, and behavior in response to it.

Second, because the pandemic is according to God’s holy will, we must ask ourselves, “What is He doing?” Amos demonstrates the relation of cause and effect by a series of rhetorical questions about cause and effect: “Do two men walk together unless they have made an appointment? Does a lion roar in the forest when he has no prey? Does a young lion growl from his den unless he has captured something? Does a bird fall into a trap on the ground when there is no bait in it? Does a trap spring up from the earth when it captures nothing at all? If a trumpet is blown in a city, will not the people tremble?” Then he applies the relationship to the works of God in 3:3-8: “If a calamity occurs in a city has not the LORD done it? Surely Adonai the LORD does nothing unless He reveals His secret counsel to his servants the prophets. A lion has roared! Who will not fear? Adonai the LORD has spoken! Who can but prophesy?”

God is roaring and He has revealed things in His word on which we should think and speak.


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