“Sin is fun. Then it cuts your throat” – Rosalie De Rosset
”Actions have consequences” – John Sattler
“It happens” – Jesus
I have a subscription to World magazine. My latest delivery included this book, “Coronavirus and Christ” by John Piper. I’m semi-familiar with him, do not know much about him except to say that he seems to be somewhat of a strictitarian. He obviously takes God’s Word seriously and that’s a good thing. We ought all take His Word seriously. I have had an issue or two with his interpretations and that’s OK, too. If we all saw the Bible the same way we’d never know if we were all right or all wrong. In this book about Jesus and The Wuhan he states one of those things which makes me breathe out a heavy sigh. He wrote this:
First of all, I won’t totally dismiss this only because we will never know if God purposely infected anyone with the virus or for what reason. God does what God does for reasons known only to Him. And that’s the way it ought to be. God caused Nebuchadnezzar to fall into madness (see below). God did this to teach Nebuchadnezzar not to be prideful. He was restored to power after seven years and spent the rest of his days glorifying God.
Persistent Reader: Avast ye, purging matey! What say ye about Job and his troubles?
The Purgey Matey: Yar be to ye, landlubber! Listen close and avoid being thrown into the briny sea of embarrassment! Olde Job’s scalawag friends blamed ‘im for ‘is troubles by splainin’ to him he musta committed a great and parful sin ag-in’ The Lord. As it were, The Lord allowed that scurvy sea-dog, Satan, to try to blow the Job down by taking his booty and pieces of eight but, nay, he shall not send ‘im to Davey Jone’s locker. The Lord laid not a finger upon that old soul Job.
Persistent Reader: Shiver me timbers! I feel like shark chum!
The Purgey Matey: Aaar, yer fergiven! Now weigh anchor and sail from yer port of unbelief!
I believe there are some simple truths in the Bible
– Jesus was sent to Earth to take my sins upon Him so if I repented of them I can be with Him after I die.
– Love your neighbor as yourself.
– We are living in the end times right here and right now and eventually Jesus will come down to make Creation right again, the way it was before sin.
– God hates death and wants all people to repent and come to Him.
Certainly each of you reading this would come up with your own list of simple truths found in the Bible. That is how we can learn what is important to us and use it to be aware of others’ concerns.
Anyhoo, I find it difficult to embrace John Piper’s interpretation of God picking who gets sick as a result of lifestyle. None of us live the lifestyle God sees best for us. We are all sinful and worthy of judgment and death. So why does anyone deserve The Wuhan? In the quotes at the top of the page we can see how it’s possible we can contract the virus all on our own. Rosalie De Rosset says if we behave irresponsibly, looking just for fun, we could put ourselves in a position to become sick. John Sattler states (I hope) that no matter what we do, good or bad, that there are always consequences, intended and unintended. Jesus explains in Luke (see below) that whether the Tower of Siloam collapsing was planned by God or fell on its own accord it isn’t as important as being prepared for ‘the terrible day of The Lord’. Repent and be saved.
Lastly, I think John Piper might be suggesting that our prayers for others might be for nought. I believe when we pray through Jesus to God that He will pick the best outcome not just for who pray for but for His kingdom. Recently I have been praying for the good health of North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, not for the terrible things he has done to his people but that he will live long enough to be saved in the name of Jesus. I pray this because he has the power to help the North Koreans who are suffering so. I also pray for the soul of Keith Richards. Susan prays for Paul McCartney. They are no more, no less sinners than we are. We might not deserve God’s mercy but His gift of grace is overwhelming. And for everyone. No exclusions.
Daniel 4: 28-37
28 All this happened to King Nebuchadnezzar. 29 Twelve months later, as the king was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, 30 he said, “Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?”
31 Even as the words were on his lips, a voice came from heaven, “This is what is decreed for you, King Nebuchadnezzar: Your royal authority has been taken from you. 32 You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like the ox. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes.”
33 Immediately what had been said about Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled. He was driven away from people and ate grass like the ox. His body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a bird.
34 At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever.
His dominion is an eternal dominion;
his kingdom endures from generation to generation.
35 All the peoples of the earth
are regarded as nothing.
He does as he pleases
with the powers of heaven
and the peoples of the earth.
No one can hold back his hand
or say to him: “What have you done?”
36 At the same time that my sanity was restored, my honor and splendor were returned to me for the glory of my kingdom. My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored to my throne and became even greater than before. 37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.
Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? 3 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 4 Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”