FROM GOD OR SATAN?
Isaiah 6b-7: „I am the Lord, and there is no other. I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster, I, the Lord, do all these things.“
THE CALL TO PURITY
In Psalm 24: 3-4 King David asks, “Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false.”
The prophet Joel gives the command to blow the “trumpet”, to call God’s people together in order to repent and seek him, for “who knows but that he turn and have pity and leave behind a blessing.” (Joel 2:1 + 14)
We should all see the Coronavirus as a heavenly shofar (ram’s horn=trumpet) calling us to seek God and test our hearts. Let us follow Jacob’s advice, “Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded” (James 4:8).
Jesus himself taught that a pure heart is more important than physical hygiene and hand-washing, for it is our heart which makes us impure and deceives us (Matt. 15:16-20).
Of course this in no case means that we should ignore all advice or the hygienic and legal regulations. But it does mean that we should with the same or even increased decisiveness cleanse our hearts because this will influence our spiritual life now and in eternity.
THE TIME OF SHAKING
In the book of Haggai the prophet proclaims, “This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. I will shake all nations, and the desired of all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory’, says the Lord Almighty” (Hagg. 2:6-7 and 21-23)
This shaking will be so strong that Jesus himself warned, “Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken”(Luke 21:26).
The Corona crisis makes very clear how fragile our whole world trade system, our society and ultimately our life is.
Hopefully these shakings will set free a hunger for God – and Jesus’ church must be prepared for this. What is expressed in the book of Haggai is put in a different way in Hebrews 12. Here the coming shakings will shake whatever can be shaken in order to reveal the things which cannot be shaken (Hebr. 12:27ff).
This text ends with a challenge to all of us, “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire” (Hebr. 12:28-29).
Man-made church structures and systems will be shaken and will fall, also, so that the original situation reappears (they met in the homes).
THIS IS ONLY THE BEGINNING
If we read God’s word carefully and take it seriously, we realize that this is only a small preview of what will come. The Hebrew prophets and the New Testament speak of a time when God will judge the world strongly – because of injustice and rebellion against God.
I think that the Coronavirus pandemic is not God’s true judgment, but only a forerunner of what will come in much greater measure if the world does not repent. In this sense the Coronavirus is a sign of future things when certain plagues will destroy the earth and mankind still does not repent (Rev. 9:18-21). But it is also a warning that this is still a time of mercy in which “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Joel 2:32 and Acts 2:21). It is a wake-up call to the church to know the time in which we live and act accordingly.
URGENT CALL TO PRAYER
All of this should and must drive us to prayer, into the Father’s arms! There we implore men to turn to God and be saved. That the name Jesus Christ will be honored and glorified and his kingdom will be spread! Now we have the time for this. We have the unique opportunity to come together as a married couple, as a family and to realize what we have in each other. Family will again really become family as it was originally meant. We should and will make a difference to those who do not know God because we are full of love and this love of God dispels all fear. We are full of hope and peace in every situation because our hope and peace are a person – the Prince of Peace Jesus Christ. We will be ready at all times to help wherever help is needed. We will be and are the true ambassadors in Christ’s stead! Thank you, Father, for these opportunities.