We are at war with a virus! I am grateful for our federal, state and local leaders who are doing their best to protect our country during this time of war. I am thankful for those on the front lines serving in our hospitals and in the medical realm seeking to provide healing to our wounded. Our citizens are like soldiers exercising great discipline in personal hygiene and social distancing so as not to give the enemy an advantage. And it is to all those who are fighting this war, that I want to provide these words of hope, “the WAR has been WON!”
In war, it is always wise to know as much about the enemy as possible! As we consider COVID-19, we know the medical field has quickly and rapidly learned an abundance of information about this novel virus. We know that this enemy ultimately attacks the respiratory system seeking to inflict pain, damage, suffering and death. Concerning the origin of this virus, our intelligence agencies confirm that the Coronavirus began in China. We know this is a new virus, but we also know it is not the first virus, nor will it be the last! So let us broaden our historical perspective of this enemy by asking where and when did viruses originate? What is the origin of the first virus? Was there ever a time on this earth when viruses did not inflict pain, damage, suffering and death? Every bit of information about this enemy, will equip us to be in a better position to defeat this enemy!
In war, it is also wise to make sure that your intelligence agencies are both resourceful and reliable. Resourceful, in that you will have the necessary information. And reliable, so that you will have accurate information. In every worldview, people have biases towards information sources that they believe to be reliable and resourceful. If you choose the wrong sources, then victory for winning the war is greatly diminished.
The Bible, God’s Holy Word is the most resourceful and reliable information source when it comes to providing a historical perspective on the origin of viruses. You see, God knows everything! God is truth! God has always been! And thankfully God has recorded for us the origin of pain, sickness, suffering and death. Let me provide you a brief perspective of what God tells us in the Bible regarding the origin of sickness, sorrow, suffering and death in this world.
God supernaturally created the world in six days (Genesis 1). When God finished creating the world, He looked at everything He made and declared that it was “very good.” God’s creation was not just good, but very good. If there was sickness and sorrow and suffering in the created world then God would be lying to declare everything “very good.” So when God originally created the world there were no viruses attacking man! So what happened to God’s Creation?
God gave Adam, the first human being that God created, a command! The command was part of God’s owner manual for what would be best for mankind as he lived in this new world. As a just God, He warned man of the penalty for disobedience. The command is recorded in Genesis 2:16-17, “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.’” History confirms Adam’s choice, as the mortality rate is still 100%. The New Testament confirms this account, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men for all have sinned” (Romans 5:12).
So let us summarize this information in an intelligence briefing. 1. Creation: God created everything very good. 2. Choice: Man’s sin led to God’s just judgment. When man violated God’s operating instructions, sin entered the world and therefore death entered the world. Before Adam sinned there were no viruses inflicting damage, destruction and death upon mankind. Therefore, the ultimate origin of viruses is mankind’s sin and rebellion against a holy and just God. When we see the charts and graphs concerning COVID-19, what alarms us the most is not the virus but it is the high mortality rate that comes from the virus. The ultimate enemy is not the virus, but death. If our battle plan is only to defeat a certain virus, we will not win the war. History shows us that even after a major disease like the Spanish Flu is defeated, the mortality rate remains 100%. Therefore, our intelligence briefing based on the Holy Scriptures reminds us that our enemy is far greater than a virus. Mankind’s enemy is death. And the cause for death is sin.
I so much appreciate God’s reliable and resourceful intelligence, because He not only accurately describes our ultimate enemy and its cause, but He also informs us how this enemy is defeated. God is not only holy and just, but He is also loving and merciful. While God is announcing His judgment on sin in Genesis 3, we see an initial picture of God’s mercy. Genesis 3:15 points us to a seed that will come from the woman. And that offspring or seed is ultimately Jesus Christ. Romans 5:15 confirms, “For if by the one man’s offense (Adam’s sin) many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many.” This gift of God is described in Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
As we enter the month of April, we find two historical events that will be celebrated that summarize what Jesus Christ did for us. On Good Friday, Jesus died on the cross for our sins. Then He was buried. But then on the First Day of the week, the enemy of death was defeated as Jesus Christ rose from the grave. It is the resurrection of Jesus Christ that secures the victory. His death was absolutely necessary so that the just demands of our holy God could be satisfied. While Jesus was on the earth he went to the funeral service of his good friend Lazarus and this is what He said to comfort Martha, Lazarus’ sister: “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” Jesus’ resurrection secures the victory. And Jesus tells us how we can participate in that victory and it is only by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the one who died for our sins, was buried and rose again.
It is possible to lose a battle to a virus and still win the war over death. Jesus said, “he who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live”. On the other hand it is possible to win a battle over a virus and still lose the war. All those that recover from COVID-19 and those that never come down with the virus, still have to deal with the enemy called death. But the good news is the war has been won! God in His great love and mercy invites you to participate in the victory that is found only in the Lord, Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”