I’ve seen reporting in the media and quite a few social media posts indicating that some Christians believe that the China Virus and its’ effect on our people is somehow an act of God because of the sins of our nation. They suggest that the negative impact on our economy and the loss of jobs in entertainment, sports, retail, and hospitality sectors are God’s way of forcing people back into their homes to contemplate their evil deeds. A national banishment into the corner or “time-out” until we repent seems to be how some evaluate our current circumstances, convinced God will not let us out until our attitudes and actions change.
Healing the Land
In order to substantiate their convictions, some offer this verse found in 2 Chron. 7:14 “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” God spoke this to Solomon as the Temple was dedicated. Solomon was king of Israel, the chosen people of God, the leader of the beneficiaries of the Old Covenant. This agreement is also known as the Old Testament, the Law and the Prophets that Jesus came to fulfill. God spoke these words not to all the people within the borders of Israel, but specifically to “My people, those called by My Name.” In short, God was not addressing anyone but His covenant people.
Old Covenant Law
When we quote verses we must consider who they were written to. The aforementioned verse was not written to the United States of America, nor necessarily to the New Covenant Church that resides in its’ borders. It was written to Israel under Old Covenant Law. To be sure, national repentance and seeking the face of God are good things, but is God taking our country to the woodshed with the China Virus over sin and failure to acknowledge Him? As believers in Jesus Christ, we no longer live under the law. We are participants in “a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.” (Hebrews 8:6) Jesus established this New and Better Covenant through the shedding of His precious blood, which was not shed for the judgment of men, but for their salvation. In Jesus’ own words “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” (John 3:17 )
New Covenant People
Even if we were to use the Old Covenant standard applied to Israel when speaking of repentance as a precursor to national healing, we must assume the same standards apply. The call to repentance was not directed to anyone other than “My people. “ Using this context, we would have to conclude that our Heavenly Father is concerned about repentance and a return to Him by the Church, His New Covenant people, and not those in our nation who have yet to become Christians. It does not surprise God when sinners act like sinners: perhaps more surprising to Him are saints acting like sinners, but even then, is He acting in judgment by tormenting His own children?
The Righteous Judge
Does God want everyone to repent and seek His face? Does He desire a relationship with every man, woman, and child? Yes and Amen! His will is revealed in 1 Timothy 2:4 “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” Jesus said “thy Word IS truth. ” What else does His Word say? “But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, long suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth. (Psalm 86:15) There is a day coming when Jesus will act as the Righteous Judge of all men. When He returns, all will see Him take up that Office. Until that day comes, He is still acting to save men, not by taking things from them to force their repentance and worship, but GIVING them eternal life and the blessings of His Kingdom. Let us not be quick to use scripture to try to enforce our own religious zeal upon others, but use the Words of Jesus to draw them into the loving, caring family of God. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (John 3:16-17)
The question is “Did God send the China Virus as a judgment upon the United States or His children in the Church to compel repentance?” The answer is NO!!!