My children were not allowed to say certain words as they were raised. They were not allowed to tell each other “shut-up” or “stupid” or “dumb.” When unexpected devastating events come against a nation, or specific regions of a nation, there is a word no one wants to hear or say and that is “judgment.” When a global pandemic comes and claims lives, removes our freedom, takes our jobs, and threatens our future, still no one wants to hear about the judgment of God. For some reason when anyone calls a pandemic the judgment of God, they are labeled as a doomsayer. But if we view Gods Word as more than a historical antiquated document and actually see it as a relevant living document, then suggesting the pandemic might actually be judgment of God would be logical.
Many of the prophets of the Old Testament were called to preach a message of judgment. Their message was, “repent and get right or God is going to get you right.” Jonah was the rebellious passenger in a ship with other men headed to Tarshish. He had received the command of God to preach a warning message of judgment to the Ninevites, but decided he didn’t want that assignment, so he set sail in another direction. As a result of that rebellion and disobedience, the Amber Alert was sounded and God rocked the sea and gave a whale an assignment. Many times when judgment comes, we think it is because of the wickedness of men, and in some cases it is, but most of the time it is because of the rebellion and disobedience of God’s people. Think about what this means.
“For the time [has come] for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if [it begins] with us first, what will [be] the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?” 1 Peter 4:17
You will never find an article on preaching on the judgment of God in any of the new church growth books, and seldom will you ever hear of a series focused on the judgment of God. But you will find the subject of judgment as a consistent theme throughout God’s Word. In fact, the last book in the Bible is filled with the details of the future unthinkable judgments that are still to come. This coronavirus may be or may not be the judgment of God, but because God is such a good Father and the church in many cases has set sail in another direction rejecting the holy commands of God, there are strong indicators that it is.
When God’s judgment falls, respond with repentance, that’s what the Ninevites did. We also know that God gave Jonah another chance. Our God is so full of grace, love, and mercy, but He is also a good, good Father who will always respond when His children disobey.