Ask Dr. Land: Did God cause the coronavirus pandemic? If not, why did He allow it?

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Ask Dr. Land: Did God cause the coronavirus pandemic? If not, why did He allow it?
In the last month I have been asked with great frequency, “Did God cause the Coronavirus pandemic. If not, why did He allow it if He is indeed omnipotent?” Whenever we seek to answer such questions, we must first express our humility, remembering the Apostle Paul’s admonition, “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and how inscrutable his ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” (Rom. 8:23-24 CSB).

Fortunately, God has revealed a great deal about Himself and His purposes in Holy Scripture, and it is there that we must turn for the closest we are going to be able to get to definitive answers.

God has revealed to us that because of the Fall (Genesis 3), “The whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now . . .” (Rom. 8:22). The Bible reveals to us that literally nothing is the way God created it to be and that the whole creation is warped and distorted by sin, including but not limited to, humankind.

So, when people ask, “Did God cause this to happen?” the answer has to be, “No, He did not.” Why? The Bible tells us that “no one is good except God alone” (Mark 10:18). The Psalmist tells us that “the works of his hands are faithful and just” (Psalm 111:7) and “God is light and in him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5).

Thus, God cannot be the author of evil. The question then becomes, if God is omnipotent, why did He allow the CVP to perpetrate such pain and such suffering? God is omnipotent, thus all-powerful. He is also omniscient, thus all-knowing. As a function of His omniscience, He has always known what has happened or will ever happen. That does not mean He dictates that it happens that way. If God were going to allow Adam a choice, He had to allow Adam to make the wrong choice and to live with some of the disastrous consequences. Yet, in the immediate aftermath of the Fall, God sought out Adam (Gen. 3:8-9) and while pronouncing judgment, first promised ultimate redemption through the “seed of the woman” (Gen. 3:15).

The story of God’s redemption of man and the rest of creation, both cursed, marred, and warped by the impact of the Fall, is the story of God’s ultimate triumph over Satan and the pain and suffering wrought by the “tempting one” (Matt. 4:3) who walks the earth “like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8) and ultimately over death itself (1 Cor. 15:50-57).

Yes, God is omnipotent. However, since He is omnipotent, He can choose to limit Himself in order to give fallen men the opportunity (when convicted by the Holy Spirit) to respond to Him with confession, faith, and allegiance to Jesus and thus to worship Him freely and willingly, rather than being compelled to do so.

Please allow me to illustrate this in the following way. I am a huge Texas Longhorn fan and have been since I was six years old. On January 4, 2006, Texas played the two time defending national champion USC for the national title in the Rose Bowl. It has been voted by at least some sports reporters as “the greatest college football game every played.” Both teams were undefeated, and they entered the game ranked #1 (USC) and #2 (Texas) in the nation.

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Stay Home. Stay Safe. Save Lives.
#COVID19