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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

February 28, 2020

Arrogance or faith?

Filed under Sabbath Thoughts

The corona virus continues to spread. If the numbers are being reported accurately, the United States has now overtaken China as the country with the most infections.

And the number of infections is not the only thing increasing with this virus. The ideas being spread are also multiplying about why this virus exists, causing governments to enact state of emergency measures to bring the situation under control.

When the world experiences unprecedented crises, people seek answers. For people of faith, this search for answers often expresses itself in attempts to determine the reasons that God is doing what He is doing. The danger here is that people think they know what God thinks.

Religious people have made a wide range of claims about corona virus. A rabbi supposedly said that the corona virus is God’s way of punishing the evil Chinese and the Iranians. There is a video quoting rabbinic leaders claiming any Jew who observes the Torah would not be infected. Someone also said that since "corona" means means "crown", the pandemic is a sign of the imminent arrival of the Messiah. Some Christians think that the virus is God's way of shutting down abortion clinics. And the Taliban and Islamic State have said that the virus is Allah's punishment for those who don't want to follow Allah.

Despite all the claims about what God is doing with this virus, God tells us that His thoughts are not our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8). This verse tells us very clearly that unless God reveals to us what His thoughts are, we won't know for sure what He is thinking. So we learn from this verse that we are to be humble and to be very careful before declaring that we know exactly God what is thinking.

When events are taking place in our world, we are blind unless God has clearly revealed things to us. Otherwise we have no way of knowing what God is doing and why He is doing it. So if God has not made that revelation to us, anyone who claims to know exactly what God is doing is acting on arrogance, not faith.

However, we can definitely know what God is thinking by when He has revealed something to us in His law. And His thoughts tell us, "Don't eat unclean food!" For example, stay away from bats and bat soup! If people in Wuhan, China had known God's thoughts on this subject, maybe the corona virus wouldn't be what it is today.

With these thoughts I wish everyone a rewarding Sabbath!

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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