As one who tends to look at the larger picture rather than the narrow one, and coming from a Christian perspective, I have an opinion. It is an opinion, but based in what I read in Scripture. So, for what it’s worth, here it is.
All we like sheep have gone astray. We have each followed our own way and left God out of the center of our lives and beings. So, God has been calling us back to Himself, through the recent weather events: tsunamis, hurricanes, floods, droughts, fires and locust plagues. He has warned us of impending danger from climate change: melting ice, rising temperatures in the oceans, threats to island nations just a bit above sea level, and more extremes of weather. We have seen the negative effects of pollution from oil, plastic, waste products in our water, the oceans and land, syringes on our beaches, all testimonies of our lack of care or concern for the welfare of our world or its inhabitants. We have polluted the water, the air and our lungs with abandon, all in the name of profit. Our greed is killing the only place we have to live in this universe. Yet, we have steadfastly ignored the warnings.
So, perhaps God decided to make things even clearer about who is REALLY in control of the universe. He decided to stop everything and everyone in their tracks, with COVID-19. Borders closed, flights stopped, people had to stay at home for weeks and months at a time. Economies are rocked to the core. Manufacturing is almost at a standstill, hospitals are overrun with patients, people are dying in record numbers so we can barely keep up with burying them. We are told to wear masks and stay away from other people physically. Even our pets can catch this virus and pass it along! We cannot even be with our dying loved ones for fear we will be the next victim. The disparities in our societies coming out in stark terms: more dead, more sick, less help. Those we considered as “worker bees” are now some of our most important people: grocery store employees, janitors, postmen, trash collectors. Without them, our lives would really be in a mess, and we wouldn’t be able to stay safely “at home”. Our values have had to shift, but will those last after this is over?
Our entertainments have dried up as people must physically distance themselves because one can have this virus and not show any symptoms. So, no sports, no plays, no new TV shows or movies, no concerts. Even our appearance is affected: no haircuts, nail salons, beauty parlors. And if there are a few of them open, the risk of catching the virus is pretty high. Should one risk it?
Businesses are struggling, and many have had to give up altogether. Those who can work from home do so with a sigh of relief. Those who can’t, worry. Will they get sick? Will they spread it to their families if they go home? How long can they live with the tension?
Government leaders are in disarray. It is like the situation in Egypt described in Isaiah 19: 13ff
The officials of Zoan are fools, and the officials of Memphis are deluded. The leaders of the people have led Egypt astray. The LORD has sent a spirit of foolishness on them, so all their suggestions are wrong. They cause Egypt to stagger like a drunk in his vomit. There is nothing Egypt can do. All are helpless—the head and the tail, the noble palm branch and the lowly reed.
As countries begin to try to reopen their lives and economies, God is watching to see how we respond. Do we acknowledge him as the creator and sovereign LORD of the universe, or do we continue on our selfish and greedy way to do what is “fun”, what pleases us without regard for the impact our actions will have on others and the environment. And there will be an impact, either way we go.