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What does the Bible say about Corona

editor - 14 March 2020

Amazingly we see it happen.

A virus strikes worldwide.

In the meantime, the Corona-outbreak is now in this list of pandemics:

Spanish flu (1918-1920), an estimated 20 to 100 million deceased

Asian flu (1957), an estimated 1 million deceased

Hong Kong flu, an estimated 700,000 deceased

Mexican flu (2009-2010), 13,763 deceased

Covid-19 (2020), till March 11 4,373 deceased


Many ask themselves: what is happening here?

And many believers ask themselves: does the Bible say anything about this?

Where does this all lead to?

Is this part of the “signs of the times” of which Jesus speaks?

Jesus obviously expects that we can interpret those “signs of the times” when we follow the national and international news via the modern media. Thus He says in Matthew 16:2-3 “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.” You hear disappointment in His voice.

His friends ask Him one day to help them understand these “signs of the times”. And then He says: Sit down, here on the Mount of Olives near Jerusalem and I will explain it to you. Because then follows in Matthew 24-25 one of the longest sermons we can find of Him in the Bible. About the “signs of the times”. He sums up many “signs of the times”. And in “the last days” the ‘signs of the end times’ approach their climax. Amongst all those signs of the end time he mentions there is also the mentioning of  “infectious deceases”.

In Luke’ account of His sermon about “the last things”, we read in Luke 21:10-11 “Then he said to them: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.” For ‘pestilences’ the Dutch HSV translation says: ‘contagious diseases’. But Jesus mentions many more end time phenomena. If we look around us, we see them happen.

Not the end of the world
Earthquakes scourge planet earth. The statistics of the “killer-quakes”, earth- and see-quakes that cause fatalities, show a steep increase. Weapons of mass destruction – the so-called “ABC-weapons”, Atomic weapons, Bacteriological weapons and Chemical weapons, are developed by small countries as well and placed in position. Terrorist groups try to get hold of them. Radical Islam is advancing globally. In the Western world faith in a personal God is declining fast. Fear for the future is stifling more and more people. Is the planet heading for a Third World War, destroying everything?

The world economy is coming to a standstill. Diminishing energy supplies, pollution of air and water, agricultural areas are getting scarce, advancing deserts and continuously faster rising temperatures on earth resulting in radical climate changes. An increasing number of plants and animal species become extinct. Marine life is threatened more and more. Is mankind exterminating itself? Are hardly observable asteroids from outer space threatening to penetrate the earth’s atmosphere and strike into the planet with the power of many nuclear atomic bombs? Are more and more viruses and bacteria striking mercilessly so that old and new diseases grow hand over hand?

Or is there hope? What do the centuries old Biblical prophecies have to tell us about that? Are we at the beginning of the end of the world? Or are we approaching a new beginning? Are the future developments of science and technique going to save us? Living in the end of times. But how? What will the future bring? Nobody knows what the future holds. Only He who holds the future firmly in His hands, the Creator of heaven and earth, knows what the future will bring. And He has shown that to the prophets of Israel. This is not the end of the world!

The Lord Jesus mentions the Signs of the Times in his sermon about the end of the times in Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 17 and 21. His sermon about “the last things”. Many prophecies in the Bible talk about them. So that we will not be ignorant about the things that will come over the world. And to realize that He knows about them. And that therefore things will not get out of His hands. God is in control and He is moving forwards.

Infectious diseases
The Bible book “The Revelation of Jesus Christ to John” speaks about this also. We read in Revelation 6:8 “I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.” What are those “wild animals”?

The colour “chloros” (greyness/pale) is also translated as green, the colour of the grass. In Leviticus 13:49 and 14:37 it is the pale colour that has to do with leprosy, Hansen’s disease, a very infectious disease. And the apocalyptic horseman riding the pale horse has a name: death, and the underworld (Hades) follows him. The four apocalyptic horsemen ride out after each other and next to each other. And the three last ones are given “power to strike one quarter of the earth with death, war, famine, plague, infectious diseases and the wild animals of the earth”.

War leaves a trail of destruction. Famine is the first consequence and after that the infectious diseases. The “wild animals” of the earth are by some also seen as bacilli, bacteria, viruses and other living germs, the smallest living “wild” animals. How did the 10 plagues of the wild animals, frogs, mosquitos, horseflies, locusts, the plague and boils scourge the inhabitants of Egypt. Now this gets a worldwide meaning.

Birth Pangs
And still: Jesus calls them birth pangs”. The Lord Jesus compares the things that will happen to planet earth with birth pains. Painful contractions that will move across the world. The process starts slowly, but by the time the birth of the ‘child’ is near, the intervals will get shorter and the intensity and the pain will increase. But when the child is born, there’s nothing left but indescribable joy!

Who looks at what’s happening in the world around us, sees crisis after crisis. One crisis has barely ended, and the next crisis has already begun. Disaster follows disaster. Problem after problem. Earthquake after earthquake. War after war. Massacre follows massacre. Like waves they keep coming. In small ways and in big ways. In the end it feels like it’s too much to bear, and you think: can humanity and planet earth take much more? Will this be the end? Total annihilation of mankind and total destruction of planet earth? Is this the end of the world and of the history of mankind?

But He says: ‘these are birth pains’. Yes, they are increasing and they will be more and more painful, with ever shorter breaks in between. Yes, towards the end it will be almost impossible to endure. But in the end it will finally lead to the birth of the ‘baby’. Redemption is coming closer.

Israel is the greatest Sign of Hope the world has ever seen
But besides these negative ‘signs of the end times’ and these painful ‘birth pangs’ there are two positive signs that point to the Coming of the Messiah and which have not appeared in history—until  now.

The first of these is the worldwide preaching of the gospel of the Kingdom to all nations.  That is taking place in our days. The nineteenth century was the great missionary century. In the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, modern means of communication are broadcasting the gospel of the Kingdom all over the world. Jesus did not predict that each and every individual would have heard the gospel first. What He did say was that every nation will be allowed to hear the gospel, and then the ‘end of the age’ will come. Then the next stage of world-history will begin: the worldwide Kingdom of Peace and Righteousness that from Jerusalem will cover the earth. Isaiah 2:2-4.

The second sign is the budding and blossoming of the fig tree, Israel. In Luke 21:29-31 Jesus says: “Behold the fig tree and all the trees; as soon as they put forth leaves, you see it and know for yourselves that summer is now near. So you also, when you see these things happening, recognize that the kingdom of God is near.”

The coming back to life of the Jewish nation. The restoration of the land and the city of Jerusalem. The national restoration of the Jewish people to the land and then followed by their spiritual restoration. When your eyes see this happening, you need to know that Christ’s coming is very near, at your very door. The kingdom of God is near.  We are the generation that is seeing both signs happening in our days, as well as all the other signs.

The chronicle of the end times is not a cheerful, exhilarating story, but the Almighty one will not let go what He started. The Kingdom is coming, because we see Israel returning home. From all over the world, despite the Coronavirus.

Danielle Mor of the Jewish Agency, responsible for the Aliyah, the return of the Jewish people from around the world to the Promised Land of Israel reports:

“I am proud to update that despite the many concerns and voices asking that Aliyah be halted, the clear decision is that Aliyah will go on.

Since 1948, The Jewish Agency never stopped bringing olim to Israel and this will be no exception. 2019 was the highest Aliyah year in over a decade and 2020 promised to be even higher.

All olim will be advised of the current situation and the need to go into home quarantine, all will be welcomed, receive their citizenship papers and taken to their destination of choice where they can maintain quarantine.

Those that are coming to our residential programs, are being given quarantine in our centres. Our dedicated staff are bringing them food and supplies, staying away from their own families in order to support the new olim.

On March 18th, some 50 olim from Ethiopia will arrive. They will also go into quarantine but they will be out in time to have their first Passover of freedom in Israel!”

Because the King is coming. And from Jerusalem, peace will cover all the earth. Peace and justice. What a glorious future!

Lift up your eyes
Even when the Corona virus sweeps over the world like a scourge, we may lift up our eyes to Him who lives and thrones in Heaven.  And pray. Peter says in Acts 3:19 “Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.”

The end of this terrible part of world-history is almost over. Jesus is Coming. May the prophecy of Isaiah soon become reality for us all.

In Isaiah 2:2-4 we read:

‘In the last days the mountain of the LORD’s Temple will be established
as the highest of the mountains;
it will be exalted above the hills, and all nations will stream to it.

Many peoples will come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD,
to the Temple of the God of Jacob.
He will teach us his ways,
so that we may walk in His paths.”
The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
He will judge between the nations
and will settle disputes for many peoples.

They will beat their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks.

Nation will not take up sword against nation,
nor will they train for war anymore.’

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