What is the cause of this pandemic? Is it from God or just a man-made muddle? Unable to sort out these deep issues I decided to take up the offer of a free audio download and then downloaded the e-book as well. Listening only takes 2 hours 6 minutes but my advice is to listen first and then read it.
The book has two distinct parts. In the first, the author sets out the fragility of life, reminding us that our lives are aptly described in James 4:13 -15: ‘What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.’ He then challenges the believer to be sure that he stands firmly on the rock of Christ. This section lays a solid biblical foundation to prepare us for the onslaught of the pandemic.
In the second part, with his brilliant analytical mind, John Piper suggests six things that God is doing through the suffering that the virus has inflicted. This review is only going to look at the first and the last. The first is that God is showing the ugliness of sin. Talking about history he says on page 62, ‘But from humanity’s fall into sin to this very day, history, for all its wonders, is a conveyor belt of corpses.’ We have to face the fact that Christians suffer the same as everyone and are not exempt from dying from coronavirus, but for the Christian, ‘to die is gain’ (Phil. 1:23).
Piper’s last suggestion focuses on missions. This may seem strange as travel is impossible at present but as our church services go online each week they go out into all the world. He writes on page 99, ‘The global scope and seriousness of the coronavirus is too great for God to waste.’
For answers 2 to 5 get the book! It will establish the rock under your feet and equip you to make sense of this strange time in the history of our world.