Mysterious Virus an Occasion for Awe

Omri Miles March 24, 2020

Love. Compassion. Charity. Patience. Caution. Prayer. Generosity.

All these responses are appropriate for Christians and have been evident within our church family over the past few weeks since the emergence of the Coronavirus threat in the United States. Grace Bible Church, your leaders are SO ENCOURAGED by the outpouring of love and good deeds that we have had the privilege to witness thus far. Thank you! While we continue practicing obedience in these ways, there is also another response, equally appropriate, that might be easily overlooked during these times — awe. 

God’s Concealing Ability

While the Coronavirus requires careful, wise, and self-sacrificial responses from us toward one another, we must not forget that these times are also an occasion for worshipful responses to God, not the least of which is fear, wonder, and amazement (i.e. awe). Proverbs 25:2 teaches us what to remember whenever we embark upon a path of discovery: “It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out.” 

Anytime we face the unknown, God intends to be worshiped by us. Why? Because as this proverb states, it is His glory to conceal things. Since God created all things and sustains all things and in Him all things hold together (Acts 17:24-28; Col. 1:16-17), He can make no discoveries. Nothing is new to Him, nor does anything take Him by surprise. Indeed, He owns everything, for the world and its fullness are His (Ps. 24:1-2; 50:10-12). God owns COVID-19. God controls COVID-19. God knew long ago that this invisible threat and its ensuing consequences would occur. And He left us in the dark. Even now, with so many unknowns surrounding this virus, we are still largely in the dark. And as the scientific and economic wise men of our day (for whom we ought to be praying and very thankful!) search tirelessly to alleviate impending medical and economic crises, we cannot miss this opportunity to marvel at the breadth and the depth of the knowledge and sovereignty of God. Truly, there is no one like Him!

God’s Revealing Mercy

This opportunity to stand in awe of God during this current season has tremendous practical ramifications for our lives as believers. The same One whose fathomless knowledge should amaze us has also told us what is the starting point of true knowledge: “The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of knowledge” (Prov. 1:7). And He has given this encouragement to those who do fear Him: “Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold. She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her; those who hold her fast are called blessed” (Prov. 3:13-18). 

To stand in awe of God’s sovereign prerogative to conceal His own knowledge ought to engender thankfulness in our hearts as those who have received the blessing of knowing the unknowable mind of God. The Coronavirus is fresh proof that God conceals whatever He desires from man. And yet, Christians have been granted the greatest life-saving knowledge of all — knowledge of God Himself in the gospel. God did not conceal the saving truth of the gospel from us, though He could have (Matt. 11:25-27). He has given us the gift of faith in His Son, Jesus (Eph. 2:8-9). Therefore, opportunities to worship God come as often as each reminder of our own ignorance. This is our privilege, even in trying times, since “by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God…” (1 Cor. 1:30).

Summary and Application

God’s knowledge is inexhaustible while ours is shallow and finite. Our knowledge is dependent on His. God conceals much of what He knows from man. But He has revealed the greatest knowledge of all, the saving knowledge of the gospel, to us who believe. These great truths give us great cause to worship our great God. Worship is possible and proper even when mystery abounds.

We can worship God in the coming days by:

  1. Acknowledging the greatness of His knowledge and wisdom (Ps. 147:5)
  2. Thanking Him for accomplishing the gospel (1 Cor. 1:21)
  3. Rejoicing in His salvation (1 Pet. 1:6)
  4. Obeying His wisdom (Deut. 4:6)
  5. Trusting His wise providence (Pro. 16:1, 9, 33)