There’s grave concern across our globe right now concerning the imminent threat of the coronavirus known as novel COVID-19 virus. I’m a huge basketball fan. I can’t wait until March Madness every year to fill out my bracket and predict who will win the “big dance!” I also love watching the NBA Finals. The NBA season has been suspended because Rudy Gobert, of the Utah Jazz, has contracted COVID-19. The NCAA tournament has also been canceled. During an unprecedented time like this, there’s more to life than basketball.
What has the coronavirus revealed to us? How is God sovereignly working behind the scenes to orchestrate His divine plan? We cannot answer this because the secret things belong to the Lord (Deuteronomy 29:29). As I was doing sermon preparation this week, I came across Isaiah 1:5-6 which reads, “Why will you still be struck down? Why will you continue to rebel? The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even to the head, there is no soundness in it, but bruises and sores and raw wounds; they are not pressed out or bound up or softened with oil.”
The prophet Isaiah addressed the nation of Israel for their rebellion against God. I want you to notice how he describes the sinful condition—as a sickness. He likens sin to an infectious disease that covers the entire body from head to toe. The graphic imagery Isaiah uses here shows the corruptive nature of sin that is pervasively embedded deep in our hearts.
If anything, the coronavirus should make us pause as we think about a worldwide pandemic. COVID-19 is highly infectious and has caused the stock market to go bonkers, cause major sporting events to close down, and has impacted the entire globe. I wonder if people are more concerned about contracting COVID-19 than they are concerned about the sinful state of their souls. If anything, the coronavirus should make us pause and think about how sinful we truly are from head to toe. We should contemplate how this depravity has infected us deeply within our souls.
What is the only answer to this sin sickness? To this “coronavirus of the soul” as Isaiah would probably describe it if he were living today! If we continue reading in Chapter 1, we find the cure in Isaiah 1:18: “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.” Only through the precious blood of Christ can we have complete forgiveness of sins. Only through the atoning death of Jesus on the cross can the infection of our rebellion be cleansed comprehensively.
Right now all we can do is wait and see what happens concerning COVID-19. We should pray for our leaders on all levels to use wisdom and caution. We should pray for those who have been infected. We should pray against a worldwide spread of the coronavirus. But most importantly, we should be soberly reminded that there’s more to life than basketball or even our comfort.
The greatest threat to the globe is not the coronavirus, but sin and rebellion. If you die in your sins without repenting and believing in Jesus, the consequences are eternal punishment in hell. The greatest news in the world is that we can be forgiven through Jesus Christ. He alone is the cure! He alone is the answer! May God grant us His grace and peace in this time of grave uncertainty.