I know a lot of people want to hear conspiracy theories, and how Covid-19 is part of a secret plan to control people. In many cases, reading and watching videos on these sorts of things can be more exciting than a plain Bible study. But studying the Bible and the plagues in it gives us something valuable that “Christian” conspiracy theories cannot. It tells how to be saved from them, how to act when others get it, and overall why God allows them. This is the information we need. Conspiracy theories can save no one, even if they are true. It is like junk food, it does fill you up. It appeals to the senses but it doesn’t bring us the important nutrients we need. Sometimes we need to eat healthily, we need to find the Biblical truth beautiful and attractive more than we lust for excitement – preaching. So let’s look at what the Bible teaches us about plagues and pandemics and see what we can learn from it. Does the Bible even predict a future pandemic?
The first known great plague in the Bible is the one God afflicts upon the kingdom of Egypt. The reason is very clear, the pharaoh was suppressing God’s people and preventing them from being obedient to God. He declared that his rule was to be regarded above that of the Creator. As part of disarming Pharaoh who had already shown a willingness to use violence and force to keep Israel from leaving, God sends this plague. This was to serve as a warning and to humble the Egyptians. Most of all it was given to deliver and save God’s people. Remember this important point as we will see this pattern continues throughout the Bible.
Pestilence and plagues are a curse
The second time we hear about a great plague is in the curse given to Israel if they would not keep God’s law. It’s important to remember that God gave the Egyptians a plague for their sake, so they could be free to worship God. Now God says the same will happened to them if they go away from God. Delivering them had a great cost and God would not treat His people any different if they continued in the sins of Egypt.
«But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments; And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhors my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, but that ye break my covenant: …..And I will bring a sword upon you, that shall avenge the quarrel of my covenant: and when ye are gathered together within your cities, I will send the pestilence among you; and ye shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy» (Lev. 26: 14-15 & 25)
God told Moses that a pestilence would work as a punishment when Israel rebelled:
«I will smite them with the pestilence, and disinherit them, and will make of thee a greater nation and mightier than they» (Num 14:12)
This topic is so important that God repeats it. He will not save them from the plagues that come over the earth if they continue to do what is wicked. If they refuse to keep God’s law they are cursed:
«The LORD shall make the pestilence cleave unto thee, until he has consumed thee from off the land, whither thou goest to possess it. ….The LORD will smite thee with the botch of Egypt, and with the emerods, and with the scab, and with the itch, whereof thou canst not be healed.
……Also every sickness, and every plague, which is not written in the book of this law, them will the LORD bring upon thee, until thou be destroyed. (Deu 28:21 & 27 & Deu_28:61 )
The census tax
God also forwarned a plague would come if, when Israel was numbered, a ransom for their soul wasn’t provided:
«When thou takest the sum of the children of Israel after their number, then shall they give every man a ransom for his soul unto the LORD, when thou numberest them; that there be no plague among them, when thou numberest them» (Exo 30:12)
This atonement money was to be used in the sanctuary service as a memorial before God. So to prevent a plague there had to be an atonement.
The plague at Sinai
The first place we see God afflicting the children of Israel with a plague is after they build the golden calf and worshipped it. Bear in mind that with this idol also came great immorality and practices.
«And the LORD plagued the people, because they made the calf, which Aaron made» (Exo 32:35)
When we look at the plague that came over Israel a couple of things might be worth considering in this study. The first is that a camp with nearly 2 million people was very vulnerable to plagues and diseases spreading at a fast pace. God had already taken such good care of them that he even made sure their shoes didn’t wear down on their journey there. He was protecting them against any harmful animals from entering the camp. Their health, spite their living situation, was credited to God’s special care and watchfulness. To teach them to be responsible and not just live unhealthily and expect Him to save them, He gave them several instructions. One of them was to not toilet in the camp and to cover up the stool with dirt. He also had instructions against people who had contact with the dead and to isolate those who got certain illnesses and not to eat animals that He had declared as unclean. Mostly it was carnivorous animals that could not be eaten.
So God wants people to be conscious and educated and then He gives His protection against the things we cannot control ourselves. However, He wants to educate His people so that they can as far as possible protect themselves. The plague that came after the golden calf incident was a punishment, however, it could have come from disrespect to God’s laws and also from God removing His protection from the camp. Promising protection to the faithful they would have been saved from it.
God will not in the long run protect those who are not just rebelling against Him but using their blessing to suppress the faithful. And this example is very clear in the next plague to hit Israel.
Plague after the rebellion of Korah:
The next time God sends a plague over the children of Israel is at the rebellion that took place at Kadesh Barnea. They wanted to choose new leaders and reject Moses and Aaron. They were angry with God. The new aspiring leaders wanted to lead the people back to Egypt. Had God allowed it, His plan for them would have been ruined and those who were faithful would be suppressed and outnumbered and God would not be able to fulfill His promise of the chosen land to them. Not only that, but many of the people also wanted to kill Moses and Aron and those who had remained faithful to them would become the next prey. So, God let a plague destroy the rebellious people. However Aron and Moses, by God’s will, made intercession for them and by making atonement for the people, God choose to forgive them and stops the plague:
«And Moses said unto Aaron, Take a censer, and put fire therein from off the altar, and put on incense, and go quickly unto the congregation, and make an atonement for them: for there is wrath gone out from the LORD; the plague is begun. And Aaron took as Moses commanded, and ran into the midst of the congregation; and, behold, the plague was begun among the people: and he put on incense, and made an atonement for the people. And he stood between the dead and the living; and the plague was stayed.Now they that died in the plague were fourteen thousand and seven hundred, beside them that died about the matter of Korah» (Num_16:46-49).
The Plague at Beth Peor:
At Beth Peor, right before Israel was to cross the Jordan River into the promised land they were spiritually divided into two large fractions. One part was crying to the Lord in front of the door of the tabernacle. Another was taking part in idol practices intermingling with heathen women. God again either removed His protection or caused a plague to hit the camp. God saved them from the plague once one of the priests punished one of the leaders of the rebellion:
«And he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel. And those that died in the plague were twenty and four thousand» (Num_25:8-9).
The plagues in the philistine cities
Another time we see God sending a pest is into the cities of the Philistines after they had taken the Ark of The Covenant in battle and attempted to humiliate God by placing it as a triumph in the temple of their god Dagon showing him as the supreme god.
God cuts off the head and arms of the Dagon statue and a pest comes into the city.
“So they sent and gathered together all the lords of the Philistines, and said, Send away the ark of the God of Israel, and let it go again to his own place, that it slay us not, and our people: for there was a deadly destruction throughout all the city; the hand of God was very heavy there. And the men that died not were smitten with the emerods: and the cry of the city went up to heaven” (1Sa 5:11-12).
By this plague, God was able to restore the Ark to Israel and it’s future purpose in the temple as part of the yearly atonement.
The philistines recognized that the illness had come at the same time as a large number of mice had entered the city, but they also saw that it was a punishment from God (1Sa 6:5).
Under King David after the people was numbered:
David had for a long time relied on God to conquer the enemy of the kingdom. But the people had started to think great things about themselves and their ability. They were forgetting God and there was sin among them. A sin David took after when he ordered to have the people numbered. The punishment was a plague:
«So the LORD sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning even to the time appointed: and there died of the people from Dan even to Beersheba seventy thousand men» (2Sa 24:15)
Just like the previous times, an atonement was made to prevent the plague from continuing. This time David made an altar and a sacrifice on Mount Moriah, and God then stopped the plague. Even when people rebel, God shows a willingness to stop the punishment and forgive every time.
The reason atonement works against plagues is that God, as He had already said, let plagues come when they break His law or live in constant opposition. However, when someone had broken the law atonement could be made and the people would be granted forgiveness. And thus worked atonement against plagues, for plagues come from lawbreaking and atonement blotted out the sin and reason for the plague and so God would again protect them as if they were guilt-free.
The plague under king Jehoram of Judah:
The sins of King Jehoram were great, and the people followed him in transgression. King Jehoram started his reign by killing all his brothers, marrying the daughter of Jezabel, the wicked queen of Israel in the north and it says he «caused the inhabitants of Jerusalem to commit fornication, and compelled Judah thereto» (2.Ch.21:10).
Now just as God had said, the curse came over him and a message was delivered to him by the prophet Elijah:
«Behold, with a great plague will the LORD smite thy people, and thy children, and thy wives, and all thy goods: And thou shalt have great sickness by disease of thy bowels, until thy bowels fall out by reason of the sickness day by day» (2Ch 21:14-15)
The Plagues in the North-kingdom of Israel:
Through the prophet Amos we learn that Israel too was afflicted with pestilences and plagues:
«I have sent among you the pestilence after the manner of Egypt: your young men have I slain with the sword, and have taken away your horses; and I have made the stink of your camps to come up unto your nostrils: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD» (Amo_4:10)
The great pestilence before Jerusalem’s destruction:
Right before Jerusalem was destroyed God tried through the prophet Jeremiah to reach the people, to encourage them to turn back to Him so that He could protect them. But they would not hear and they would not give up idol worship. Before the armies of Nebuchadnezzar reached the city a plague came over the inhabitants of the city killing large numbers:
«And I myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and with a strong arm, even in anger, and in fury, and in great wrath. And I will smite the inhabitants of this city, both man and beast: they shall die of a great pestilence» (Jer 21:5-6).
One of the reasons the people were such easy prey for the coming attack by the King of Babylon was that they had been weakened in number:
«And now therefore thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning this city, whereof ye say, It shall be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence» (Jer_32:36)
So God says here straight out that the pestilence helped deliver the city to the King of Babylon.
God explains why in Ezekiel:
«Wherefore, as I live, saith the Lord GOD; Surely, because thou hast defiled my sanctuary with all thy detestable things, and with all thine abominations, therefore will I also diminish thee; neither shall mine eye spare, neither will I have any pity. A third part of thee shall die with the pestilence, and with famine shall they be consumed in the midst of thee: and a third part shall fall by the sword round about thee; and I will scatter a third part into all the winds, and I will draw out a sword after them» (Eze 5:11-12)
The plague on Israel in Egypt
Just like Israel had been delivered from Egypt by among others the plague God sent over their enemies, He had warned them that if they did the deeds of the Egyptians a plague would also come upon them. Ironically this is fulfilled when a remnant of Israel returns to Egypt against God’s council after Babylon destroys Jerusalem.
God lets them know what will happen to this group:
«So shall it be with all the men that set their faces to go into Egypt to sojourn there; they shall die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence: and none of them shall remain or escape from the evil that I will bring upon them» (Jer.42:17).
God’s protection against plagues and pestilences:
In Deuteronomy, we learn that God would allow plagues to come and destroy them if they wouldn’t keep His law. But the same book gave the promise of protection if they stayed close to God and were obedient. This promise is repeated in the very cherished Psalm 91:
«He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.» (Psalm 91: 1-10)
Not only does God promise protection from plagues and pestilences if they are faithful he also calls the plagues «the reward of the wicked» This is consistent with all the other places we have seen plagues mentioned.
And the future plagues have the same meaning.
Christ prophesies of a plague coming before His second coming:
In the book of Revelation, Christ gives the apostle John the future that was connected to His people from his day and until Christ second coming. One of the things John is told is that right before Christ returns a pandemic will come:
“And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.” (Rev 16:2)
Also, this time the plague is poured by an angel coming from the temple where the Ark and the law are situated. The plague is here a punishment for not only their unfaithfulness, but they have tried to kill or even force God’s people into giving up their fidelity towards God (Rev.13:15-17)
In Revelation 18 this becomes very clear where God says His punishment over Babylon is to save His people, just like the plague in Egypt were sent to save His people there: “Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.” (Rev 18:6)
God says that He destroys Babylon for their sake: “Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.” (Rev 18:20)
This is not just to save those of God’s people still living who are threatened by them, but revenge for the sake of those who have died as a result of their behavior:
“And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?” (Rev 6:9-10)
So, a plague can be a good thing for God’s people if it only affects bad people or people who have gone astray and have treated God’s people badly. Plagues in the Bible are only ever bad news for the disobedient. In the Bible, it is very evident that pandemics and plagues are partly the results of disregarding God’s commandments, councils, and righteousness. The other times it is used to punish the oppressors or to lower the number of God’s enemies to help His people survive.
Although the Bible stops it’s writing in the book of Revelation, history has shown us how these same principles have happened again after the Biblical era. Now we can take our Biblical lessons and see some of these pandemics in a different light.
The plague of Justinian
In the first three centuries, many developments had happened within the Christian churches. For a long time, there had been at least two different distinct directions. One tried to stay faithful to its Jewish biblical roots and the other had blended with idol worship and practices. The largest one had for a long time received acceptance in the Roman Empire and a dark age of Christianity was imminent when the emperor Justinian made a decree in AD. 533 which made the bishop of Rome the head of all the churches. This was to settle any struggle for power or any question on where the center of Christianity should be. The bishop of Rome taking this position made him what we know as a Pope. However, the Roman empire was under great attack and was struggling to conquer the Arian Ostrogoths who had invaded Rome. This was accomplished in 538 when they took Rome back, and the Pope could sit to rule Christianity from his seat in Rome.
However, making the Pope the ruler over Christianity and the pagan-Christian religion the only authorized and accepted Christian direction did not bring Justinian any blessing or protection from God. Neither did it to the people who by favoring roman Christianity had by their actions brought such a leader to power. This was not the sin of one man, the bishop of Rome, he was just the result of the people’s great sins. The pope was the consequence of their actions. The pope was created by their sins. That is why Paul said: “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.” (2Th.2:3)
It was the people that had destroyed God’s truth and turned it into a lie. They discarded God’s law and word yet still claimed to represent Him.
Two years after the decree that made the Pope the leader and judge of Christianity, came what historians call one of the worst years in human history. The sun disappeared for 18 months. Scientists speculate if volcanic ash had covered the atmosphere and what great volcano(s) could have caused it. As a consequence of the darkness, the climate became colder and crops were failing and that led to a great famine. If this wasn’t enough, a terrible plague came shortly after later named after the emperor: “the Justinian plague”. Historians estimate that the death toll was 25 million people. It was the bubonic plague. In Justinian’s headquarter Constantinople, it was said that at its height it was killing an estimated 5,000 people per day and eventually resulting in the deaths of 40% of the city’s population. In addition, the plague likely killed half the population of Europe.
Because the Roman Empire was in large part Christian at this point it shows similarity with the plagues that came on Israel in the past. Most certainly God was not blessing either Justinian who had given the leadership to the Bishop of Rome or his followers.
Those who would benefit from it were those Christians who wanted to remain true to the Bible and were facing persecution from Rome. They had time to separate and flee.
Spite the terrible years that came after the decree of Justinian no change was made to the plans of controlling Christianity and Christians from Rome. However, the plague as before was as always punishment to the unfaithful.
The Black Death
Forbidding the Bible for common people, controlling Christianity with an iron fist, and severely persecuting those who tried to remain faithful to God and His laws left Europe in the Dark Ages. The Catholic church had not only fought Christians who would not subdue under them, they had attacked the Jews as well. A faithful few remained, most of them lived in hiding.
God didn’t just promise that plagues would come if they were unfaithful, He also said that wars were part of the curse for abandoning His laws.
After Justinian made his decree the Roman empire started crumbling to pieces bit by bit until it was divided. The east roman empire was still standing but they too would continue to lose all the important battles over time. Their territory was ever-shrinking because they were losing to the Islamic people. They lost Jerusalem, the Middle East, North Africa with Alexandria and in 1453 they also lost their capitol Constantinople. For a very long time they had been able to hold this stronghold in Constantinople, they were still many and fairly strong, but God was not blessing their efforts spite them thinking they were God’s chosen people. A terrible plague swept over Europe and made them all weak and low in numbers. The Muslim invasion of Constantinople was no longer to be avoided and the remaining east Roman empire was destroyed. The plague that had weakened Europe is called the Black death. The death toll is said to have been everything from 75 to 200 million people.
Europe was most certainly not under the protection mentioned in Psalm 91 in spite them being a Christian continent. According to scripture, a plague was a sign that a disobedient people had gone too far.
The plagues in the Bible usually worked to benefit those who tried to remain faithful to God.
It’s hard to say the effects the Black death could have on this this low number of faithful but what we do know is that the spirit of reformation started to grow after this plague. For a long time, people had feared to speak against the Pope and the Church, but seeing how unprotected they were would have caused people to seek God more earnestly.
A few years after the worst phase of the Black Death a light was lit in England. John Wycliffe had defied the Pope on the topic of common people not being allowed to read the Bible and for the Bible to even be translated into the common language, and then he made sure the bible was translated and then published in 1388. The Pope didn’t manage to have him killed before he died from natural causes. However, after he was dead, he ordered his bones to be dug up out of the grave, burnt them, and then threw them into a river. The pope cursed Wycliffe and desecrated his remains as a warning to others from following in his footsteps. But what Wycliff started was only to make way for what would eventually lead to the downfall of the Bishop of Rome. Wycliffe’s determination inspired others and as the spirit of reformation and hunger for truth grew, many European countries had the Bible translated to their languages. The enlightenment of what Christianity was about, it’s real roots, gave Europe it’s reformation and northern Europe ended up splitting from the Papacy.
The Black Death had not only left Europe vulnerable to Ottoman attacks, but most likely paved the way for the reformation to begin. A change in people’s mindset and a search for meaning was important for God to be able to save them. Remember it wasn’t just the reformers that saw problems with the then mainstream Christianity, the people saw it too and therefore the reformers got their strength partly from God and partly from the people who supported the reformation and questioned the status quo.
Are we to fear pandemics?
According to the law and the prophets, if you are faithful and in addition keeps God’s advice you should not fear pandemics. Remember God gave them many councils on how to avoid diseases from spreading with His protection. And so both obedience and mercy are needed to be protected.
The Bible also lets us know in Revelation that a future terrible plague will come upon people. “A noisome and grievous sore”. This will not fall on those who have received God’s seal, a seal that is to work as a protection against all the calamities that will come upon the earth (Rev 7:2-3). The coming plague is meant to punish the population for their terrible treatment of God’s people. This is revealed in the next plague: “And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.” (Rev 16:5-6)
And if we are struck by any plague we should examine our lives and our relationship with God. As God does say, whether we like it or not, that plague is according to the Bible a punishment or God’s withdrawal from a people.
Shall we then not have compassion for the many who die or are afflicted with a plague? The Bible tells us we should have compassion.
Moses told Aaron to personally stand in between the people and the plague in his day, bringing them towards God’s atonement and forgiveness.
«And Aaron took as Moses commanded, and ran into the midst of the congregation; and, behold, the plague was begun among the people: and he put on incense, and made an atonement for the people. And he stood between the dead and the living; and the plague was stayed.» (Num 16:47-48)
What an amazing sight, a man standing right there as a living shield against the plague for those who were still alive. Even more amazing as we remember that these same people only a while ago wanted to murder him. This action was inspired by God who desires to show compassion.
David did the same when he sacrificed on a high place before the city of Jerusalem to stop the plague from destroying the city. God chose again to forgive when the atonement had been made. Also here it was God who urged David to bring atonement for the people, God wanted to show mercy.
If there come plagues over nations, we are to pray for their salvation. For them to choose God and seek His atonement. Just as it was the case with God’s message of doom to Nineveh, even then when the judgment had been set, their conversion and how they humbled themselves before God caused God to forgive and not complete the sentencing.
God is merciful and He wants us through these Biblical stories to teach us to be the same. He wants us to pray for lost souls, even when they have received their judgment, in hope that the judgment can be reversed.
Both Aaron and David standing between the people and the plague was a picture of Christ Himself, who placed Himself between us and our judgment.
For all have sinned and lost God’s glory. And although we were as sinners already condemned to death, Christ stepped in between us and death and died for us so that He could offer us salvation where there was only condemnation. Like Aaron stood between the dead and the living, Jesus stands between us and eternal death.
Pandemics are a sign of God removing His protection, it is a sign of doom, but it’s not a time to lose hope. It’s not a time to enjoy or look down upon anyone afflicted. It’s the time to preach the gospel of mercy so that those who are plagued can receive atonement and eternal life. For we, afflicted or not, are sinners who are saved purely by the atonement Christ made for us. Not because we are better or wiser or deserved it in any way. We are all saved by Christ atonement. We are all to suffer God’s judgment if it isn’t for Christ mediating to save us. And just like the case was with Aaron and David, it is the Father Himself who planned for Christ to take this role for our sake so He can show us mercy. It is His love that places Christ there.
And if we are among those lucky to not be afflicted by a plague, we owe our fellow humans to be Christ-like and fight for their salvation. To plead their cause. To intervene on their behalf as best we can.
The last pandemic
The last pandemic that is coming over the earth is somewhat different then plagues in the past. It’s right before Christ coming and the battle of souls has been hard. Unfortunately, we see that those who are afflicted with the first plague, the gruesome sores, won’t be saved. Why? The Bible tells us they don’t seek God’s atonement even then:
«And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds» (Rev 16:10-11)
Is God punishing mean? In Revelation 18 where it speaks of the fall of modern Babylon God is very clear who He is trying to save by causing its fall.
«Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double» (Rev 18:6)
God is punishing and disarming them to save His people.
And after the description of Babylon’s fall God says: «Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.» (Rev 18:20)
As with the plague at Sinai, at Kadesh, at Beth Peor and so on we see the weakening of the wicked serves as salvation for the faithful. And although punishment is a terrible thing it would not be right either for God to allow the wicked and unfaithful to subdue or destroy the faithful. For who then will carry God’s truth to the next generation? And should God show greater love and mercy on those who hate Him than to those who love Him?
God in no way wants to desert His people and let them be extinct for the sake of mercy towards those who do not even want His mercy.
Babylon had for many, many generations hurt, harmed, and taken from God’s people their life, joy, freedom, and happiness. Here God says He has judged them for the sake of His people. To save His people.
And no matter how hard the judgments before Christ’s second coming will be it’s important to remember that God is an extremely merciful God, who has shown great patience, even patience to the cost of His people and He has even asked them to sacrifice themselves to help save their fellow men. He has been very good with the wicked hoping they would wake up and seek His atonement. But in the end, God chooses His people, those who have sinned as well but have sought refuge with Him, sought atonement with Him, those who respect His order. He chooses to save them and to destroy their enemies in this final climax, final confrontation of this earth’s history.
God says: «For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.» (Eze 18:32)
God doesn’t want anyone to perish. But people leave Him no choice. If one bad brother takes the food and water away from his good brother, beats his brother to the point of death, God will eventually remove the perpetrator for the sake of the good brother. But first He tries to convince, educate, and even warn the bad brother while the good brother goes through temporary suffering.
Execution of final punishment is part of God’s goodness. When God judges He is good. He sees the bigger picture of the long-term predicaments for all His decisions and judgments. When they need to come into effect in the present to bring good fruit in the future. We can only see a few steps ahead of us and what is around us. We worry mostly for ourselves, but God has to care for everyone. Therefore, many question God’s judgments. They are unable to see cause and effect in a bigger long-term scenario.
To be able to own the prophecy of Psalm 91 we need to stop the rebellion and be clothed in Christ’s righteousness. And Christ’s righteousness will be our shield in times of trouble and future plagues. And as the law says, if we willfully rebel against God’s government and laws, protection can be removed and we can be afflicted by the future plagues.
The Bible makes a plague a choice. Do we believe the Bible on this aspect?