Coronavirus and Job by Michael Furlonger

One good thing about this isolation is that more people are attending church services than ever before, albeit online. And today I want to share how about my wife’s service from Sunday, which lead me to think of the coronavirus and Job.

Now, one of the things that I have commonly heard is that this virus is not from God. So many people are saying that, because we know about the background of viruses as well as other life affecting catastrophes, they aren’t from God.

Now, I’m not going to say this is or is not from God, but I will say that God is sovereign. Nothing happens without his knowing about it.

Blessed Be Your Name

We started the service by singing some songs and one of these songs is called “Blessed Be Your (God’s) Name”. Not just the Name of God, but the entire being of God, the characteristics of God.

The chorus, or bridge, of the song goes, “He gives and takes away. My heart will choose to say, ‘Blessed be Your name’.” I’ve heard pastors say that this song is about God giving good and taking bad away. But that’s not what it’s about.

First off, ‘Blessed be Your name,’ comes from a reference from the book of Job (pronounced Jobe). In the book of Job, this man of God loses everything aside from his wife. A wife, by the way, can’t even stand the smell of him, according to Job 19:17. To stay on topic, the song comes from Job 1;

At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said:
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
    and naked I will depart.
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;
    may the name of the Lord be praised.”
In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing. (Job 1:20-22)

As you can see, Job is saying, may the name of the Lord still be praised despite circumstances. Now, in the song, one verse reads;

“Blessed be Your Name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there is pain in the offering
Blessed be Your Name”

Supernatural Catastrophy And Coronavirus

Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”

“Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.”

The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.”

Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.

One day when Job’s sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house, a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys were grazing nearby, and the Sabeans attacked and made off with them. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”

While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “The fire of God fell from the heavens and burned up the sheep and the servants, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”

While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “The Chaldeans formed three raiding parties and swept down on your camels and made off with them. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”

While he was still speaking, yet another messenger came and said, “Your sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house, when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It collapsed on them and they are dead, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!” (Job 1:6-19)

Cause & Effect

As you just read, Job’s calamity didn’t come from a supernatural travesty. The supernatural God allowed a supernatural angel to cause damage to a natural man through natural means.

  • 1. Sabeans attacked and stole the livestock and killed the servants.
  • 2. Fire from heaven (arguably supernatural) fell and killed the sheep and servants.
  • 3. Chaldeans stole the camels and put servants to death.
  • 4. Wind swept in from a known position and knocked over Job’s children’s house, killing them.

The Lesson To Be Learned

A lot of churches teach on how God will bless them if they come to church and give a offering. Job’s story completely disagrees with that. And so much of scripture will disagree with the common prosperity message.

What we need to learn from this story is that God is God. He is our only Hope and our only source of Righteousness. To live absent of God’s righteousness is to live absent of God.

I can’t absolutely say, “The coronavirus is an absolute judgment from God.” What I can say, as Jesus said, “… When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

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I’m Fine by AntonioSeth

If you had someone come up to you and ask how you are doing, two scenarios will likely happen.

  • One: You probably would go on a 5-minute soliloquy about how you just got a promotion, how your kids are excelling in school, and how you love your significant other.
  • Two: You just simply tell the person “I’m fine”. I fall on the latter, and I’m pretty sure some of you who are reading this do too. Now I could go on about the reasons why we just tell people we’re fine, but there’s too many reasons for me to go through, and I ain’t got time to do that. I’m going to tell you why I do that.

Part of it is because I’m not fond of talking to people. Another part is because of trust issues that I’ve been working on. Final part of it is that life made me that way. As a kid, I did well for myself. Decent grades, decent lifestyle, I can’t complain. Then when I turned 8, life happened. I found out why my dad wasn’t around, I found out how bad my autism is, people started looking at me funny and picking on me. Because of those things, I pushed people away, I guarded myself from anybody and everybody. I chose to be alone.

So fast forward tooooooo………. Now.

I find myself in the same position Job was when he lost everything. Now I’m not questioning God as Job did, but I am questioning why and how am I in the position that I’m in, like Job did. Now before you go and grab your pitch forks, please understand where I’m coming from. For months, I’ve been in a deep depression. It’s a combination of things: fear of getting older, fear of death, fear of not living to my potential, and anxiety of everything that is going on in the world. I constantly feel like I wasted my 20’s and I let it breeze by. Feeling like the prime of my life has passed. But despite my fears, anxieties, depression, and Job-like questioning, I still find myself trusting God and his process.

Now mind you, I still am not fond of talking to people. Matter of fact, when asked to blog on here, I initially was going to ignore it. Partly because I have my own blog to worry about. But mainly because, I couldn’t trust myself to open up to a lot of people. But even that, my love, trust & respect for God outweighs my own anxieties. So I’m on here to encourage you with this.

I don’t know you, never met you, don’t know your life story. But I have a feeling that some of you are in the same position that I am. You might be worried about what’s going on, you might be scared because of contacting the Coronavirus (yes, I said it), you might be worried about the next phase in your life. If you are one of those people, I say this. It’s okay to say, “I am not fine.” It’s okay to tell people that. Heck, it’s okay to tell God that. Matter of fact, he wants to hear from you. But what matters is you trusting God with everything in your life, giving your fears and anxieties to him, believing that he knows what he is doing. I mean, he does know what he’s doing.

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