The past few weeks have been difficult for the entire world. Lockdowns and quarantines are now the norm. Few would have imagined this a few months ago. I could not have imagined that Nigeria would be in the situation it currently is, with temporary lockdowns slowly being effected across the country. At some point, many of us imagined that the entire continent of Africa would be exempted from this plague (we thought our weather would defeat the virus). But with 4,827 cases and 162 recorded deaths, numbers that keep rising, some experts say that tougher days are yet ahead of us.
In these troubling times, I have often wondered, “What is God doing in the world through this?” And I don’t think I’m alone. You have probably pondered on the effects of the pandemic long enough to think about God’s purposes. That’s not unbiblical. David often wondered why God allowed certain things to happen to him. “Will you forget me forever?” he once asked God, “How long will you hide your face from me?” The current situation in the world is different from the struggles of David during his darkest hours, but they both display how mortal men often question the purposes of an eternal God.
Today, certain men (and women) have chosen to answer for God. They have peeped into the mind of God and have understood his plans and purposes. These answers are not mere guesses. They are articulate answers to questions about the pandemic, detailing the reasons for the pandemic and its end date. Some of these answers are so clearly explained that you would think anyone who disbelieved them sinning by disbelieving God. The sad truth, however, is that time has proved many of these self-proclaimed seers wrong. The passing of time has firmly established the falsehood of these prophets.
I am of the opinion that if God were to fully explain his purposes, man would not be able to understand them. If God were to get into the particulars, while we are in pain and sorrow, to explain why he took away some of the people that we loved the most, we would not understand. And we probably would not believe him. His ways are not like ours.
Even the prophets of old couldn’t comprehend the purposes of God that were to be revealed in the New Covenant. They understood it dimly. They had shadows pointing to the real thing. But it remained a mystery to them, hidden from ages and from generations, until God revealed it to his saints (Col. 1:25). It pleased God to have it that way, and no man can question him. He chooses what to reveal and when he reveals them.
Moses said, “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law” (Deut. 29:29). His particular reasons for allowing this pandemic is a secret, one that he has not revealed to man. But he has revealed to his people general reasons for all that happens in this world.
We know that the pandemic is for his glory (Ps. 135:4-12). We know that it’s for our good as his people (Rom. 8:28). We know that the pandemic has an end date, which was determined by God long before it came (1 Chron. 29:11-12, Isa. 46:10). We know that God remains in control, using the events that happen in this world—including evil ones—to accomplish his purposes (Gen. 50:20). We know so much!
Whoever attempts to go beyond God’s revealed “things,” and ventures into deeper realms (whatever that means) to discover God’s secret things, would only be a fraud. Because he won’t find them, and he will be forced to give his own answers. Moses (arguably the greatest prophet that ever lived) chose to be content with what God had revealed. And I hope you will, too.