The Coronavirus and Psalm 91
The Apostle Paul in Philippians 4:6 admonishes us to not be fearful about anything but to pray about everything.
That includes the coronavirus. We ought to be praying that it will cease spreading, that it won’t befall us or our families, that we’ll all be spared if it continues to spread, and even that summer comes quickly to help end it.
When you find fear creeping into your thoughts as you consider this virus encroaching upon your life or your family’s or as the drum beat of the headlines continue to ramp up our worry, please consider reading through Psalm 91.
Psalm 91:2-6 states this: “I will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’ For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence…You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday” (ESV).
The pestilence known as the coronavirus could be gone soon or linger longer. Our leaders have at least been proactive about dealing with this outbreak compared to similar outbreaks in the past. If you remember the Swine Flu of 2010 we had over 20,000 Americans infected, over 1000 died, and it took 6 months before our leaders decided to act.
We have reason to be more hopeful this time, but we also know that the spread of these viruses will pose problems for the world in the end-times. Jesus stated in Luke 21:11 that earthquakes, famines, and pestilence are signs of His return. I haven’t even mentioned that sometimes pestilence is used by God to bring judgment to a nation and that is something specifically referenced in Jeremiah 27:8 and Jeremiah 29:17.
The point of Psalm 91 is there in verse 6, that we would not fear regarding it interference in our lives. Fear can be like temptation in the sense that it is not sin, unless we fixate on it and allow it to turn into a full blown panic losing sight that God is still God.
It is human to have anxiety and to be apprehensive, but we turn toward the Lord and seek His face finding comfort and assurance through His promises like Psalm 91. We know God is still God, He is still on His throne, and His complete and perfect prophetic plan is in forward motion. We may have some fear about this disease, but we don’t allow our apprehension to turn into a denial of God.
Several weeks ago images were making the rounds in the news media that showed Wuhan, China by satellite and there was obvious thick plums of gasses that were said to be created by hundreds of bodies being cremated because of coronavirus deaths. I have to admit that the image caused me a bit of anxiety when I first saw it and considered that this could truly be the beginnings of a global plague.
Fortunately the Spirit of God reminded me, like a bucket of cold water, so what if it is? Adding that I was “to cast my cares upon Him” (1 Peter 5:7) and “to keep my mind upon Him that I may have peace” (Isaiah 26:3) and “do not fear because He is with me” (Isaiah 41:10).
We are living in exciting times, these are the end-times, and they may try our souls but these are the times that our Lord has ordained us to live. We are alive at this time in history because of the Lord’s will.
Besides, even if the coronavirus ends this week there will likely be something else coming behind it. Which perhaps is a good reason — all the more actually — to hide Psalm 91 in our hearts and minds.
If you have the chance over the next few days, read through Psalm 91 and meditate on Psalm 91, and especially consider the closing verses of Psalm 91:14-16, “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name. When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation” (ESV).