The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted individuals and families in various ways and to varying degrees. Some have only been inconvenienced; others have been devastated. But there’s one element to this pandemic that I believe everyone has felt equally—frustration at not knowing what to believe, whom to trust, and which set of “facts” is the right set.
If there’s one word that encapsulates this pandemic and global crisis, it’s possibly “uncertainty,” or maybe “confusion.”
If there’s one word that encapsulates this pandemic and global crisis, it’s possibly uncertainty, or maybe confusion. One expert says one thing, but click over to the next article and an equally qualified researcher in a white lab coat will tell you the exact opposite. Who do we believe? Which model is correct? Were shutdowns necessary? Should we wear masks? Yes, we should. Wait, maybe, no, we don’t need to? (At least we can all agree that everyone should wash their hands!) It’s a confusing mess! As AiG staff member Dr. David Menton put it, “for every expert, there’s an equal and opposite expert.”
As I was reflecting on this and praying that God would grant our leaders wisdom to see through the fog to make prudent decisions that would promote the well-being of as many people as possible, I was struck by how different my frustrations with all the “experts” were, compared to how I felt when I came to God’s Word.
When I come to God’s Word, I come with simple faith, acknowledging that God is the one who knows all things, who never lies, who is never wrong, and who never changes. The Bible is his written Word, so I expect it to reflect his character—to be truthful in everything it says and to never change. I don’t have to read his Word and wonder if it’s true or not. I don’t have to wrestle with passages wondering “Is this really accurate? Did the writer have all the facts?” I know it’s true; every word of it.
The Bible is written by the God whose ways are above our ways and whose thoughts are above our thoughts.
Now that’s not to say I understand every single thing in Scripture or don’t wrestle with portions of it. It’s been said that the Bible is simple enough for a child to understand and deep enough that multitudes of scholars, past and present, have spent their lifetimes studying it, and they still find new things every time they open it. The Bible is written by the God whose ways are above our ways and whose thoughts are above our thoughts. But the overall message of the Bible is one of simplicity and clarity; it’s understandable without the help of experts, who don’t always agree. (This doctrine is known as the “perspicuity of Scripture.”)
This is particularly true in Genesis. I don’t come to Genesis and wonder, “does day really mean day?” “Did God really create ‘male and female’—maybe that’s not what that really means.” Or does “all the high mountains under the whole heaven were covered” (Genesis 7:19) really mean all the mountains under the whole heaven?
The Bible’s great and precious promises are as true during the coronavirus pandemic as they were before it.
Instead of being tossed around by the ever-changing, and often contradictory, opinions and beliefs of man, I have a solid foundation on which to base my thinking—the unchanging, infallible, inerrant Word of God, taken naturally (as it was meant to be read).
Right now, we’re in confusing times, with experts disagreeing and public policy makers rarely on the same page. This is frustrating (to put it mildly). But if you’re a believer, stop and take a moment to thank God for his clear, unchanging Word. Thank him that we don’t have the same frustrations when it comes to the basic doctrines of Scripture. Instead we have an anchor for the soul, a hope that never changes, a gospel that is always true and is so for every person, in every culture, and in every time. The Bible’s great and precious promises are as true during the coronavirus pandemic as they were before it and will be when this pandemic and quarantine is just a chapter in a history book.