By U.S. Army Chaplain (Col.) David Giammona, Ret.
Early morning. March 19, 2020, Jerusalem, Israel. I awoke this morning realizing that the world I used to know is not the same. Our trip to Israel was cut short because things were begining to shut down: tours, malls, museums, restaurants, etc.
I was returning home to Georgia. I knew instinctively that the America I departed three weeks prior would not be the same America to which I would return. How quickly things can change.
President Donald Trump stated it this way: “I want all Americans to understand we are at war with an invisible enemy.” To that end, Trump signed an executive order on March 27 to activate our reserve forces not to exceed 1 million members on active duty.
I believe this is to not only strengthen and support our medical personnel, but to also bolster our forces in case of threat from foreign militaries that would attempt military interventions to weaken us or our alliances around the world.
China has already blamed the United States for the introduction of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in China. This virus has the potential to start a major rift between America and China. It also has the potential to weaken global economies that could result in the startup of a major regional or world conflict.
I believe that this virus has the potential to propel us into the Great Tribulation foretold by the prophet Daniel by setting up the world for the rise of the Antichrist amid economic upheaval, geopolitical realignments, and governmental collapse.
At the very least, it will create a new normal on our planet because people who are fearful will gladly give up their rights for security, even going as far as taking an injectable microchip implanted into their skin so that they can buy and sell without touching another human.
Tim Keller, the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City,
said it the best: “Your view about how the world will end affects how you live today.”
COVID-19 has changed and is changing the world in ways that we cannot even comprehend now. Undoubtedly, there will be a new normal. How then shall we live and how do we prepare for it?
To me, and believers around the world, this war is both in the physical and spiritual domains. Physical since COVID-19 has been unleashed on the world and the statistics are staggering. COVID-19 is on course to infect millions and kill tens of thousands, if not more.
Spiritual, because, as John Piper, a minister and founder of desiringGod.org, wrote in his article, “Coronavirus and Christ: Behold the Kindness and Severity of God,” “God not only comprehends the coronavirus; he has purposes for it. God does nothing, and permits nothing, without wise purposes. Nothing just happens. Everything flows from the eternal counsels of God. All of it is wisdom. All of it is purposeful. For those who trust Jesus Christ.”
Jesus himself predicted, in Matthew 24:6-8: “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled. For all these things must happen, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines, epidemics, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows (birth pains).”
These birth pains will continue to increase both in intensity and frequency until the return of Christ. What happens if on top of the coronavirus that we have major natural disasters and regional war? The world would be thrown into a chaotic spin that could only be saved by a superman, a messiah…the Antichrist.
A very interesting story (that parallels what is happening today) is told in 1 Chronicles 21 about the sin of King David who had his top general, Joab, number the Israelite army against the direct command of God.
David did it anyway and then tried to repent of the sin of pride and arrogance. God gave him three choices in terms of the type of punishment and David chose three days of plague by the hand of God. That plague killed 70,000 Israelites in a matter of days until God stopped the angel that was bringing the punishment.
David was directed by God to build an altar on the threshing floor of Araunah and offer sacrifices to God. That threshing floor became ground zero for building the temple of God by Solomon, one of the most magnificent buildings in the history of the world that included 4,000 tons of gold, 40,000 tons of silver, and so much iron and bronze that it could not be weighed.
Through David’s sin and subsequent plague came the Temple of Solomon. God never wastes events and opportunities. He knows what He is doing. Out of this current “plague” or virus may be the beginnings of the very events that will usher in the Second Coming of Christ. Let’s prepare.
How do we prepare and live going forward? By placing Christ in the center of everything we do and look to Him moment by moment for strength, inspiration, motivation, and courage in the face of overwhelming odds.