In this season of Covid-19, I have been wrestling with Old Testament passages and how they reflect the nature of a loving God. For example, a passage I have often heard referenced in the past several weeks has been 2 Chronicles 7:13-14:
“When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
This particular passage has been referenced in calls to repentance. However, these “calls to repentance” fall against the backdrop of other respected teachers preaching on the kindness of God, and urging listeners to remember that there is no sickness in God, no evil, no darkness, therefore, He has no sickness to give.
This notion troubles me.
Mostly, because I think back to Exodus and how God sent the plagues to the Egyptians. Clearly, He has the power and authority to command boils to cover a nation and people.
What are we, as Christians, to make of this? On the one hand, clearly scripture makes clear that God has dominion and authority over all powers, forces, etc., which would include sickness and disease. To deny that would be to deny His sovereignty. However, at the same time, are we to say or agree with those who say that He wields them as tools? This, to me, is a bit less clear.