The state of the world since the coronavirus

Fredi Winkler

The state of the world since the coronavirus pandemic took hold is probably best described as “perplexed.” Supposed “experts,” who convey their point of view, keep emerging. But we all know that talk is cheap, especially when you’re not the one bearing responsibility or making the tough decisions. The coronavirus is still the great unknown: nobody knows exactly how it will be defeated, or how long it will take for that to happen.

The word “perplexity” occurs once in the Bible: interestingly enough, in our Lord Jesus’s endtime discourse on the Mount of Olives (Luke 21:25). In it, He also discusses natural events and catastrophes, over which mankind has no influence—not even modern man, with all of his technical achievements that reach as far as outer space. None of this can help us, because we are powerless in the face of the elemental forces of God’s creation.

Verse 26 continues, “people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken.” Of course, this doesn’t really apply to the coronavirus pandemic. But somehow, an uneasy feeling pervades the situation, because nobody can really get a grip on things. In particular, no one can say how long it will continue, and when normal life will resume.

The consequences for the economy are particularly catastrophic. Many economic sectors are paralyzed, and unemployment has reached unprecedented proportions, even in countries that are otherwise in good shape financially. How long can various countries continue to pay the promised unemployment benefits? And, if you further consider the potential financial consequences of the coronavirus “lockdown,” you might be afraid already. This entire situation could degenerate into a world crisis.

In times of crisis, it’s natural to look for who to blame. Because, if no seemingly logical explanations can be found, conspiracy theories take hold. (What else could you expect?) It’s amusing to hear the various contradictory hypotheses that supposedly explain everything. The idea that God could be behind it all to make the world’s wisdom seem foolish once more (see Isaiah 44:25), apparently never occurred to the intelligentsia of this world. Mankind’s scientific achievements are truly impressive, but this current crisis, triggered by a virus smaller than the eye can see, has once again shown us our inadequacy and limitations.

In Israel, coronavirus has been managed reasonably well. Its mortality rate for coronavirus patients is among the lowest in the world. The coronavirus pandemic also had a silver lining in Israel: it had seemed that there would be a fourth election because the last result was a tie. But in the face of the huge problems the nation is facing due to coronavirus, Benny Gantz has now decided to temporarily put aside the barriers that had caused separations in the past. This will allow a government to form that is devoted to the growing mountain of problems threatening the nation. No one can say how long this will last. We’ll have to hope and pray that everything will work out for the best for Israel.

Looking toward the One who has everything under control, I send you my warmest greetings with Shalom.

News from Israel - 06/2020

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