What plague is this?

“When I raise my powerful hand……the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord” (Exodus 7:5)

Our world has experienced a variety of plagues throughout history.  Some have been referred to as the black plague, bubonic plague, and septicemic plague to name a few.  Now our world is experiencing a new plague, called coronavirus.  What exactly is a plague?  Other words for plagues are pestilence, epidemic, and pandemic.  Our coronavirus is of the pandemic variety.  It is referred to as pandemic because it has spread over several countries and continents. 

Plagues are mentioned roughly 100 times in the Bible.  The plagues Christians are most familiar with are the 10 plagues of Egypt that God sent upon that nation to free his people from captivity.  But plagues are also mentioned in the Old Testament books of Deuteronomy, Numbers, II Chronicles, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Amos, to name a few. 

Jesus referred to plagues in his discussion with the disciples about the end times, in both Matthew 24 and Luke 21 – “There will be great earthquakes, and there will be famines and plagues in many lands.” (Luke 21:11).  But we must be aware that he prefaced his predictions about these events by telling the disciples, “yes, these things must take place first, but the end won’t follow immediately.” (verse 9).

The real end times plagues will not happen until the Tribulation period.  You can read about them in Revelation chapters 15 and 16.  These plagues are referred to as “The Seven Plagues of Revelation.”  The interesting thing about the seven plagues of Revelation is that they will mirror seven of the ten plagues of Egypt.

So, is the coronavirus a plague that tells us it is the end of the world?  I do not believe so.  If you are a serious bible student, you will want to at some point do a study in the subject of hermeneutics.  It is the science of interpreting the bible.  One of the aspects of that study is what is referred to as “the first mention principle.”  What that means is that the first time something is mentioned in scripture, God establishes a truth or principle that will prevail throughout his word.  Applying this principle to plagues, we learn that the first time plagues were referred to in the bible, they became the definition of a plague that established God’s standard for plagues throughout the bible.  Thus, the last plagues in the bible (the seven plagues of Revelation) mirror the first mentioned plagues in the bible (the 10 plagues of Egypt), because God’s principle for plaques has not changed from the beginning of his word to the end, reminding us of the fact that we serve a God who does not change. 

When God pours his wrath out as told in Revelation, it will be like nothing this world has ever seen, just as the plagues in Egypt were like nothing that nation had ever seen.  For me personally, I would be more open to saying that this coronavirus may well be a warning to the world to open the eyes and hearts of people to the fact that we need to repent and turn to God – before those final plagues come and it is too late. 

But just to close such a heavy subject with a little humor.  (Something we can all use right now) One of my Facebook friends posted the following: “God got tired of our backstabbing and finger pointing, so he has sent us all to our rooms.”  Hmmm…..they might be on to something.