It has been intriguing to me, and also somewhat disappointing, to see how many Christians have reacted to the current situation with Covid-19. It brings to mind this passage in Isaiah.
9 Associate yourselves, O ye people, and ye shall be broken in pieces; and give ear, all ye of far countries: gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces; gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces.
10 Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought; speak the word, and it shall not stand: for God is with us.
11 For the LORD spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying,
12 Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid.
To be entirely clear, the context tells us (chapter 7) that there really was a conspiracy. The idolatrous Northern Kingdom of Israel has conspired together with the king of Syria to come in and conquer the Southern Kingdom (Judah) and put a puppet on the throne. The conspiracy was real.
God’s message to the conspirators through His prophet is seen in verses 9-10, above. In modern slang, we might say that He is saying, “Bring it on!” They can have their conspiracy if they want, He is saying, but it’s not going to go well for them.
And His message to His prophet? That’s in the next two verses — don’t spend a lot of time talking about it. Don’t be afraid of it and don’t be upset about it.
The problem (or maybe I should say one of the beauties) of ungodly conspiracies is they tend to blow up in the face of the conspirators. They tend to leave something important out of their plans. Pekah of Israel and Rezin of Syria forgot the minor little detail of the Assyrians out of their contingency planning. Much more importantly, they neglected to consider the Almighty.
Conspiracies are there, all the time. I am fully aware that some people think this whole thing is a hoax. I don’t believe that, but I can easily see that many people are conspiring to take advantage of it for political purposes. The entire response to it has been driven by the political agendas of those who are in power, those who want to be in power, and the allies in the media of one group or another.
I don’t find it hard at all to believe that God would have allowed a godless world to suffer the ravages of a disease they couldn’t handle. I don’t find it hard at all to believe that some of the amazing inconsistencies we’ve seen from governments in response are because they didn’t have good answers to something God was using to chastise and humble them. I don’t think we should assume a conspiracy or evil intent when incompetency and the removal of God’s blessing and protection could just as easily explain what we see. I think it is entirely appropriate to think “idiocy” rather than “conspiracy” in some cases.
But even if conspiracies are there, what are we gaining by talking about them? God said to not do it. Part of the reason He did, I believe, is because we are rarely in a position where we should actually do something about them. If we research and become experts on a conspiracy about which we cannot properly do anything, we’ve just spent a lot of time that could have been spent on serving the Lord.
We haven’t been thinking on these things:
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
We’ve been producing the wrong things. We know what the fruit of the Spirit is, does conspiracy-chasing produce these things?
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
My personal experience, both of myself and others, is that conspiracy-chasing, even if we are right, does not produce those things. It usually produces worry (not peace), unhappiness (not joy), anger (not longsuffering), combativeness (not meekness), and reduced temperance / self-control.
There are many real conspiracies out there. Satan is the god of this world (II Corinthians 4:4), and most of the rulers of this world will do his bidding most of the time (whether they are consciously aware of it or not). The spirit behind Antichrist, the “mystery of iniquity”, is already working in this world (II Thessalonians 2:7).
We can’t stop these things — that is God’s work, not ours. Satan is doing what he has always done and he isn’t going to stop because we manage to suss out what he’s up to this time and warn a few people on the Internet. Is he going to use the current panic to do as much damage to anything good as he can? Of course. He’s Satan, after all.
We are to be evangelists of the Good News of Jesus Christ, not evangelists of the bad news of Satan’s actions.
I Peter 5:8
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
Yes, we are to be wary of Satan, but that does not mean make ourselves into experts on the plots he is hatching. That’s another one of his tricks — if we’re focused on him and his plots, his foolish and wicked conspiracies, we’re not focused on the Lord, on holiness, peace, love, and joy. The conspiracies become more important to us than the Gospel.
If it were possible for Satan to be happy (it’s not possible), that would make him happy. But it IS possible to grieve the Holy Spirit, and forgetting the glorious things we have in Christ because we are focusing on Satan’s foolish rebellion will certainly grieve Him.
It’s time for Christians to quit thinking about and talking about conspiracies. Whether they are real or not doesn’t matter — it’s not how our Lord wants us to spend His time. It’s time to get back to spending it the way He wants us to.