God’s love, Covid and the rainbow.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3.16-17.
In these dark days, when as a nation, the isolation is effecting our mental health and as we face up the realities of the effects of Covid we need to: as Hebrews 10.23 says “Hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he that promised is faithful.”
In therapy it’s often the case that we project our genetic fathers onto our understanding of God the Father. This is often understood in addressing Electra or Oedipal issues where relevant. This means we can believe that God is angry, distant, judgemental and punishing us. This could not be further from the truth!
God is faithful to his character. 1 John 4.8 b “God is love.”
So perhaps we are wondering about why God has permitted Covid?
Jesus himself answers this as he explains in Luke 21.9-11: “When you hear of wars and uprisings, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away. Then he said to them: Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places and fearful events and great signs from heaven.”
In other words we live in the end times as we wait for Jesus to return. And because he loves us he will then bring judgement and justice as he returns to make everything new and perfect. Revelation 21. 4a, 5a. “He (God) will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or dying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. He who was seated on the throne said “I am making everything new!””
At that time, at the end of history, Jesus’s final judgement will come. And we who believe will not be subject to this: “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8.1. This is the Gospel. Jesus took God’s judgement and condemnation for us, by dying in our place on the cross. “This is love: not that we loved God, but he loved us and sent his son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” 1 John 4.10
But right now God is patient. 2 Peter 3.8-9. “But do not forget this one thing dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand days are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
We see God’s mercy today to help us with flawed bodies and minds and flawed creation, as he helps us to develop medications and vaccines. James 1.17 “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”
And we may wonder about the significance of the rainbow at this particular time. Well, God did condemn the earth in the book of Genesis with the flood but rescued his faithful ones who were Noah and his family.
Genesis 9.12-16 “ And God said, “ This is the sign of the covenant I am making between you and me and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.” So the rainbow is another sign of God’s love and faithfulness!
Psalm 33.22 “May your unfailing love be with us Lord, even as we put our hope in you”.
All Bible quotations are from the NIV.
Copyright © 2020 Susie Scott Kydd.