The Coronavirus – Recognizing the Enemy for What it Is
As we all know, the entire world has been overrun by a global pandemic – the Coronavirus, otherwise known as Covid-19. Such a pandemic has only occurred a few times in recorded history, the most recent being the Swine Flu pandemic that ravaged the earth back in 2018. It has been estimated that between 50-100 million souls were lost in the last global plague.
And now here we are, in 2020, battling the latest of these global pandemics – Covid-19. The epidemic began in China in late 2019, and was declared a “pandemic” in early 2020. Meaning it had begun to spread around the world, spreading in communities through close proximity involving individuals. Nearly every country has been infected with cases, and some number of deaths. Globally the death count has risen to over 100,000, and is still rising (for the latest status, see https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/)
More than a Physical Battle: We are in a Spiritual Battle
The reason I am writing this is that it occurs to me that this is not just a battle to get control of, and eventually exterminate a virus. It is much more that that – it is a spiritual battle against the forces in this world that are being controlled by wicked spiritual forces in the heavenly realm . As it says in the Bible:
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in heavenly places” (Eph 6:12)
The Coronavirus Covid-19 is not a living thing. It is not classified as a living thing because it is a virus, and does not pass many of the these for what constitute a living thing. Why is the Coronavirus not considered a living entity?
- Living things can control their internal temperature, and contents. They can maintain a type of balance. Viruses do not have nuclei, organelles, or cytoplasm like cells do, and so they have no way to monitor or create change in their internal environment.
- Living things reproduce – the Covid-19 virus cannot, without puncturing and taking over a living cell. The virus enters living cells and then hijacks the host’s cellular equipment to copy viral genetic information, build new capsids, and assemble everything together. The Covid-19 virus is a physical thief, just like the evil powers we battle in the spiritual realm.
- Living things grow. They use energy and nutrients to become larger in size or more complex. Viruses manipulate host cells into building new viruses which means each virion is created in its fully-formed state, and will neither increase in size nor in complexity throughout its existence. Viruses do not grow. Notice that once the LORD had created living forms, and the pinnacle of His creations, Adam and Eve, the first thing He commanded them to do was to grow, to “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth” (Gen 1:28).
- Living things use energy. All the energy that goes into the construction of a new copy of the virus comes from, you guessed it, the host. While viruses will definitely benefit from the use of energy, they are sucking out the energy from the host’s metabolism to get to it. The are a kind of vampire, sucking the life out of the host cell. Much like sin sucks the life out of one of God’s creatures.
Where does this leave us? Are viruses alive? Most biologists say no. Viruses are not made out of cells, they can’t keep themselves in a stable state, they don’t grow, and they can’t make their own energy. Even though they definitely replicate and adapt to their environment, viruses are more like androids than real living organisms. Just like crazy killer robots, viruses are created fully formed, and rely on living host cells to build, replicate and power themselves.
Viruses, including Covid-19, are carriers of death. A tool of the evil one, who seeks to kill and destroy everything that is good.
In contrast, God our Creator is the Author of life. Our Lord tells us that “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life“. He is the source of everlasting life for all those that believe and place their trust in Him. Death, sin and the corruption of everything good came into the world when humankind rebelled, and chose to follow their own way, ally with the evil one, turning their back on their loving Creator (who had warned them not to disobey, or they would die – spiritually first, and then physically).
Notice also that like evil, the Corona virus is a corruption of the good. It cannot create by itself, only corrupt that which is good. It relies on a living thing to exist, and to replicate, infecting the living creature much the way sin infects one of God’s creations. Like sin it will die unless it can suck time, energy and attention from its living host. The more we give out time and energy to sin in our life, the more it will flourish in and though our minds and bodies. And if left unchecked, we will eventually die due to the sin which has taken over our life.
God’s good creation, the marvelous body and soul He has given you, does not need evil, or a lifeless tool of the adversary, to live and thrive. But evil cannot exist apart from life. It must draw its strength, energy, and power to reproduce from the living – from you – and me. Ignored, left to itself, it will eventually crumble away. We do not have to give ourselves as slaves to sin. We have been given a choice – and can accept the free gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ. For in believing and trusting in Him, we have been redeemed from the power of sin and death, and are no longer under the power of sin and evil. In Jesus, you have all the machinery to need to live, grow, and thrive while you walk in His light, and grow in His grace. “You are no longer a slave to sin, but a child of God.”
So pray daily, for we are not in just a physical war, but a spiritual battle. And our adversary is a wicked one, trying to use this evil Coronavirus to kill and destroy as many of God’s creatures as he can. Know that our weapons are not carnal, but spiritual. And our prayers will reach to God the Creator, and then when we step out – wearing our masks, or our protective gear as a nurse or doctor in a hospital, we can be assured that the Lord is fighting the battle, and our prayers and the actions that follow are tearing down the “strongholds” of the enemy, defeating this non-living thing and the evil forces behind it where ever we find it.
Do not give the evil a foothold, or opportunity to infect you – physically, or spiritually
- Keep your masks on when in crowds, wash you hands, and protect yourself from the wicked tool of the evil one.
- Pray for God to fill your heart with His Spirit, giving you His life and His strength to endure
- Read the Bible. Meditate on His Word to transform your thoughts to what is good, and uplifting
- Realize that when you trust God, and put Him first, He is there to fight for you
- Seek opportunities to be kind, considerate, and and do not cease from doing good when it is in your power to do so. Put your faith into action by helping others in this difficult time.
Khan Academy: https://www.khanacademy.org/test-prep/mcat/cells/viruses/a/are-viruses-dead-or-alive