Did God Allow COVID Pandemic to Happen in the World?

The global north and global south are now on a radically different path than they were before. Government structures, economies, personal career paths - all have changed. Couldn’t God have been weaving together His grand plan through these overhauled events of history?

Did God Allow COVID Pandemic to Happen in the World?
Photo by Edwin Hooper / Unsplash

This article originally appeared in 'EGM Times Sept-Oct 2022' edition of Confident Answers.

Thank you Christina for sending in the question. I don’t think there could've been a more holistic question to initiate our article series answering the pressingly relevant questions of the ardent readers of the magazine. I hope that as I attempt to unpack the answer, this article series will cause more reflection on your end about the various facets of Christian living in the intellectual sphere, both privately and publicly, and subsequently move you to probe them using what Rick Warren calls our “greatest asset” the enemy is after - our mind1.

So, what is this question about? Is it about a ‘why’, ‘what’, ‘when’, ‘how’, or ‘who’? The question is a ‘who’ question. Did ‘God’? That's the question. Pretty straightforward right? Hence the answer for a Christian immediately comes off as a resounding yes! God has not, for the smallest fraction of a second, relinquished His authority as Lord over all creation. There is nothing that can overturn or overrule His unassailable, sovereign dominance over reality. Isaiah most unambiguously proclaimed this when he said,

“I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things.” (Isaiah 45:7, NIV)

Lamentations underwrites this proclamation saying,

“Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both calamities and good things come?” (Lamentations 3:38, NIV)

Both these verses, in addition to affirming God’s Kingship authority, most clearly spell out in case we harboured any doubt - He can and does create disaster and calamities. Having this spelled out in like manner hits the point home for us. We knew from the Egyptian Escapade that God delivered the Israelites through the Red Sea while He drowned the Egyptian army. We also saw that He gave light to the Israelites but darkness to the Egyptians. But we often turn to verses in Psalms to affirm God's role as deliverer, Saviour, light, fortress, shield etc. because seeing these traits spelled out brings a unique sense of affirmation. Likewise, God wants us to absorb as clearly as possible that He is the sovereign God who can and does bring about destruction at His own discretion. Since the pandemic happened we can easily affirm that He allowed the pandemic to happen because there isn’t any force within or beyond the universe that can even muster up to make God do something at gunpoint against His will. But what more does it mean here? Did He push a massive snowball down the mountain towards the village or did He merely step out of the way of the rolling behemoth, letting nature take its course?

Despite the lack of a conclusive answer to the question on the origin of the SARS-Cov-2 virus, investigations lean towards two possible explanations2: a species leap from animals to humans or the result of a botched (dare I say successful) experimentation in a lab3. If the former is substantiated, then the blame is upon humans. Animals, that otherwise wouldn’t have naturally been together, came in contact with each other in the open-air wet markets in China4 and enabled the virus to make species leap from (possibly) bats, pangolins and palm civets to humans. If the latter is substantiated then humans are still to be blamed. Lack of ample precautions gave way for the virus to infect humans and spread beyond the lab. Though speculations about the origin of the virus as a biological weapon have subsided, they still remain to some degree. However, in either case the responsibility upon humans cannot be negated. It doesn't seem either, from an inspection of the data and reports at hand, that a solely supernatural intervention brought about the virus5. So God did move out of the way of the snowball. But why?

Well wouldn’t we all like to know! But I don’t think we can in the here and now. Let me close off with two pointers that can help us navigate this question in the midst of our ignorance. Firstly, we can continue to trust God’s good and holy nature because of what we know through Christ’s words, His deeds, the Cross and how He has moved in our lives. Secondly, the Butterfly Effect. It is said in chaos theory that minute changes in a local area can have large effects in the remainder of that complex system. Translation: the wing flaps of a butterfly in Europe can
reverberate through the air and contribute towards a hurricane in South America. Consider for a moment how our world has changed post-pandemic. The global north and global south are now on a radically different path than they were before. Government structures, administrations, economies, job markets, personal career paths, number of family members alive - all have changed. Couldn’t God have been weaving together His grand plan through these overhauled events of history? Dare we say we can trace it all down?

Biochemist Fuz Rana6 remarks about the providential coincidence in timing of the development of mRNA technology and the outbreak of COVID such that, as Harvard medical doctor Anthony Komaroff too noted7, research spanning over three decades came to humanity’s aid at the proverbial 11th hour. Just like YHWH planted the tree in the wilderness in anticipation of the Israelites’ plea for drinkable water at Marah (Exodus 15:25) years in advance, He had providentially ordered the course of human scientific exploration to deliver us in our time of need. So we say, rest assured, come what may we take courage in our good and just God; our knowledge of Him shines ever so bright in our darkest times.


  1. Warren, R. (2021, November 29). Your Thoughts Control Your Life - Pastor Rick’s Daily Hope. Pastor Rick’s Daily Hope. Retrieved August 30, 2022, from
  2. Roberts, A. (2021, May 13). COVID Pandemic: God’s Fault or Ours? Reasons to Believe. Retrieved August 30, 2022, from
  3. Hassanin, A. (2020, June 25). How did the COVID-19 coronavirus originate? World Economic Forum. Retrieved August 30, 2022 | John Hopkins Medicine. (2022, July 29). What Is Coronavirus? Retrieved August 30, 2022 | Kandola, A. (2020, June 30). Coronavirus cause: Origin and how it spreads. Medical News Today. Retrieved August 30,
    2022 | Rath, L. (2020, March 24). Coronavirus History. WebMD. Retrieved August 30, 2022 | Sandoiu, A. (2020, February 11). Coronavirus: Pangolins may have spread the disease to humans. Medical News Today. Retrieved August 30, 2022
  4. How Wildlife Trade Is Linked to Coronavirus, VOX video, March 6, 2020,
  5. Denison, J. (2020, April 21). COVID-19 Is Not God’s Judgment. Christianity Today. Retrieved August 30, 2022
  6. Rana, F. (2021, June 4). The COVID-19 Vaccines and God’s Providence. Reasons to Believe. Retrieved August 30, 2022
  7. Anthony Komaroff, Why Are MRNA Vaccines So Exciting?, Harvard Health Blog (December 18, 2020), accessed August 30, 2022.