Covid-19 Arrogance

Posted on April 28, 2020


By David Ettinger

WE Did It
As the Covid-19 situation in New York begins to ease, Governor Andrew Cuomo said this:

The number is down because we brought the number down. God did not do that. Faith did not do that. Destiny did not do that. A lot of pain and suffering did that. … That’s how it works.[1]

Such bluster brings to mind another quote: “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God’” (Psalm 14:1). To say that God had no hand in the improving Coronavirus numbers is man in his natural, prideful arrogance. If anything, the reason this pandemic has not been deadlier is because God is keeping it at bay – as He has done throughout history with every potentially humanity-ending scourge we have brought about because of our sin.

God has a set time for when this era of human history will end, but until then, He extends mercy. To the scoffers who ridiculed this fact, the apostle Peter explained: “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” (2 Peter 3:9).

But that day is coming: “The Lord Almighty planned it, to bring down her pride in all her splendor and to humble all who are renowned on the earth” (Isaiah 23:9).

Humanity’s Pride
Notice the word “pride” in that verse. This is something the Lord hates: “The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished” (Proverbs 16:5). And verse 18 adds: “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”

And you can’t get any more haughty than the two-pronged claim that 1) God has nothing to do with good fortune, and 2) people are the sole cause of it. Governor Cuomo summed up our fallen race’s disease in a nutshell: We are own gods; there is no divine god; and we will be the lone determiners of our fates.

The apostle Paul, on the other hand, when referencing the advances made in spreading the Gospel, said: “Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God” (2 Corinthians 3:5). And Philippians 4:13 says: “I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (emphasis added).

That humanity is capable of great compassion, love, and good works is the result of God’s enabling. Apart from this, our hearts are evil. And when fortunes turn from bad to good, it is God who brings it about: “He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matthew 5:45). Psalm 85:12 adds: “The Lord will indeed give what is good, and our land will yield its harvest.”      

Too Arrogant to Acknowledge
In return for God’s goodness, humanity should be falling on its knees in gratitude: “I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving” (Psalm 69:30); “I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds” (Psalm 9:1).

Instead, humanity echoes the words of its father, Satan, who declared: “I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly … I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High” (Isaiah 14:13-14).

Governor Cuomo has all but said this. He has taken the glory that should have been God’s and bestowed it upon this marred, fallen race. He has disdained humility and gratitude in the light of God’s goodness, and has embraced the arrogance of glorifying man.

The Covid-19 pandemic is the perfect opportunity for men and women to repent and come to faith in the Lord Jesus – and some will. However, as Governor Cuomo has illustrated, the Coronavirus – once under control – will promote that which brought it here in the first place: the pandemic called pride and arrogance.