Michael L. Brown is the founder and president of FIRE School of Ministry in Concord, North Carolina, Director of the Coalition of Conscience, and host of the daily, nationally, syndicated talk radio show, the Line of Fire, as well as the host of the apologetics TV show, “Answering Your Toughest Questions.” He is the author of more than 35 books, holds a Ph. D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University, and has served as a visiting or adjunct professor at seven leading seminaries. He is widely recognized as today’s foremost Messianic Jewish apologist.
I want to share with you an important Gospel perspective we find in John, the ninth chapter. Jesus encounters a man born blind and the disciples asked "Who sinned — this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" And Jesus said, "Neither.' We know that there were Jewish traditions that suggested someone could sin in the womb and hence be born with a defect, and obviously the sin of the parents visited on the children, so the disciples had an honest question. Jesus said, "No, no. The man didn't sin. His parents didn't sin, that he was born blind." He doesn't say, "God made him blind," but he says, "This happened so that the works of God could be manifest." In other words, the man's blindness was an opportunity for God to be glorified.
March 2nd, I wrote my first article about the coronavirus, explaining that it was not a plague from the Book of Revelation. Then I began to write more on what was happening. I began to speak more in different settings — online settings, and special meetings — and there was so much material stirring in my heart, that on March 18th I contacted one of my publishers ... main, publisher ... and I said, "Hey, is this a crazy idea? What if I am able to write a book immediately because I've got so much material in me and we get it out immediately? How do you feel about that?" And the two editors I wrote to immediately said, "Yeah, we have a witness about that. Let's do it." So on March 18th, I suggested the book. On April 21st the book was published. Yeah, so basically written in eight days and then everything it takes to get a book published — the editing, the proofing, the artwork, and all of that, get it out.
So from March 18th proposing the book, to April 21st, the book actually being published, it set a record for us. It's called When The World Stops: Words of Hope, Faith, and Wisdom in the Midst of Crisis. My goal in writing it was to make it relevant today, and relevant in five or ten years, or whatever crisis we're facing. And in the book, I open up this concept of God being a redeemer. We see circumstances around this, and we may not know what's causing them. All the speculation about the virus ... Did it start in a lab in China? Is it a bio weapon? Was it from bats? Is it divine judgment? Is Satan working through it? What's China trying to do? What about one world government speculation? What about a vaccine with a microchip and the mark of the beast? There is a whole lot of talk about what's happening, and none of us from our vantage point, without divine revelation, can say with absolute certainty that we know the cause of this, the origin of it, or exactly how it's at work.
But this we can say: God wants us to see this as an opportunity in which he can be glorified. Sickness is an opportunity for healing. Death is an opportunity for life. Darkness is an opportunity for light. Fear is an opportunity for faith. We are in a situation where people are asking questions they don't normally ask, and they're wondering about the meaning of life, and they're wondering about the purpose of life and they're recognizing the frailty of life. And then you've got the Bible talking about ... when you see drought and famine and locust invasion and plagues, turn to God and pray ... All the wildfires in Australia, with massive drought and famine, locust invasions decimating parts of Africa, plagues ... It's all in the Bible. This stuff's in the Bible. It remains relevant.
We may not understand all the details of how and why, but we can say this: this is an opportunity for God to be glorified. Hopefully, in the book When The World Stops, we lay this out, but I think just the simple scriptural principle: see the situation we're in as an opportunity for God to be glorified.