I have heard this on social media more times than I would like to say. While I don’t claim to know the mind of God and while God hasn’t asked me to speak on this for Him we can examine how the world works from a biblical perspective.
We need to look at Genesis 3 and Romans 8 for some clues. In Genesis 3 we get the sin, the fall, and the curse. In the curse, you will notice that the earth doesn’t escape.
“Cursed is the ground because of you;
through painful toil you will eat food from it
all the days of your life.
It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
and you will eat the plants of the field. ” – Gen 3:17-18
The earth broke that day as well. Then we get this in Romans 8:18-25
“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.
We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”
The creation is groaning. The creation is eagerly awaiting its own redemption. Why? Because when mankind sinned, the earth also paid a price. The Fall wasn’t just the Fall of man but also the Fall of the Creation itself. Sin brought death and corruption to everything in the created order.
That means this world is a messed up place operating on messed up principles.
This helps us tease apart God’s culpability in why bad things happen to good people. Some might say there is no such thing as a good person but I think that misses the point (and is too Calvinist for me anyhow). Regardless of our level of goodness…the world is in a condition that it was not originally created in. God allows it but God didn’t choose it. We did.
I don’t believe God sent COVID19 because of our sin. I believe our sin created a world where things like COVID19 spring up. There is a huge difference between the two.
Didn’t God send a famine in Amos 4:6 and a drought in Amos 4:7 and other suffering to get his people to return to him? How do we know that’s not happening today? The Israelites didn’t say it was simply due to a “fallen world.” They believed God was punishing them.
They also had prophets who had direct knowledge/revelation from God saying He was doing it. If we had that now I would be more than happy to agree with you. We really don’t know. Now, I do believe we are in a Romans 8 moment where God will use all this for good and His glory.