What does the Bible say about plagues?
Many people are frantically searching the web to find out the relation between the Coronavirus disease and end times prophecies.
This is what I intend to answer. In light of current events, I will be discussing what the Bible says about plagues, while also providing encouragement for believers.
Christian quotes about quotes
“To know that nothing happens in God’s world apart from God’s will may frighten the godless, but it stabilizes the.” – J. I. Packer
“When you are in crisis, your strongest position is on your knees.”
“In the midst of this crisis, we must not only pray-though we must most fervently pray-we must also work. There are many things to be done and it’s going to be up to us to do them.” Albert Mohler
“How do you have peace in the middle of a pandemic? How do you have faith over fear and an unknown future? Here is how- you trust Jesus with your life.” David Platt
“But living in fear is no kind of life. We have to trust God. That doesn’t mean bad things wont happen. But we know He’s in charge.”
“We must cease striving and trust God to provide what He thinks is best and in whatever time He chooses to make it available. But this kind of trusting doesn’t come naturally. It’s a spiritual crisis of the will in which we must choose to exercise faith.”
“When the Spirit came to Moses, the plagues came upon Egypt, and he had power to destroy men’s lives; when the Spirit came upon Elijah, fire came down from heaven; when the Spirit came upon Gideon, no man could stand before him; and when it came upon Joshua, he moved around the city of Jericho and the whole city fell into his hands; but when the Spirit came upon the Son of Man, He gave His life; He healed the broken-hearted.” D.L. Moody
The origin of plagues
The things that we may face today such as sin, sickness, diseases, natural disasters, and more were never part of God’s original plan for humanity. Plagues are one of the effects of the original sin (Adam’s sin of disobedience).
1. Romans 8:19-21 “For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.”
Here are several scriptures on Plagues
When we examine Scripture, plagues are usually a sign of the judgment of God on a nation for their disobedience. In Deuteronomy 28 and other passages, plagues are the consequences of forsaking the Lord. As the Coronavirus crisis heats up, many are wondering is this because of disobedience?
To be honest, I don’t know so I can’t answer that question nor should I presumptuously speak for God. However, what I do know is that God offers protection from pandemics, but He’s also a righteous God who can and does send plagues. We see this in both Amos 4 and Ezekiel 5.
Let’s also note that plagues in the Bible are represented as divine judgments from God. God sends them at a specific time and the devastation brought on by these plagues usually happens immediately. In today’s day, we think of plagues as infectious diseases that are caused by bacteria, viruses, parasites, or fungi that happen for a prolonged time period. That is not to say that God can’t bring illnesses as acts of judgment upon people because in Scripture we see that He has.
Numbers 12:9-10 “The anger of the LORD burned against them, and he left them.When the cloud lifted from above the tent, Miriam’s skin was leprous –it became as white as snow. Aaron turned toward her and saw that she had a defiling skin disease.”
In the Bible, God uses (all) things for His good purposes, which we will discuss more of in the next section.
2. Amos 4:10 “I sent plagues among you as I did to Egypt. I killed your young men with the sword, along with your captured horses. I filled your nostrils with the stench of your camps, yet you have not returned to me,” declares the LORD.”
3. Isaiah 45:7 “I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the LORD, do all these things.”
4. Deuteronomy 28:58-59 “If you do not carefully follow all the words of this law, which are written in this book, and do not revere this glorious and awesome name – 59 the LORD your God-the LORD will send fearful plagues on you and your descendants, harsh and prolonged disasters, and severe and lingering illnesses.”
5. Deuteronomy 28:60-63 “He will bring on you all the diseases of Egypt that you dreaded, and they will cling to you. 61 The LORD will also bring on you every kind of sickness and disaster not recorded in this Book of the Law, until you are destroyed. 62 You who were as numerous as the stars in the sky will be left but few in number, because you did not obey the LORD your God. 63 Just as it pleased the LORD to make you prosper and increase in number, so it will please him to ruin and destroy you. You will be uprooted from the land you are entering to possess.”
6. Deuteronomy 32:24 “I will send wasting famine against them, consuming pestilence and deadly plague; I will send against them the fangs of wild beasts, the venom of vipers that glide in the dust.”
7. 1 Chronicles 21:12 “You may choose three years of famine, three months of destruction by the sword of your enemies, or three days of severe plague as the angel of the Lord brings devastation throughout the land of Israel. Decide what answer I should give the Lord who sent me.”
8. Ezekiel 7:14-15 “The trumpet calls Israel’s army to mobilize, but no one listens, for my fury is against them all. 15 There is war outside the city and disease and famine within. Those outside the city walls will be killed by enemy swords. Those inside the city will die of famine and disease.”
9. Ezekiel 5:16-17 “When I send against them the terrible arrows of famine which shall be for destruction, which I will send to destroy you, I will increase the famine upon you and cut off your supply of bread. 17 So I will send against you famine and wild beasts, and they will bereave you. Pestilence and blood shall pass through you, and I will bring the sword against you. I, the Lord, have spoken.”
10. Psalm 78:50-51 “He leveled a path for His anger; He did not spare their soul from death, But gave over their life to the plague, And destroyed all the firstborn in Egypt, The first of their strength in the tents of Ham.”
11. Revelation 22:18-19 “And I solemnly declare to everyone who hears the words of prophecy written in this book: If anyone adds anything to what is written here, God will add to that person the plagues described in this book. And if anyone removes any of the words from this book of prophecy, God will remove that person’s share in the tree of life and in the holy city that are described in this book.”
12. Revelation 6:8 “I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death; and bHades was following with him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with 2 pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth.”
13. Zechariah 14:12 “And the LORD will send a plague on all the nations that fought against Jerusalem. Their people will become like walking corpses, their flesh rotting away. Their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths.”
God uses plagues for His glory
While there are distinctions between the way “plague” is used in Scripture and the way it is used now, what always remains true is the outcome. God allows and uses plagues to accomplish His righteous purposes on earth. God uses plagues to teach us obedience, gratitude, draw us to repentance, draw us to Himself, reveal His power, and more.
The Christian response to Coronavirus should be to not fear because God is sovereign over every catastrophe in this world. Let’s look for the good in this pandemic. God is getting glory for Himself. I have personally noticed that believers in my city have been loving more and praying more.
Believers who have never served before are seeking ways to serve. Groups of believers are finding ways to meet up with each other through video conferencing apps, which is such a delightful sight. I’ve noticed that many unbelievers have come to me asking more questions about God. History has taught us that God brings revivals out of epidemics.
The Third Great Awakening was born out of a financial crisis. I believe God is waking people up. What a time to pray and seek His face! As we practice social distancing and hygiene during this pandemic, let’s use this situation as an opportunity to pray for God’s glory, salvation, others, ourselves, our economy, job loss, our churches, etc. Also, let’s praise the Lord for what we do have and cherish the things and people in our life.
14. Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
15. 2 Corinthians 4:7 “But this beautiful treasure is contained in us—cracked pots made of earth and clay—so that the transcendent character of this power will be clearly seen as coming from God and not from us.”
16. 2 Samuel 24:13 “When Gad came to David, he told David this and asked, “Should seven years of famine come to you and your land, or three months during which you flee from your enemies as they pursue you, or should there be a three-day plague in your land? Think it over, and decide what answer I should give the one who sent.”
17. Habakkuk 3:5-6 “Pestilence marches before him; plague follows close behind. 6 When he stops, the earth shakes. When he looks, the nations tremble. He shatters the everlasting mountains and levels the eternal hills. He is the Eternal One!”
18. 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.”
19. Psalm 46:1-2 “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.”
20. Psalm 91:5-6 “You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, Nor of the arrow that flies by day, 6 Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.”
Find ways to serve
Christians should respond to this disease by discovering ways that they can use their talents to serve. Do you have a lot of numbers in your contact list? If so, be intentional and check up on people. Find ways that you can pray for others. Has God blessed you financially? If so, then find ways that you can give. Maybe you can give blood or give to food banks. Maybe you can donate gear to help health care workers. Pray that the Lord reveals to you ways that you can serve your community.
21. Matthew 25:35-40 “For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. 36 I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’ 37 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? 39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’
22. Galatians 5:13-14 “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Pray for healing during plagues and COVID-19
During any plague we should always be praying for healing and forgiveness for not only our sins, but the sins of others. Believers have been given the beautiful privilege of interceding on behalf of a lost and dying world.
Are you on your face daily for a sinful world? If not, then start today! Saints have a responsibility to be praying for this world. Remember these words from Billy Graham. “To get nations back on their feet, we must first get down on our knees.”
23. 2 Chronicles 7:14 “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
24. 1 Kings 8:37-40 “If there is famine in the land, if there is pestilence, if there is blight or mildew, locust or grasshopper, if their enemy besieges them in the land of their cities, whatever plague, whatever sickness there is, 38 whatever prayer, whatever supplication is made by anyone, or by all Your people Israel, when each one knows the plague of his own heart, and spreads out his hands toward this temple: 39 then hear in heaven Your dwelling place, and forgive and act and render to each according to all his ways, whose heart You know, for You alone know the hearts of all the sons of men, 40 that they may fear You all the days that they live in the land which You have given to our fathers.”
25. Psalm 106:29-30 “They angered the LORD with all these things, so a plague broke out among them. 30 But Phinehas had the courage to intervene, and the plague was stopped.”
26. 1 Chronicles 21:22 “Then David said to Ornan, “Grant me the place of this threshing floor, that I may build an altar on it to the Lord. You shall grant it to me at the full price, that the plague may be withdrawn from the people.”
27. 1 Chronicles 21:26-28 “And David built there an altar to the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and called on the Lord; and He answered him from heaven by fire on the altar of burnt offering. 27 So the Lord commanded the angel, and he returned his sword to its sheath. 28 At that time, when David saw that the Lord had answered him on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, he sacrificed there.
28. Nehemiah 1:4-6 “When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. 5 Then I said: “Lord, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 6 let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s family, have committed against you.”
29. Psalm 103:2-4 “Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits— 3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion.”
30. Philippians 4:6-7 “Never worry about anything. But in every situation let God know what you need in prayers and requests while giving thanks. 7 Then God’s peace, which goes beyond anything we can imagine, will guard your thoughts and emotions through Christ Jesus.”
The plagues in Revelation
The Book of Revelation speaks of seven final plagues that will occur during the Tribulation Period. During this period the world will experience the worst judgments ever given by the Lord. This is also known as the seven bowl judgments. God will pour out His wrath in a final attempt to call humanity to repent and turn to Christ. Unfortunately, during this period humanity will only harden their heart and refuse to repent.
At the end of this period Christ returns in glory to defeat Satan and establish His Kingdom on earth. Many people are asking is Coronavirus a plague from Revelation? The quick answer is no, and we know that for several reasons. Pandemics have happened before. We’ve experienced smallpox, Typhoid Mary, Spanish flu, Diphtheria, Bubonic Plague, and more.
However, we can confidently say that none of these were God’s final judgments. The church has not yet been raptured nor is there an antichrist. Also, the plagues described in Revelation will be far more severe. With that said, we should be taking COVID-19 seriously. We should be taking precaution and praying for not only our loved ones, but for the world.
31. Revelation 16:1-21 “Then I heard a loud voice from the temple, saying to the seven angels, “Go and pour out on the earth the seven bowls of the wrath of God.” 2 So the first angel went and poured out his bowl on the earth; and it became a loathsome and malignant sore on the people who had the mark of the beast and who worshiped his image. 3 The second angel poured out his bowl into the sea, and it became blood like that of a dead man; and every living thing in the sea died. 4 Then the third angel poured out his bowl into the rivers and the springs of waters; and they became blood. 5 And I heard the angel of the waters saying, “Righteous are You, who are and who were, O Holy One, because You judged these things; 6 for they poured out the blood of saints and prophets, and You have given them blood to drink. They deserve it.” 7 And I heard the altar saying, “Yes, O Lord God, the Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments.” 8 The fourth angel poured out his bowl upon the sun, and it was given to it to scorch men with fire. 9 Men were scorched with fierce heat; and they blasphemed the name of God who has the power over these plagues, and they did not repent so as to give Him glory. 10 Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom became darkened; and they gnawed their tongues because of pain, 11 and they blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores; and they did not repent of their deeds. 12 The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river, the Euphrates; and its water was dried up, so that the way would be prepared for the kings from the east. 13 And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs; 14 for they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty. 15 (“Behold, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who stays awake and keeps his clothes, so that he will not walk about naked and men will not see his shame.”) 16 And they gathered them together to the place which in Hebrew is called Har-Magedon. 17 Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl upon the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple from the throne, saying, “It is done.” 18 And there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder; and there was a great earthquake, such as there had not been since man came to be upon the earth, so great an earthquake was it, and so mighty. 19 The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. Babylon the great was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of His fierce wrath. 20 And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. 21 And huge hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, *came down from heaven upon men; and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, because its plague *was extremely severe.”
32. Revelation 15:1 “Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels who had seven plagues, which are the last, because in them the wrath of God is finished.”
33. Revelation 15:6-7 “Out of the temple came the seven angels with the seven plagues. They were dressed in clean, shining linen and wore golden sashes around their chests. 7 Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls filled with the wrath of God, who lives for ever and ever.”
34. Revelation 21:9 “Then one of the seven angels who held the seven bowls containing the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come with me! I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”
35. Revelation 18:8 “Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her: death, mourning and famine. She will be consumed by fire, for mighty is the Lord God who judges her.”
36. Revelation 9:18 “A third of mankind was killed by the three plagues of fire, smoke and sulfur that came out of their mouths.”
37. Revelation 9:20-21 “The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, so as not to worship demons, and the idols of gold and of silver and of brass and of stone and of wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk; 21 and they did not repent of their murders nor of their sorceries nor of their immorality nor of their thefts.
38. Revelation 18:4-5 “Then I heard another voice from heaven say: “‘Come out of her, my people,’ so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues; For her sins are piled as high as heaven, and God remembers her evil deeds.
39. Revelation 11:11 “But after the three and a half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and terror struck those who saw them.”
A foreshadowing of things to come
Covid-19 is not one of the plague that the Book of Revelation describes. However, it can definitely be a foreshadowing of things to come. When Christ described the end times He forewarned us of plagues.
Today we are seeing food shortages and soaring costs for basic essentials on eBay, Amazon, OfferUp, and more. We are seeing countries in danger of an economic collapse. We are seeing people struck with terror. These are just a few events that will occur during the Tribulation. Knowing this should compel us to pray for the world and the salvation of others.
40. Luke 21:11 “There will be great earthquakes, and there will be famines and plagues in many lands, and there will be terrifying things and great miraculous signs from heaven.”
41. Matthew 24:6-8 “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains.”
42. Revelation 6:6 “Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, “Two pounds of wheat for a day’s wages, and six pounds of barley for a day’s wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!”
The Ten Plagues of Egypt: What are the 10 plagues in the Bible?
Exodus 7—12 records ten disasters that God sent Pharaoh to free the Israelites who had been in bondage for 400 years in Egypt. God used Moses to accomplish His purpose and rescue His people so that they could worship Him and so that He could bring them into the Promised Land. We can look back at these events as a reminder of God’s faithfulness, His great power, His love, and His desire for His people to experience liberation.
43. Exodus 9:1-4 “Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, says: “Let my people go, so that they may worship me.” 2 If you refuse to let them go and continue to hold them back, 3 the hand of the Lord will bring a terrible plague on your livestock in the field—on your horses, donkeys and camels and on your cattle, sheep and goats. 4 But the Lord will make a distinction between the livestock of Israel and that of Egypt, so that no animal belonging to the Israelites will die.”
44.Exodus 7:17 “So this is what the Lord says: “I will show you that I am the Lord.” Look! I will strike the water of the Nile with this staff in my hand, and the river will turn to blood.”
45. Exodus 9:13-14 “Then the LORD said to Moses, “Rise up early in the morning and stand before Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, “Let My people go, that they may serve Me. 14 For this time I will send all My plagues on you and your servants and your people, so that you may know that there is no one like Me in all the earth.”
46. Exodus 8:16-17 “Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Stretch out your staff and strike the dust of the ground,’ and throughout the land of Egypt the dust will become gnats.” 17 They did this, and when Aaron stretched out his hand with the staff and struck the dust of the ground, gnats came on people and animals. All the dust throughout the land of Egypt became gnats.”
47. Exodus 8:1-4 “Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go back to Pharaoh and announce to him, ‘This is what the Lord says: Let my people go, so they can worship me. 2 If you refuse to let them go, I will send a plague of frogs across your entire land. 3 The Nile River will swarm with frogs. They will come up out of the river and into your palace, even into your bedroom and onto your bed! They will enter the houses of your officials and your people. They will even jump into your ovens and your kneading bowls. 4 Frogs will jump on you, your people, and all your officials.”
Examples of plagues in the Bible
48. Numbers 16:46-50 “And Moses said to Aaron, “Quick, take an incense burner and place burning coals on it from the altar. Lay incense on it, and carry it out among the people to purify them and make them right with the LORD. The LORD’s anger is blazing against them—the plague has already begun. Aaron did as Moses told him and ran out among the people. The plague had already begun to strike down the people, but Aaron burned the incense and purified the people. He stood between the dead and the living, and the plague stopped. But 14,700 people died in that plague, in addition to those who had died in the affair involving Korah. Then because the plague had stopped, Aaron returned to Moses at the entrance of the Tabernacle.”
49. Genesis 12:17 “And the LORD plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai Abram’s wife.”
50. 2 Samuel 24:15-17 “So the Lord sent a plague on Israel from that morning until the end of the time designated, and seventy thousand of the people from Dan to Beersheba died. 16 When the angel stretched out his hand to destroy Jerusalem, the Lord relented concerning the disaster and said to the angel who was afflicting the people, “Enough! Withdraw your hand.” The angel of the Lord was then at the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. 17 When David saw the angel who was striking down the people, he said to the Lord, “I have sinned; I, the shepherd, have done wrong. These are but sheep. What have they done? Let your hand fall on me and my family.”
Q1 – What is God teaching you about Himself during this season?
Q2 – Are there any ways that you are struggling to love God and others right now?
Q3 – How does the love of Christ compel you to live differently?
Q4 – How can you creatively love and sacrifice for someone during this season?