We desperately want experts to fill in some blanks on how to best fight the corona virus. Scientists, economists and politicians are experts in their fields, but no one has the knowledge required to fill in the blanks left by this virus.
Science is the go-to industry for Covid-19 advice. Leaders have said multiple times and in multiple ways, “I’m following science.” That makes sense, since we’re dealing with a previously unknown virus, but we might forget that scientific data must be correctly interpreted. Scientists will be the first to admit that their experiments, models and theories are not invincible.
Lately financially flattened folks are starting to advocate for opening up the economy, and we understand that they are desperate; they cannot pay their bills. Federal stimulus and economic theory are useful and economists can make educated guesses about the effects, but they regularly fail to accurately predict the economic future.
In the distant past, Galileo was examined by the inquisition in 1615 for his support of Copernicus’s heliocentric view of the universe. The church found him “foolish and absurd in philosophy” and heretical because his view was not consistent with Scripture. In those days, God was understood to be the supreme being, and therefore, what God said was the absolute truth. No argument. They failed to understand that God’s Word needed to be properly interpreted, and theologians still attempt to do that accurately.
Who will fill in our blanks?
We may find it ridiculous that Galileo was under investigation for scientifically understanding what was true – the earth rotates around the sun – but perhaps a few centuries in the future we would think some of our current scientific beliefs and/or economic predictions are just as crazy. In all cases flawed people with incomplete knowledge interpret data, fill in blanks, and make decisions. We do the best we can.
Nobody has complete knowledge; even the brightest minds do not know everything. It will be interesting to watch the cultural conversation and to observe how the puzzle pieces are put in place. We can look to scientists, economists, politicians and even theologians to inform our knowledge, but it is incomplete.
There is only One who knows everything.
God created the world, holds it together, saved and loves the world. He exists outside of time and, therefore, he knows what has been, what is, and what will be. He knows everything about the corona virus and has given scientists the privilege of increasing their understanding of this virus and has given economists wisdom about the macro economic results of our policies. But there is a limit to what we know.
Will we acknowledge our limits? Will we ask God to guide us?
If we approach this difficult situation with humble acknowledgement of what we don’t know, with clear and unbiased analysis of what we do know and pray to the One who knows everything, we have a chance to fill in the blanks wisely. I admit, it sounds unlikely, but I’ll pray toward that end.
When we, in humility, seek God, who knows everything, things generally go much better than when we attempt to work it out on our own. Lord, may our experts and leaders seek you and your wisdom.
Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!
“Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?”
“Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them?”
For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen. Romans 11:33-36