The earth dries up and withers,
the world languishes and withers;
the heavens languish together with the earth.
The earth lies polluted
under its inhabitants;
for they have transgressed laws,
violated the statutes,
broken the everlasting covenant.
Therefore a curse devours the earth,
and its inhabitants suffer for their guilt;
therefore the inhabitants of the earth dwindled,
and few people are left.
Wow! Not too much that is uplifting in this dire scripture passage. Does this infer that God deliberately sends drought and fires as punishment for His people? Some folks believe that and others see these things as natural events some of which are caused by climate change. Think of the forest fires in California last year due to lack of moisture and people choosing to live in fire prone areas. It is hard to think of a loving God seeking vengeance on the people He loves. Behavior and choices have consequences rather than a heavenly lightening bolt crashing down to punish.
The current pandemic might be compared to a desolation such as this scripture describes. If we examine it and our lives closely we can see some positives: a greater appreciation of friends and family with whom we have had so little contact or a realization that we take lots of people for granted--grocery workers, postal employees, police, medical personnel, teachers. It is good to recognize our interdependence on so many people and to know that desolation is not permanent. Recovery will take place.