by Robert Harmon March 28, 2020
At present, much of the world sits at home sheltering in place, trying to avoid catching “the invisible enemy,” the coronavirus known as Covid-19. Not only has this virus sickened and killed thousands, it continues to infect and by doing so, has shut down much of the world’s economic activities. Many people are losing jobs, some industries may shut down forever and stocks are constantly losing value. Oil, the lifeblood of modern society, is facing not only the loss of value due to economic inactivity from the virus but, Saudi Arabia, Russia and American shale drillers are all producing as much oil as possible. Because of this “two-pronged” attack on oil, the price continues to drop with no bottom yet in site.
Oil has always been a volatile commodity. There have been countless boom-and-bust cycles through the years. We have never yet recovered from the bust of 2014, when Saudi Arabia attempted to drive the price of oil so low that shale drillers would all go out of business. Many did. However, America is the top oil producer in the world. This is why many think Saudi Arabia and Russia decided this was a perfect time to “produce all out” as it was worth a second chance at reducing the amount of American shale producers and, the amount of market share from the oil they produce.
As to viruses affecting the oil industry, the last time this type of activity occurred was over a hundred years ago, during the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918. What follows, from the November, 1918 edition of The Oil Trade Journal are influenza statements eerily similar to those we now face with Covid-19. Various lines from p. 76 read, “It is no respecter of persons, numbering prominent independent operators, heads of departments of important companies, office employees and field operatives among its victims. In the Gulf Coast region, new work has almost entirely been shut down… In the home of one oil field worker, the parents and three children succumbed within three days.”
What does the Bible say about such things? In the Book of Matthew, Jesus spoke of many troubles the world would have to endure. Matthew 24:6-7 mentions in part “wars and rumors of wars…, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes…” Matthew 10:28 says, “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
Yes, Covid-19 is scary. We could get sick or die. But a far worse invisible enemy, the devil, has plagued humankind from the beginning. 1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” If we can face the devil and defeat him, through having a personal relationship with Jesus, we can certainly face down any virus. And though every one of us must die someday, Jesus gives us the assurance of eternal life, through believing in Him and becoming a Christian. Matthew 11: 25, 26 has Jesus saying, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever believeth in me shall never die.”