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Where does sickness come from?

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We dwell in a very confusing world. One fact is obvious though: sickness is real in our world and all of us sooner or later face an illness or another. Some are quickly healed, others take longer and others never get healed. Interpretations about the origin of sickness is even more confusing. Some blame it to viruses and bacteria. "If we could get rid of all of them, we would be fine!" Others blame it on genetics. "It's all my parents and grandparents fault!" (at least they can't blame their mother-in-law!) Others blame it on the environment, and still others blame God. Some even go as far as to blame aliens from outer space! Who is right in all this?

The Bible is the only true source who can reveal this to us. Let us open God's Word and find out!

1. The original God's goal for man.

Gen 1:26 "Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image, in our likeness.'" God created us on the sixth day of creation. He created us in his image, giving us dominion of this whole planet. If we believe that God gave us sickness as well, then He is subject to it too, as we are created to His image!

Gen 1:31 "God saw all that he had made, and it was very good." Notice the words "very good". Some teach that God wants people to have sicknesses, depression and pain in order to them learn some spiritual truths. If this is true, why did God not give this teaching tool to Adam and Eve? Fair is fair! Instead we notice that they were created "very good".

He even goes further by giving them directions of what to eat in order to stay healthy. Gen 1:29-30 "Then God said, 'I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.'" No, disease and sicknesses was not God's plan for humanity at creation! But where did sickness come from?

2. Origins of diseases.

Gen 2:16-17 "And the LORD God commanded the man, 'You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.'" Here is the first indication of possible sickness and death: disobedience: "you will surely die."

"But wait a minute! When Adam and Eve sinned, they didn't die!" No, they didn't die, not immediately. They lived for hundreds of years after the incident, but they eventually did die. Why did it take them so long to die? Gen 2:9 "In the middle of the garden were the tree of life." That tree of life, as long as they were eating from it, was given them life, eternal life. One of the immediate consequences of sin was a complete separation of humankind from the tree of life. Why? To avoid for them to live forever in sin!

Gen 3:22-24 "And the LORD God said, 'The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.' So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life." The consequences of sin were real. Death occurred.

Spiritual death came first, as man now was ashamed to meet God in person. Adam's first response to God's voice after he sinned was: Gen 3:10 "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid."

Physical death came next, and this was made clear by God Himself: Gen 3:19 "Until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return."

Humankind was now subject to diseases, sickness, illnesses and deterioration. Sin which is separation from God, was the source of these nasty diseases. Here the aging process is mentioned. Rom 5:12 "Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned."

3. Physical Healing and Forgiveness are correlated.

Generally, sickness is not the consequence of a particular sin that a person committed. Sickness is not the result of personal sin. It is the consequence from Adam's and Eve's original sin. It is a consequence of man's separation from God.

Jesus demonstrated a correlation between forgiveness and healing. He said to the paralytic: Mark 2:5 "Son, your sins are forgiven." Immediately the Pharisees complained. They thought he was blaspheming (yes even in Jesus' days there were backstabbing in the church)! In order for Jesus to show that he had authority to forgive, he healed that person as well. Mark 2:10-12 "'But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins . . . .' He said to the paralytic, 'I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.' He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, '"We have never seen anything like this!'"

Jesus connected His ability to forgive to His ability to heal the sick. As Jesus is against sin (not the sinner), he is against sickness as well! Sickness is not from God, it comes from the devil himself! The cause of sickness is not demonic, however the very existence of sickness is due to the evil one.

4. Satan smiting Job directly.

Job 2:7-8 "So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head."

This text is very clear. Although God allows diseases and sicknesses on this planet, the source of it is not God, but the devil himself.

5. Illnesses are considered a curse in the Bible.

If you read Deut 28: 21-61, you will notice a whole list of curses. Among them are: diseases, plagues, fever, inflammation, severe burning fever, scorching, boils, tumors, scabs…. It is clear here that God does not consider sickness to be a blessing, but rather a curse. The good news though is that Jesus died in our place and redeemed us from the curse… Gal 3:13-14 "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: 'Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.' He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit."

And by faith we can receive "the promise of the Spirit."

6. Under the power of.

Acts 10:38 "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him."

The Greek word here for "under the power of" is "katadunasteuo" which literally means "to exercise dominion against, i.e. oppress"

It is clear from this text that Jesus was healing all the sick who were "under the power of the devil". Sicknesses was and is still caused by the devil himself. He "oppresses" us with it.

7. Rebuke.

When Jesus encountered a demon, Luke 4:35 "Jesus rebuked him, saying, 'Be quiet and come out of him!'" The Greek word for "rebuked" is "epitimao".

A few verses later Jesus is invited to the house of Simon Peter's mother-in-law. That poor woman had a terrible fever. Luke 4:39 "So he bent over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her." Here again the word "epitimao" is used. The same word is used for both rebuking devils and fevers! Jesus spoke to the fever the same way he spoke to demons. Please do understand that while all illnesses are not caused by demons, a demon can be at the source of sickness.

You cannot rebuke a lifeless thing. Jesus was speaking to illnesses as I would speak to another human being. When Christians today use their prerogative of rebuking sickness, they are speaking to the power behind illnesses.

8. To Be Bound.

Jesus, our example healed a woman "Luke 13:11 "who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years." Immediately He attracted the criticism of the pastors of His days. Luke 13:14 "There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath." "How dare Jesus heal on a Sabbath! Who does He think He is!" It is sad and ironic that the ruler of the synagogue had not even attended to the sickness of that poor woman during the other 6 days! Doing God's work always attracts criticism from those who do not know God.

Jesus response is recorded in Luke 13:16 "Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?" The source of her sickness is identified to be "Satan" himself! Religious tradition may claim that God desires sickness in His people, but Jesus made it clear that the devil was the culprit!

9. Spirits of Sickness.

There are many Bible texts that denotate the connection between illnesses and the satanic world. A mute possessed person was brought in the presence of the Messiah. Jesus drove the evil spirits out and Matt 9:33 "when the demon was driven out, the man who had been mute spoke." Who was responsible for this sickness? The devil himself!

10. The Thief.

The devil is a thief who John 10:10 "comes only to steal and kill and destroy." Sickness does the same on us. It steals our health away and destroys us prematurely. What a contrast with Jesus who declared: John 10:10 "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."

11. Illness is opposite of God's nature.

It is interesting to notice that people from around the world are quite conscious that sickness is bad. Why are so many hospitals build, if sickness would be good for us?

God only gives good gifts. Sickness is far from being good! James 1:17 "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."

12. Jesus' healing ministry.

1 Peter 2:24 "He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed."

Jesus not only came to bring us salvation, He also came to heal us. No one was ever turned away from Jesus. Any sick person who came in contact with Jesus was healed. Depressions were lifted, fevers disappeared, demons thrown out. Jesus cared and healed anyone who came to Him.

Why would Jesus heal someone, if God wanted that disease in that person? God never contradicts Himself. He is a healer!

13. New Jerusalem.

When Jesus will return on earth, He will establish an awesome kingdom! Rev 21:3-4 "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."

No more sickness! No more pain! No more death! Praise the Lord! Sickness was never God's design and will have no foothold in paradise.

14. Conclusion.

If you are burdened by a sickness or you have a loved one who is suffering, look up to and trust in the Lord. There will be an end to this. This is not God's design! Let us join the apostle John and say Rev 22:20 "Amen. Come, Lord Jesus."

Rob Chaffart

 

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