Before anything else let’s first talk about disease and it’s definition so that we can have the broader idea about the possibility if, is sickness a punishment from God?
Definition of disease: Disease is commonly defined as a condition of the living animal or even plant body or of some of its parts that impairs the normal functioning and is generally noticed by some distinguishing symptoms : infectious diseases a rare genetic disease heart disease, sickness, malady, etc.
We human being have bodies which are corruptible because we all don’t live forever for our body and flesh will have and end and that ending is called death.
Our body has a complete structure called human being.
The body is composed of different kinds or types of cells which all of them joined together to create tissues and as a result there is now a what we called organ systems.
So altogether are comprising with a head, neck, trunk, arms, hands, legs, feet, and without forgetting the thorax and abdomen.
Thus, we have the complete composition of a human being.
If we consider our being we can have the little understanding why we get sick without blaming God, but I invite you to continue reading for you will also learn if sickness has something to do with God’s ways.
Actually sickness is happening for many reasons. Some people have inborn illness and some of them have been developed as a fault of their genes.
But the most common reasons why we are infected with bacteria, fungus, virus, covid, and many others, it’s not due to your lack of faith in God but merely because of your immune system which is not anymore able to destroy or protect you from being ill.
Thereby, as we grow older, the chance of getting sick or dying are very much expected and possible because old people’s immune systems are very much weaker than the young ones.
Going back to the composition of our body, that we are only made up of cells which each of them has its individual function.
Our cells are copying themselves to produce new ones through replication in order for our body to stay healthy.
But cells replication is not endless, it will also die when its time comes that’s why there is also a what we called garbage collector cells or an enzyme called DJ-1.
DJ-1 function is to collect harmful by-products of metabolism and disposes them safely.
When our cells will lose its ability to efficiently replicate then our body will start to grow old, because there will be then more dead cells piled up in our body and the production of new cells are getting slower until it will eventually reach to malfunctioning because of old age, it’s not anymore able to replicate properly as we were of the younger age, which resulted in a declining of body function or a so called disease.
Yes, you might be right that disease is punishment but not all diseases are punishment.
Let’s read a verse of the bible in the book of:
Philippians 2:25 But I think it is necessary to send back to you Epaphroditus, my brother, co-worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger, whom you sent to take care of my needs.
26 For he longs for all of you and is distressed because you heard he was ill.
27 Indeed he was ill, and almost died. But God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, to spare me sorrow upon sorrow.
Epaphroditus was a co-worker of Apostle Paul in their service to God and he was very ill that made him almost died for it, and if we try to figure out the reason why he’s ill let’s read the continuation of the verse.
Philippians 2:30 because he almost died for the work of Christ. He risked his life to make up for the help you yourselves could not give me.
The verse is clearly saying that the reason of Epaphroditus sickness was due to his work and he risked his life for his service to God.
Therefore, we have the idea that his sickness is definitely not a punishment from God because he was at that moment actively in the service of God.
Surely his sickness was due to the weaknesses of the flesh or body, there is really some sickness that our body can’t overcome, so whether you are sinning or not, once your body is weak you’ve got to be sick.
That’s why the doctor said that once your immune system will get weaker your body cannot resist the virus anymore and therefore, you will be sick.
Bacteria will make you sick once your immune system has got lowered. So not all sickness are punishment of God or by Devil and surely the devil can’t punish to those who are in service of God.
1 John 5:18 We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them.
Let us remove from our mind the thinking that sickness is punishment.
Although there is sickness that is an outcome of evil doings but if you are not doing anything evil, so whatever sickness you have it’s nothing to do with God.
The most common possibilities if from where you got your sickness is from virus or bacteria carried by the wind in the environment, or maybe weaknesses of the body, over fatigue, or in many ways that sometimes you have forsaken your health due to some unavoidable circumstances.
There are many instances that you need to work more than your capacity because of some obligations like church activities and many more that you will be forced to sleep late and wake up early in order to finish the important task.
Thereby, if ever you will be sick from your extra work with regard to church services, of course your sickness will definitely not a punishment from God but plainly due to weaknesses of the body.
It doesn’t matter if how you ask it from God, no matter how you pray it to God, if he already had set it, you can’t avoid it anymore. What God wants to happen will happen and no one can stop him.
Deuteronomy 32:39 “‘See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god beside me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand.
Sometimes incurable diseases or sicknesses can be experienced by God’s servants for this is his ways of giving them rest, because here on earth is not the final destination, there is a what we called heaven.
Those who died are only taking a rest and later God will awake them to rise and live eternally.
Lazarus died also because of sickness but he died worthy for God.
Read Luke 16:19 “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day.
20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores
21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.
22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried.
23 In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side.
24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’
25 “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony.
If we look at the life of Lazarus, he is a man of God, that’s why when he died he was taken to the bosom of Abraham by the angels but still he died with a severe sickness.
So in the case of Lazarus we can clearly see that sometimes God will use the sickness as his way of giving them rest.
Many instances in the record of the bible that God’s servant were given rest through sickness. Why?
Isaiah 57:1 The righteous perish, and no one takes it to heart; the devout are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil.
God had seen that there is something bad that will happen to his servants that’s why he just took them for rest, in order to save him from the evil to come.
Therefore, many of the righteous people in the eyes of God and men, still died early in life because God who is powerful had seen the worst thing that will happen to them, hence, God took them instead.
In the bible there are two kinds of death to men, one of them is precious to God.
Probably, God had seen that there is something bad that will happen that’s why he just took them for rest.
Therefore, even those righteous people in the eyes of God and men they died because there might be something worst that will happen to their lives, so God takes them instead.
That’s why the bible said that there are two kinds of death to men, one of them is precious to God
Psalms 116:15 Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful servants.
So when his faithful servants died it’s precious for him but there is also a death that God is not pleased.
Ezekiel 33:11 Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live.
Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, people of Israel?’
God has no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but if the righteous will die he is pleased.
Again when the righteous dies, it only means giving them rest for their works.
Revelation 14:13 Then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.”
“Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.”
God knows what is best for us, so no matter how we plead God to heal our sickness, if God has already appointed it, we can’t avoid it.
One of the reasons why God let the people rest and through death so that they can take a rest of their labors.
So we should prepare ourselves when that time comes when we already have some sickness or disease that can lead us to die we should make ourselves ready.
Specially when we are old already, the most common possibility if we die is that God will make us rest of all our labors. No matter how you call God, you plead to him, in whatever ways you asked God, when God has appointed it, you can’t avoid it.
We don’t have the power over the day of our death for it is appointed by God.
Hebrews 9:27 Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment,
All we have to do is to prepare ourselves for it, as death is appointed then after that is the judgment.
If we can’t escape from death same thing with judgment we too can’t escape it for he already proved to us that we all die and no one can dispute it, so the coming judgment is also indisputable.
The richest man in the world will die, Presidents will die, children will die, doctors will die, scientist will die, kings will die, etc.
Whoever you are, you can’t refuse once God will call you to rest, and even you try to escape from him and fly to the moon to hide, you will still die in there to the appointed time of God.
So all of us whether young or old, healthy and strong, with covid or not, if it’s not yet the time appointed by God for you, you will not die yet, but even if you are the healthiest man in the world if your time to rest will come you will die and can’t escape it.
Deuteronomy 32:39 “See now that I myself am he! There is no god besides me. I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal, and no one can deliver out of my hand.
The Lord said, ‘No one can deliver out of my hand’ What we can do is just to pray that he will have mercy on us.
If it’s not yet the time set by God, even if the doctor will say that you will not last for a day anymore, if it’s not yet your time you can recover and can even lengthen your life for more years.
But if it’s the time already appointed by God for you, even if you are in the most healthy condition, even if you are in the very true religion, you can’t stop it anymore.
Death is an appointment of God and it’s the sign that God will judge and we can’t escape from it just like that we can’t avoid death we can’t as well evade the judgment.
Thereby, right now we start serving God before we will die because whether we like it or not we will all experience death then after that we’ll be waiting for the judgment.
Therefore, no one can deliver out of God’s hand, what we can do is to prepare ourselves and pray to God, if he will have mercy and if it’s not yet the time set by him for us, even if our sickness is declared incurable, if God would like you to be healed because it’s not yet your time, you can still recover and live for more years.
However, it doesn’t mean you will live forever, you will still finally die later by God’s appointed time.
Thanks so much for your time reading, and I hope you’ve learnt something from this article.
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If you have any questions or comments regarding it, please feel free to write them on the comment section and I will be more than happy to hear it.
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I recently watched a very interesting documentary called The Way Down and it featured Gwen Shamblin, head of Remnant Church. She was very much a believer that when “bad” or undesirable things happened to you or the church, that it was because you were offending god in some way and now being punished.
This was a great way for them to demand more of the congregation, all in the name of pleasing God, while really only serving the selfish desires of church leaders.
My opinion is that anyone who claims sickness is a punishment from God is trying to manipulate you. Take care of your health with medical care and take care of spiritual concerns separately.
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