Originally, our world was created by God and called “good” (re-read Genesis 1). The Bible says that something came into the world which has dethroned mankind from our original position and stripped us of our privileges. And what was “that something?” Sin. “Sin entered into the world, and death by sin” (Romans 5:12). Do you believe it?
Sin is the cause of all the sickness, disease, and pain which prevail on the earth. There would have been no sickness, if there had been no fall of mankind from grace. There would have been no diseases if there had been no sin ( re-read Genesis 3). The fact about our present world: 2 Peter 2:1-9 says, “Sin and evil will always be a reality of life.”
Sickness is a rough teacher for us– “Can God be a God of love and mercy when he permits sickness, epidemics and pandemics?” This is the reasoning which often comes from the heart of mankind. In the big picture, which mankind can not see, sickness can be a real signpost for us for the following five reasons:
1)Sickness helps to remind us of death, which is sobering, even though we may not want to think about it! Most live as if they were never going to die. We follow our business, hobbies, pleasures as if earth was our eternal home. Sickness awakens us from their day-dreams. We should live preparedly to meet God.
2) Sickness helps us to think seriously about God, our souls, and the world to come. In Jonah 1:5, we see heathen sailors, when death was in sight, were afraid, and cried “every man to his god.”
3)Sickness helps to soften hearts. The natural heart is as hard as rock. It exposes the emptiness of the world’s values and teaches us to hold them with a “loose hand.” Money and your power of course, are no help to you on the hospital bed. You can’t rely on your pensions when the stock market plummets as a result of panic.
4) Sickness humbles us. We are all naturally proud and proud of our accomplishments. We secretly flatter ourselves that we are better and “not as other men.” Job 4:19 says that when we are sick, “that we can be crushed more readily than a moth.”
5) Sickness will try a person’s religion, if he has one. Few have a religion that will bear inspection. Most are content with their traditions and can’t find the hope that is in them. Sickness often shows us that we have nothing solid under our feet. Manmade religion will break down when death is in sight. Christ alone can rob death of its sting and enable us to face sickness without fear.
Also thank you to John Piper and J.C. Ryle for their wisdom on this subject.
More on sickness and the coronavirus next blog.
Go here to check out 10 books by Dr. G on the Christian faith. These are e-books. Printed versions are coming.