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  • Pastor Jim French

Did God Make Me Sick?

Healing 104

One of the most important questions we must resolve to receive our healing and minister healing to others is, "Does God give sickness?" How we answer this question says a lot about how we view God and our relationship with him.

If the thought that a good God would put a devastating illness on someone troubles you, that's actually good. If you have difficulty reconciling the truth that "God is good" with idea that "God makes people sick" you're not alone. It is a contradiction and it is contrary to what the Bible says.

I'm sure that you've heard more than one person say that God made them sick to teach them something or to bless them in some way. Sadly, this is a grievous error that has been taught in the Church for centuries.

But what is most important here is not what some in the Church say, but rather, what does God say? And what about the passages in the Bible that seem to suggest that God does make people sick? So let's look at this issue from a Biblical standpoint.


Did God Make Me Sick to Teach Me Something?


Some in the Church teach that God makes you sick because you've sinned or because you need to learn something or God has "chosen you to suffer." (More on that later). The first question we need to answer here is, “Is this a God of love?” John tells us that God is love (1 John 4:8) - pure, unadulterated, total, complete, sacrificial love. Think about it for a moment. If God is love, which he is, why would he, in love, send cancer upon someone and make them die a long and painful death, draining the resources of their family, putting their loved ones and the individual through anguish to demonstrate his love or make them grow in him? Would that be a demonstration of love? Hardly! Our God, in his perfect, sacrificial love took our sicknesses upon himself. That is love!


Did God Make Me Sick to Correct Me?

It is the Word of God that corrects us, not disease or disaster:


All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, (2 Timothy 3:16)


You may say, "But I grew in the Lord when I was sick." That may be true, in fact it is often true. Yes, God will use our sicknesses to grow us spiritually but that does not mean he sent it. There are easier ways for us to grow spiritually than to make us sick.


Did God Make Me Sick To Draw Me Closer To Him?


The idea that God gives sickness to "draw us closer to him" is frankly, anti-Biblical. God the Father revealed himself to us in the person of Jesus, and Jesus never, never, never made anyone sick. He never said, "It's not my will to heal you. You need to learn more before I heal you. You'll have to suffer and then I'll heal you." There is no verse in the Bible where Jesus tells someone they must suffer to learn a lesson or where he denies to heal someone because they need to learn and grow from illness.


Sometimes we may hear people say that God chose to give them cancer or permanently maim them to help them grow. Fr. Nigel Mumford says, “What parent would throw their child in front of a truck to teach them a lesson?” Yet we accuse God of doing the very thing that we would label child abuse. Beloved, this cannot be. Kevin Zadai makes this point very clearly, "God did not make people sick and then send Jesus to heal them.


If God makes someone sick, why do they go to the doctor? If he wants them sick why would they do that? Wouldn't that be going against God's will? Wouldn't going to the doctor be a sin?


Is Suffering With Illness God's Will?


​ If God gives sickness to people so they would suffer and die a painful death why would he tell us to pray for one another and be healed?


“Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.” (James 5:13-15)


If God wasn’t going to heal, why would he tell us to pray? If it's his will that we be sick, then praying for healing would be against his will. Why would he tell us to pray for healing if he desires us to be sick?


Does God Give Sickness to Give Himself Glory?

I'm sure that you've heard someone say that God gets glory from Christians who are fighting illness, that the faithfulness of the sick person who valiantly suffers under sickness is glorifying God. Frankly, again, this is 100% non-Biblical. There is no verse, no passage, no hint anywhere in the Bible that says God gets glory from someone’s illness. The Bible says the exact opposite. In Matthew 9:1-9 the paralyzed man is lowered through the roof by his four friends in front of Jesus. When the crowd saw that Jesus healed this man what was their response?


“When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men (Matthew 9:8).”


Both the Gospels and the Book of Acts record that God was glorified through healings in Matthew 15:31, Mark 2:12, Luke 5:26, 7:16, 13:13, and Acts 3:8. It is clear that God receives glory through healing and restoring people, not in sickness.



Think about it. If a sick Christian shows courage in their affliction, who really gets the glory? Who is the non-believer going to praise, God, or the person who stood strong under such duress?


Who remains faithful in this case? Some may argue that God gives the sick person grace to endure, and that may be true to a point, but aren't people, especially unbelievers going to observe the courage of the sick person more than the grace God gives them to bear it? Most people are going to recoil at the thought that a good God would give himself glory by hurting one of his followers. What kind of god would do that?


Then Where Does Sickness Come From?


Sin, sickness, and death entered creation when Adam sinned. Before the fall in Genesis 3, Adam and Eve lived in perfect health, in perfect communion with God and well, everything was perfect. When Adam disobeyed God by eating the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil the great fracture occurred. Creation's connection to God was severed and Adam and Eve and their offspring suffered spiritual death followed later by physical death. Sickness is a form of death which results from sin and separation from God. (Keep in mind that not all sickness is a result of sin in a person's life, but sickness entered creation at the fall).


Sickness and disease are not God's fault. He did not create them nor does he desire them for people. At it's root sickness is satan's work, not God's. satan sends sickness, disease and death, not God. It is simply impossible for God to give sickness since he does not have it and he cannot give what he does not have. There is no sickness in Heaven because that is where God is and where he reigns - his will is always accomplished in Heaven. That is why Jesus taught us to pray, "Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven". When we pray (actually this is a proclamation) this we are proclaiming that the justice and mercy and wholeness of Heaven be released upon the earth.


Jesus, The Healer


If God makes people sick then when Jesus healed, he was acting contrary to the Father. However he clearly told us that he, "only did what I see (he saw) the Father doing" (John 5:19). Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil, not the works of God.


The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. (1 John 3:8b ESV)


In Acts 10:38 we clearly see that it is satan who gives sickness, not God:


He (Jesus) went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. (Acts 10:38 ESV)


The text clearly shows that God was "with him (Jesus)" so if God were the One sending sickness then when Jesus healed he would be acting contrary to God's/his will.


This verse also shows us that God considered healing to be "good".


What About Paul's Thorn?


There has been much disagreement about Paul's "Thorn in the Flesh". So much that I will dedicate the entire next lesson to it. If you have been taught that Paul's thorn in the flesh was a disease or a serious problem with his eyes you're not alone. However, I encourage you to examine the text closely (2 Cor 12:7-10). Lay aside everything you have been taught and read the text for what it says. "Hint - A messenger is not a disease....".


Aren't There Passages Where God Sends Sickness?


There are a few passages in the Bible, (particularly in the Old Testament) that seem to indicate that God places disease upon people. A good example of this is Deuteronomy 28:27:


“The LORD will strike you with the boils of Egypt, and with tumors and scabs and itch, of which you cannot be healed. (Deuteronomy 28:27 ESV)"


So how do we reconcile a "good" God with a god who sends sickness and disease when we do not obey him? At times there seems to be a God of the Old Testament filled with wrath and anger and One of the New, filled with love and compassion. How can he be both? To better explain it I include this article I copied from the web (https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/wordoflife.mn.audio/StudyGuide/Hebrew%20Language%20-%20Causative%20or%20Permissive.pdf) :


"Here is the good news: Dr Robert Young, author of Young's Analytical Concordance and Hints To Bible Interpretation, points out that in the original Hebrew (the Old Testament was written in Hebrew), the verb is in the permissive rather than causative sense. So, Deuteronomy 28:27 should have been translated something like, "The Lord will allow/permit these plagues to be brought upon you..."

The original Hebrew of these scriptures was in the permissive tense, but because the English language has no corresponding permissive tense, the verbs were translated in the causative tense.

There is thus no contradiction. The God of the Old Testament and New Testament is the same God that "healeth thee" -- Jehovah Rapha. (Exodus 15:26) He does not change. (Malachi 3:6, Hebrews 13:8)

Sicknesses, accidents and deaths come from Satan (John 10:10), not God. God may lift His hand of protection and allow these things to come upon His children, but He is not the instigator of them.

God is not the author of confusion but of peace. (1 Corinthians 14:33) Neither is God a child-abuser. He does not chasten or child-train His children with such horrible things. He chastens them with His Word to their spirits.

Redeemed from every type of sickness under the Old Covenant system of law, God blesses His people if they obey His laws, but allows terrible curses to come upon them if they don't. (Deuteronomy 28:1,15)

In Deuteronomy 28, there are 11 verses of blessings (verses 3 to 13) and 53 verses of curses. (verses 16 to 68) Since there are more curses than blessings here, it behoves the Christian to study what these curses are, lest he calls something a blessing when it is a curse!

One of the curses is: Deuteronomy 28:61 "Also every sickness, and every plague, which is not written in the book of this law, them will the LORD bring upon thee, until thou be destroyed.

Notice it says "every sickness, and every plague". This means that any and every sickness or disease is a curse, never a blessing as some Christians believe. So, if you say that your sickness is a blessing from God, you are contradicting Deuteronomy 28:61, which implies that any sickness is a curse. But praise God that because of Christ's work on the cross, we have been redeemed from the curses of the law, including Deuteronomy 28:61.

Galatians 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: In other words, healing is part of Christ's redemptive work. Healing is part of the atonement. (Isaiah 53:4, Matthew 8:17 and 1 Peter 2:24) So, how can we say that God chastens His children with diseases? If that were true, God would be going against the work of His Son! Neither can we say that God chooses to heal some and not others because the fact is that healing is offered to all through the cross. If we say that God is willing to heal only some people, it is like saying that God is willing to save only some people."

Surely a god who would make people sick and then send Jesus to heal them would be, at best, schizophrenic, if not downright evil and sadistic. That is not our God. Jesus moved with compassion healed all who came to him. That is the true nature of our loving Father, the Healer.

Beloved, God does not make people sick. He is a God of love. He wants his people, all people well.



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