Many discoveries of modern science in the medical sector were predicted almost thousands of years ago by the ancient Hebrews. Many health principles in the Bible were discovered in many religious books today. The age we now live inlays much emphasis on heart disease, cancer, and some diseases that kill our generation by the days. A good health demands self-control and lots of diligent effort. Many ancient health keys present in the Bible show the way(s) in which many illnesses and disease can be avoided. The laws that reign during these periods in the bible are usually set in order to avoid epidemics, communicable diseases, plagues, illnesses (diabetes, cancer, obesity) etc.
Sicknesses could be from God
Right from on-set, there seems to be a connection between sickness and sin. Examples would be sighted from the bible. They are:
Gen 12:17 Pharaoh’s household was infected with serious diseases because he took Abraham’s wife into his palace.
Gen. 19:11 Yahweh’s angels struck the men blind who were threatening Lot’s house.
Gen. 20:18 Abimelech’s household became barren when he unwittingly planned to take Sarah as his wife.
Num 12:10 The sufferings endured by the Egyptians because of their hardness of heart included various plagues, physical illnesses and ultimately the death of their firstborn. Miriam became leprous for slandering her brother, Moses.
2 Kings 5:26-27 Gehazi contracted leprosy because of his greed
2 Kings 6:18-20 In answer to Elisha’s prayer God struck the enemy blind and they later gained their sight.
2 Chron. 26:16-20 The king Uzziah was struck with leprosy because of his pride.
2 Chron. 21:14-15 For deserting God, Jehoram was struck down by an incurable disease of the bowels.
From these, we can see that God’s response to sin sometimes was to chastise people for going against his laws. This punishment is done by sending sicknesses to them. This does not mean that sickness was the only punishment people break laws. Punishment could also be for personal sin and sometimes for collective guilt which is when a group, town or nation was punished altogether.
Not all sicknesses come because of sin
Sometimes, sickness can come not as a result of a sin committed. Well, we may doubt this but there is someone who exemplified this in the good book. This person is Job. He became sickness without any sin or misbehavior attached to him. His friends were not ready to help matters at hand. In fact, his wife joined in rebuking him scornfully. The job has got respect and he maintained his innocence. So, he was exonerated by God and the devil went ahead to punish him. The entire book of Job, (the oldest written book in the scripture) explains that there are several other issues to be examined when deciding the possible cause(s) of sickness.
The Agent of Sickness
In the Old Testament, God is shown as a Sovereign Lord. He has an absolute control over everything. In the beginning, God created all things. He gave life to Adam and Eve. It is, thus, no surprise that in the Old Testament, all attributes of life and death are attached to God. Sickness, health, prosperity, poverty, victory, and defeat, etc. are also attached to him. This is to show that nothing happens without the involvement of God because he is sovereign. With no regard to human usual causes of sickness, healing can be said to be very dear to God. It is his nature to heal everyone.
Sickness compels us to comfort others (2 Corinthians 1:3-5)
Sickness sometimes compels us to show compassion for others who are being hurt. This can enable us to have more attention for them. When we have fallen sick before or once a victim of a particular sickness, whenever we see anyone on a bed trapped by the same sickness, we tend to have more compassion for them. Like we can say that the most persons that can comfort us are those that are once in our shoes.
Sickness sometimes refines us
The book of Isaiah 48:10 that “…I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.” A meaning that can be derived from this verse is that pains, sickness, and suffering usually have a way of surfacing our strengths and weaknesses.
Sickness can make us grow and mature
When we turn to God while in pain, he may use our condition to make us mature in faith. We may see this truth as illustrated by the persecuted church in the bible. We may simply say that when we seek God because of our condition, we may find Jesus. This is because Jesus has once suffered pains as we do because he lived amongst us.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).