“And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick”
Sickness is at once natural and yet unnatural. Virtually all people will experience it at some point or other; it seems universal and common to all of us. Nevertheless, the efforts we go to and the measures we take to prevent and cure sickness tell us that there is something more going on here. Despite its seeming universality, sickness appears to be an unwelcome intruder in the world. The biblical account of origins and early human history explains where sickness came from and this account “maps onto,” agrees with, and confirms our intuitions on the matter. God created a “very good” world in the beginning (Genesis 1:31). That beautiful, harmonious world was smashed by man’s willful disobedience (Genesis 3; Romans 5:12). Man’s rebellion brought a curse upon the entire created order under the sun. “For we know,” wrote Paul, “that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now” (Romans 8:22). Praise God, this situation is only temporary. The Bible promises that when the Lord Jesus returns to establish His kingdom on the earth, He will restored the world back to its Eden-like conditions. The New Testament variously describes that Messianic Age as “the Kingdom” (Luke 22:29), “the regeneration” (Matthew 19:28), and the “restoration of all things” (Acts 3:21). At His first coming, the Lord’s message to Israel was to “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). In other words, the Lord was saying that the promised King of the Jews had at long last arrived. As evidence for this stupendous claim about Himself, “Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people” (Matthew 9:35). These miraculous healings were a foretaste of the Messianic Kingdom Age, which is why the writer to the Hebrews referred to them as “the powers of the world to come” (Hebrews 6:5). Until the Lord’s return, we ought to thank our God every day for the good health we enjoy. When sickness does overtake us, we ought not to think that some strange thing has happened. Even faithful Timothy struggled with chronic illness (1 Timothy 5:23). Instead, we ought to see illness as a solemn reminder, an object lesson on the seriousness of sin and its deadly and disastrous consequences. Our bold confidence in God, whether we are enjoying good health or not, ought to be a powerful, irresistible witness to a world that has grown phobic of sickness. May those who observe us see people who are trusting in God to establish a world in which sickness is nothing more than a faded memory, that is, if it is even remembered at all (Isaiah 65:17).
God bless and encourage you today,