Thursday, February 08, 2018

Does God discipline us with illness?

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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Leviticus 26,27; Psalm 39

TO CHEW ON: “But if you do not obey me, and do not observe all these commandments… I will do this to you: I will even appoint terror over you, wasting disease and fever which shall consume the eyes and cause sorrow of heart” - Leviticus 26:14,16

“Remove your plague from me;
I am consumed by the blow of Your hand.
Deliver me from all my transgression;
Do not make me the reproach of the foolish.
I was mute. I did not open my mouth,
Because it was You who did it.” Psalm 39:8-10

Was David (the writer of Psalm 39) right in connecting his sickness to God’s hand of discipline? Reading Leviticus and Psalm 39 together, it’s hard not to make that connection.

In fact, the consequence of sickness as a result of sin is a connection made in other places in the Bible.

In the New Testament, when Jesus and His disciples were confronted by a man born blind, the disciples asked Jesus, was it the man’s sin or his parents’ that was the cause of his blindness. Jesus replied, neither, but this blindness occurred so God’s works should be shown in him (John 9:1,3).

However, Paul connected the ill health of the Corinthians with the careless way they were participating in the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:30). And James, when speaking of prayers for the sick, mentioned confession and forgiveness of sins (James 5:13-16) as integral to healing.

Exactly how God is involved in / causes / allows / disciplines with our sicknesses we probably won’t know until eternity. But one thing is certain—our repentance from sin resets our relationship with God. Even harsh Leviticus 26 bears this out:
“But if they confess their iniquity … then I will remember My covenant with Jacob, and My covenant with Isaac, and My covenant with Abraham I will remember…” Leviticus 26:40,42.

I love how my Bible’s study notes sum this up:

“Re: “Then I will remember My covenant” (Leviticus 26:42): The theme that God remembers His promise and never goes back on His word is emphasized in the covenant relationship. The community of the covenant is never without hope. God is always ready to receive His people in repentance even after they have failed and abandoned Him” - Brad H. Young, New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 167.

PRAYER: Dear Father, please convict me of sins in my life that make me vulnerable to sickness. May I be quick to repent and turn from them. Amen.


Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Thanks for reading! This year we are using The Bible Project "Timeless Reading Plan" to read through the Bible in 2018. If you'd like to read along in your own Bible, you can download a pdf of the reading plan HERE.

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