When Kenneth and Gloria started their journey of faith they had questions too—lots of them! So, we've compiled the most frequently asked questions by people like you—people who earnestly desire to find God's answers to the practical, real-life challenges of everyday living. We have a new question every day, so check back often!
Q: Does God use sickness to teach or discipline us?
Tradition has taught that God uses sickness, trials and tribulation to teach us. This idea, however, is not based on the Word of God. God has never used sickness to discipline His children and keep them in line. Sickness is of the devil, and God doesn’t need the devil to straighten us out! He sent His Word to do that.
Second Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect [or mature], thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”
One thing that has led people to believe that God is the One who inflicts sickness on us is the wording of the King James Version of certain scriptures. For example, Deuteronomy 28:61 states, “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.”
Dr. Robert Young, author of Young’s Analytical Concordance to the Bible, sheds some crucial light on that and other similar scriptures in his book, Hints to Bible Interpretation. There he explains that the Hebrew language contains idioms which cannot be translated into the English language and properly understood. Also there was little understanding of permissive and causative verbs.
In other words, according to Dr. Young’s studies, Deuteronomy 28:61 should have been translated with a permissive verb and would more accurately read, “Every sickness and every plague, which is not written in the book of this law, them will the Lord ALLOW TO ASCEND upon thee, until thou be destroyed.” Refer, then, to the first several verses of Deuteronomy 28 and it confirms that.
“But even if God is not the source of sickness,” you may ask, “isn’t it still true that He allows the devil to make us sick?”
Yes. Not from the standpoint of correction, but from the standpoint of authority. God allows it because we do. Why? Because He’s given us the right to make our own choices along with authority over the kingdom of darkness in Jesus’ Name.
Notice what God said in Deuteronomy 30:19: “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.” The choice of whether we experience life or death, blessings or curses is up to us. It has been this way since Creation.
When God created Adam, He gave him the ability and the privilege of making his own decisions. Adam never experienced sickness until, of his own free will, he disobeyed God. As a result of his disobedience, he came under the rule of a new “god” and a new kingdom—Satan and the kingdom of darkness. Romans tells us that the dominion of darkness that Adam experienced after he sinned was passed down to all men. Thus, the whole human race needed to be redeemed, or bought back, from Satan’s dominion.
God paid a very high price to redeem us from the power of Satan. He sent Jesus to the cross where He took our sin, was punished for our disobedience, and bore our sicknesses and diseases. In the light of that, it would be a miscarriage of justice for God to put that sickness back on us.
Good and perfect gifts come from God. No matter what tradition has taught, sickness and disease simply don’t fall into that category...any time, any way, or for any reason. We are the redeemed.