Where Does Sickness Come From?



John Hoole - July 4, 2010





Two weeks ago, I gave you a brief description of what Paula and I went through at the birth of our daughter, Jackie.  She had been born with a birth defect and the doctors gave little hope of her remaining alive.  But God miraculously healed her without the recommended surgery.  I believe in miracles because I serve a God of miracles.


Luke 1:37 NIV


37     For nothing is impossible with God."


Some of you have heard the story I am now going to relate to you.  But it has been many years since I have last told it.  It involves my youngest Brother - Dave - who is 9 years younger than I.  The farm where we lived during my high school years was 15 miles southeast of Eugene, Oregon.  It was situated between the Willamette River and US highway 58.  At that time, Dave was in the first grade.  One day, the school bus stopped in front of our home to let Dave off.  The car behind the bus thought it was safe to pass the bus, and he did so just a Dave dashed across the highway in front of the bus.  He was hit by the car and knock some distance down the pavement.


My youngest sister was looking out our home window and saw what happened.  She yelled for mom, who ran to the highway as other motorists were arriving. My mother knelt beside her unconscious son and began praying for God's intervention.  Dave was taken to the hospital in Eugene, but was released that night without a scratch or a broken bone.


We grew up knowing that our God in heaven was a miracle-working God.  We believed in God that could do the impossible, not just because we experienced it, but also because the Word of God tells us to expect miracles.  The Bible is the greatest manuscript of miracles ever written.


For the last several weeks we have been looking at what you might say is a subset of miracles.  We have been examining what the Bible says about physical healing.  To say it another way, all healings are miracles, but not all miracles are healings. It is probably obvious to most of you that healing has to do with human illness, and includes any miraculous relief from bodily illness or malady.  I would include healing of emotion and mental maladies also.


I hope that during this series we all draw closer to the one who does the impossible.  If you don't need a miracle right now, you someday will.  Sooner or later it will happen to you.  You will have a conversation, or the phone will ring, and from that moment on, your life will never be the same.  A doctor may say the dreaded word, "cancer."  Or on the other end of the phone line is a police officer, saying, "There's been a bad accident. You'd better come quickly."


The message can come a hundred different ways for a thousand different reasons, but the bottom line is the same:  without a miracle, you, a member of your family, or a dear friend will die.


I mentioned in our first lesson on this series on healing that when it comes to this topic, many questions naturally arise.  Let me list again some of the questions that come to the fore.


Beginning this week, we are going to begin to tackle some of these questions.  Today, I want to begin with question #2 - "Where does sickness come from?"  Sickness is real in our world.  All of us sooner or later face an illness of some sort.  Some are quickly healed - others take longer - still other never get healed. Interpretations about the origin of sickness can often be confusing.


•  Some blame it solely to viruses and bacteria.  If only we could get rid of all of them, we would be fine!


•  Others blame it on genetics.  It's all my parents and grandparents fault!


•  Others blame it on the environment.


•  Still others blame God.


The Bible is the only true source which can reveal the correct answer to our question.  So, let's open the Word of God and find out.




         On the sixth day.


Genesis 1:26 NKJV


26     Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."


We are told in this verse that we were created in the image of God and after His likeness.  If we were to say that God gave us sickness, would that mean He is subject to sickness also, since we are created in His image?  I don't think so.


God gives Adam and Eve directions of what to eat in order to stay healthy.


Genesis 1:28-29 NKJV


28     Then God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth."

29     And God said, "See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food.


No, disease and sicknesses were not part of God's plan for humanity at creation.  But then, where did sickness come from?


Genesis 2:16-17 NKJV


16     And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat;

17     but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."


This is the first indication of possible sickness and death.  Disobedience - that is what would bring death.  Death is a result of sin.  Adam and Eve were not sick a day in their lives until they listened to the voice of Satan.  It was at that precise moment in human history that the door of sickness was opened wide.


When Adam and Eve were created, God gave them dominion and authority over the earth.  When they disobeyed God and succumbed to the temptations of Satan, they transferred the dominion of earth to the devil.  The Bible calls Satan the "god of this world" (2 Corinthians 4:4).  Three times the devil is also referred to as "the prince of this world" (John 12:31;  14:30;  16:11).  Satan then turns around, in Luke 4, where he tempts Christ and offers the world to Him if Jesus would bow down to him.  Jesus replies, "Get behind me Satan," but never contradicts Satan's control of the earth.


Satan and the resultant sin in the human race caused sickness and death.


Romans 5:12 NIV


12     Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned—


When Adam and Eve sinned, they immediately died spiritually, and began to die physically.  Even though physical death did not occur immediately, God made it clear to Adam and Eve that death would come.


Genesis 3:19 NIV


19     By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return."


Because of sin, their bodies would return to dust from which they were made.  Humankind was now subject to diseases, sickness, illnesses and bodily deterioration. Sin, which separated mankind from God spiritually, now became the source of  these nasty diseases.  Sin caused both spiritual and physical death.


Having said that, I need to make clear that sickness today is not always, or even usually, the consequence of a particular sin that a person has committed.  In other words, when a person comes down with sickness or disease, our first reaction should not be, "I wonder what sin they committed."  Our first reaction should be like Christ - one of compassion.


Over the last several weeks, I have alluded to the interrelatedness of healing and forgiveness.  I have been studying the Scriptures where both are linked together.  We will probably look at this linkage more completely in a future lesson.  A moment ago, I mentioned that the sin of Adam and Eve caused both spiritual and physical death.  Spiritual death is defined as separation from God.  Physical death is the separation of the body from the soul & spirit of mankind. On several occasions, Jesus links the physical and spiritual aspects of us humans.  In Mark 2:5, Jesus says to a paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven."  Immediately the Pharisees complained. They accused Jesus of blasphemy, because they said, "only God can forgive sins."  Jesus then showed he had authority to forgive by healing the man as well.


Mark 2:10-12 NKJV


10     But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins" — He said to the paralytic,

11     "I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house."

12     Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, "We never saw anything like this!"


In this event, Jesus connects His ability to forgive sins to His ability to heal the sick.  Jesus is against Sin - but He is also against sickness.  Sickness is not from God - it comes from the devil himself.


If you were to read Deuteronomy 28:21-61, you will notice a whole list of curses.  It is a long list, and among them is: wasting disease, flaming fever, inflammation, boils, festering sores, tumors, & blindness.  Sickness is considered a curse by God, which means that it is not a blessing.


Galatians 3:13-14 NKJV


13     Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree"),

14     that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.


Jesus was made a curse for us so that we would not face the curse of the Law anymore.  By faith, we have received "the promise of the Holy Spirit," which has freed us from the curse of the law, which included sickness and disease.


For those that belong to Christ, He will never afflict them with this curse.  He took it upon Himself so that we do not have to bear it.  The Lord may chasten us to help us ;grow and stay on the right path, but He will never use the curse or any part of it on us.  Jesus already took that punishment.


Now, let's take a look at Acts 10:38 (NKJV), which tell us:


38     how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.


It is clear from this verse that He was healing all the sick who were "under the power, oppression, of the devil.  This can only mean one thing.  This can only mean that all harassment and all oppression come from the devil and never from God.  I think it is not only foolish, but unscriptural to believe that sickness, disease, harassment and oppression come from the God of Love.


Luke 13:11 (NKJV) is another passage we need to look at as it relates to where sickness comes from.


11     And behold, there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up.


                   The religious leaders which were present again complain - because this occurs on a Sabbath Day.


Luke 13:15-17 NKJV


15     The Lord then answered him and said,  "Hypocrite! Does not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or donkey from the stall, and lead it away to water it?

16     So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound — think of it — for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?"

17     And when He said these things, all His adversaries were put to shame; and all the multitude rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by Him.


                   Notice, in verse 16, the source of her infirmity - Satan has her bound.


We also need to look at a familiar passage in John 10.


John 10:10 NIV


10     The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.


This passage is called by many theologians as, "The dividing line of the Bible."  It plainly tells us that anything that steals, kills, or destroys in our lives comes from the thief - Satan.  Anything that brings abundant life is from God.  There is NOTHING good about sickness.  It steals valuable time from us.  It causes pain and suffering, not only for us, but for our loved ones.  Sickness and disease steals our health away and destroys us prematurely.  What a contrast with Jesus who declares that He has come to give us life to the full.  Anything that kills, steals or destroys in the earth comes directly from Satan and never from God.


The Bible says God is the One Who Blesses and Satan is the one who Damns - John 10:10.


The Bible says that Jesus came to do His Father's will and He always healed people - John 6;38.


The Bible says that God was the One performing the healing miracles through Jesus - John 14:10.


The Bible reveals that Satan binds and Jesus looses - Luke 13:6


All sickness comes from the ruler of this world who afflicts, torments and oppresses people with diseases and illnesses.


Our Eternal Home


In Revelation 21, we have a description of the eternal abode of the believer.  In verse 1, the apostle John sees a new heaven and a new earth.  In verse 2, he begins a detailed description of the New Jerusalem - our eternal home.


Revelation 21:3-4 NIV


3       And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.

4       He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."


No more sickness - no more pain - no more death! Praise the Lord!  Sickness was never God's design and will have not foothold in paradise.


Does God put sickness on the believer to teach them something?


There are some who believe that God will sometimes make us sick to teach us a lesson or two.  These same people believe that God does this to make us a better Christian.  I don't think the Word of God teaches this at all.  Let me ask you a question.  Would you purposely make your child sick so they can become a better person?  We are a child of God - He never makes us sick or diseased.


Having said that, I do believe that any situation that the enemy (Satan) brings upon us, God can take that situation and turn it around for His glory.  There is no glory in the sickness - but God's healing solution will cause us to glorify Him.


Can you or I learn to be a better Christian during an illness or difficulty of any sort?  Yes, but the illness or difficulty can also cause some to harden their heart against God.  It is not the illness or difficulty that brought about these opposite results.  It was the person's reaction or response to the difficulty that leads down either pathway.


There is no record in the Bible of God making His people sick.  We only read of healings from God.


Many of you can quote Jeremiah 29:11.


11     For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.


It is exciting to know that God has a perfect plan for each of us.  And part of that plan is "not to harm you."  He does not want you sick - and He did not make you sick.