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Suffering and sickness in the Bible – Part 18

By Emeritus Prof. Mercy Olumide
06 March 2022   |   2:40 am
This is called a penitential Psalm because David expressed sorrow for his sin (38:18). He stated that his sin led to health problems (38:1-8) and separated him from God

Emeritus Prof. Mercy Olumide

Reasons For Believers’ Sickness (cont’)

This is called a penitential Psalm because David expressed sorrow for his sin (38:18). He stated that his sin led to health problems (38:1-8) and separated him from God and others, causing extreme loneliness (38:9-14). He then confessed his sin and repented (38:15-22).

“No soundness in my flesh” (v3). The Psalmist emphasises two consequences of committing serious sin after knowing the Lord and having received His mercy.

(1) Divine anger and judgment. The teaching that God always forgives and forgets sin without ever chastising the repentant believer is not Biblical teaching. A repentant sinner, even after experiencing God’s forgiveness, my experience for some time thereafter the temporal consequences of their forgiven sin, sometimes for years (see 2 Sam 12:9-13).

(2) Bodily pain and mental anguish. Sin brings a heavy burden and suffering to the transgressor. God may allow severe sickness or even death as the result of our iniquity (v. 3-10; cf. Acts 5:1-11; 1 Cor 11:29-30).

38:2-4 David saw his anguish as a judgment from God for his sins. Although God does not always send physical illness to punish us for sin, this verse and others in Scripture (Acts 12:21-23; 1Corinthians 11:30-32) indicate that he does in certain circumstances. Our sins can have physical or mental side effects that can cause great suffering.

Sometimes, God has to punish his children in order to bring them back to himself (Hebrew 12:5-11). When we repent of our sin, God promises to forgive us. He delivers us from sin’s eternal consequences although he does not promise to undo all of sin’s earthly consequences.

“Do not forsake me, O Lord; O my God, be not far from me!” (Ps 38:21)“Be not far from me.” One terrible consequence of willful sin is the loss of God’s fellowship and the sense of His presence (cf. 22:19; 35:22; 71:12). It is a grievous and bitter experience to commit willful sin after knowing the mercy of God and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Only the presence of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer makes victory over sinful desires possible (Rom 8:1-2)

• Note that confession of sin and forgiveness by God does not always negate all the consequences of sin.

Read 2 Sam 12:10-14 David repents: “Now, therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’ 11Thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, I will raise up adversity against you from your own house; and I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbour, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. (2 Sam 12:11)

Email:mercyolumide2004@yahoo.co.uk www.thebiblicalwomanhood.com Mobile: +234 803 344 6614; +234 808 123 7987

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