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Suffering and sickness in the Holy Bible

By Emeritus Prof. Mercy Olumide
23 January 2022   |   3:31 am
Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the Lord ...

Emeritus Prof. Mercy Olumide

Reasons for believers’ sickness Cont’

“Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the Lord …. 7So, Satan went out from the presence of the Lord, and struck Job with painful boils from the sole of his feet to the crown of his head.” (Job. 2:1, 7) (See discourse on Suffering, above)

“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. 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?” (Luke 13:11,16).

A SPIRIT Of Infirmity: Jesus sees some physical sickness as the direct result of demonic activity or oppression. This crippled woman was afflicted by “a spirit” (i.e., a representative of Satan; see v.16; cf. Mat 9:32-33; 12:22; Mark 5:1-5; 9:17-18; Acts 10:38).

“This woman … Satan has bound.” It is a detestable sin in Christ’s eyes when a person no longer hears the sighs of suffering humanity (vv. 11-14). Jesus teaches that people are imprisoned by sin, sickness and death, and are in distress and great need (vv. 11,16; Mat 4:23; Acts 26:18). Today we are in great danger of becoming insensitive to the world’s misery and suffering because of the entertainment media that revel in showing immorality and violence for the sake of pleasure. True disciples will be like their Master, able to see the distresses of life and hear the groaning of creation (10:33-37; Rom 8:22).

3. Demons Can Cause Physical Illness In The Human Body
Demons can cause physical illness in the human body (Mat 9:32-33; 12:22; 17:14-18; Mark 9:20-22; Luke 13:11, 16), although not all sickness and disease are the result of evil spirit (Mat 4:24; Luke 5:12-13). Various kinds of activity are attributed to demons. In demonic possession an individual is so affected that his actions are influenced by a demonic spirit. Terms such as “evil spirit,” “deceitful spirits,” and “unclean spirits” are used to identify demons in the NT. Demonic possession has various manifestations, which include: muteness (Matt 9:32; 12:22; Mark 9:17,25; Luke 11:14); deafness (Mark 9:25); blindness (Mat 12:22; John 10:21); convulsions (Mark 1:26; 9:26); superhuman strength (Mark 5:4); and self-destructive behaviour (Mat 17:15). The NT does not separate the actions of the person from those of the demon. Physical changes such as masochism (Mark 5:5) and an unnatural voice (Mark 5:7) are understood as the demon’s control of the individual.

4. Sickness Can Be Due To Sin.
Sin brings God’s judgement. “Therefore I will also make you sick by striking you, by making you desolate because of your sins.” (Micah 6:13)

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