Sin and illness…


Psalm 38: 1 O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger, or discipline me in your wrath. 2 For your arrows have sunk into me, and your hand has come down on me. 3 There is no soundness in my flesh because of your indignation; there is no health in my bones because of my sin. 

This writer of this psalm obviously connects his physical ailments with his sin against God. Jesus echoes a similar idea when he first forgives the sins of persons in need of healing before healing them. I’ll admit I don’t fully understand the connection between sin and illness, mostly because even the most righteous persons in the bible eventually succumb to illness and death. Since the original sin of Genesis chapter 3, humans have dealt with the pain of mortality.

Tomorrow we will lay to rest my father-in-law Ernest Rohlack. His loss was quite a blow to my family coming just a few days after we laid to rest my brother Chris. But unlike Chris, who died at a relatively young age, Ernest enjoyed the blessing of years and longevity. He had recently turned 89 years old – long enough to see his children and grandchildren and even a great-grandchild enter this world and prosper. Though I would be remiss if I failed to mention the loss of his oldest son Ernie a few years ago. Children are not supposed to leave this world before their parents. But mostly, the Lord blessed Ernest who is now at rest.

In the last few months I’ve been reminded that life is fragile. Our passage for today reminds me that death is part of the curse of sin for all humanity. Including you and me. So today, as a way to honor my father-in-law, I will end my post with a prayer I wrote which is printed on his funeral bulletin:

Heavenly Father, we give you thanks for our dear brother in Christ, Ernest Rohlack. While we grieve his loss, give us faith to recall how death has been swallowed up in the victorious resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Console those who mourn, and give us grace to live in the confident hope that we will one day be reunited with Ernest and all your saints in heaven. For we pray this in the most holy name of Jesus the Christ. Amen.

2 thoughts on “Sin and illness…

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