Suggested further reading: Genesis 3:13-19
We read of a man who had been ill for no less than
thirty-eight years! For eight-and-thirty weary summers and winters he had
endured pain and infirmity. He had seen others healed at the
waters of Bethesda and going to their homes rejoicing. But for him
there had been no healing.
When we read of cases of sickness like this, we should
remember how deeply we ought to hate sin! Sin was the original root
and cause and fountain of every disease in the world. God did not
create man to be full of aches and pains and infirmities. These things
are the fruits of the Fall. There would have been no sickness if
there had been no sin.
No greater proof can be shown of man's inbred unbelief
than his carelessness about sin. `Fools', says the wise man, `make
a mock at sin' (Prov. 14:9). Thousands delight in things which
are positively evil and run greedily after that which is downright
poison. They love that which God abhors and dislike that which God
loves. They are like the madman who loves his enemies and hates
his friends. Their eyes are blinded. Surely if men would only look
at hospitals and infirmaries and think what havoc sin has made
on this earth, they would never take pleasure in sin as they do.
Well may we be told to pray for the coming of God's
kingdom! Well may we be told to long for the second advent of Jesus
Christ! Then, and not till then, shall there be no more curse on the earth,
no more suffering, no more sorrow and no more sin. Tears shall
be wiped from the faces of all who love Christ's appearing, when
their Master returns. Weakness and infirmity shall all pass away.
Hope deferred shall no longer make hearts sick. There will be no
chronic invalids and incurable cases, when Christ has renewed this earth.
For meditation: Christ promises his people a glorious body
like his own (Phil. 3:20-21), a body transformed by his power.