Q: #120. Can sin make us sick?
A: There are a number of verses in the Bible that show this is certainly possible.
(Micah 6:13)(God speaking) Therefore also will I make thee sick in smiting thee, In making thee desolate because of thy sins.
(Ps 107:17) Fools because of their transgression, And because of their iniquities, are afflicted.
(1 Cor 11:27-30)(Speaking of the Lord’s Supper) Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink of the cup of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. (28) But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup. (29) For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. (30) For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep (are dead).
(Jn 5:14) Afterward Jesus findeth him (the paralytic man) in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole (well): sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.
(Mk 2:5,10-11)(NASB) And Jesus seeing their faith said unto the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” (10) But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”– He said to the paralytic, (11) “I say to you, get up, pick up your pallet and go home.”
(Also see: James 5:15, Acts 28:4, Lk 13:2)
Two things seem clear to me. First, sin can make us sick. Second, God can be behind it (For examples of this see: 2 Sam 12:14-18, Num 12:9-10, Num 11:33, Gen 12:17, Num 5:21-22, Acts 12:23). However, it is VERY important to understand that sickness does not ALWAYS occur because of sin. A great example is found in (John 9). Jesus and His disciples came upon a blind man. The disciples asked Jesus if the man was born blind because of his sin or his parents sin (clearly they believed sin could cause sickness). Jesus replied it was neither, but rather, it was so that the power of God might be displayed in him. Jesus then healed him and God received the glory.
In addition, many great men of the Bible were sick, but apparently not because of sin. For example, Paul had a “thorn in the flesh” (likely an eye disease: See: Q: #8) that was never healed. Timothy was a man who was often ill (1 Tim 5:23). Paul left Trophimus sick at Miletus (2 Tim 4:20).
I do believe that sickness as the result of sin is rare, and the exception rather than the rule. God is gracious and merciful. However, if He needs to make us sick, or allows Satan to make us sick, to get our attention because we refuse to confess and repent of a sin or sins in our life, this is certainly possible. As I said in a previous study, I believe we SHOULD FEAR God, as in being afraid of Him (See: Q: #26, ESPECIALLY if we are rebelliously refusing to turn from sin, or are taking it lightly.