By Moody Adams There are at least four good reasons God plagues mankind with illness.
The first is to plead with sinners to repent of their wickedness. “I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood…and they shall know that I am the Lord” (Ezekiel 38:22, 23). Once a movie actress asked her live audience: ”Why would a loving God send AIDS on men?” The answer is to try and keep them out of an eternal hell.
The second reason is to force ungodly people to stop abusing other people. Ancient Egypt, under the leadership of a wicked Pharoah, made slaves of all Jews and persecuted them brutally (Exodus 1:11). God sent seven plagues upon his land, “So that the generation to come of your children that shall rise up after you, and the stranger that shall come from a far land, shall say, when they see the plagues of that land, and the sicknesses which the LORD hath laid upon it” (Deuteronomy 29:22).
Third, God sends sickness to chastise His own children so they learn to obey their heavenly Father. In the early Christian church at Corinth, some members were contentious, irreverent and immoral. God sent sickness because of their disobedience: “For this cause many are weak and sickly among you” (I Corinthians 11:30).
Fourth, diseases are a reminder that God is supreme. The Bible plainly declares, “For I will at this time send all my plagues upon thine heart, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people; that thou mayest know that there is none like me in all the earth” (Exodus 9:14).
All who sin do not get sick and all who are sick are not sinning. But God sometimes uses sickness for man’s good.