Saturday, March 10, 2012

Leviticus 14 &15: Treat All With Love and Respect

There is no doubt that disease often is caused by direct or indirect sin, in the example cited *leprosy being one as a punishment for sin. However, think about AIDS transmission and consider the innocent unborn who contracted the disease from their mother who was infected with HIV unknowingly by her unfaithful husband. Each of these people have been exposed to the disease, but not all have sin in their lives. Whether directly or indirectly, sin is to blame and the author of sin is satan.

Then consider the environmental causes of disease. **Mesothelioma is a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. ***Pesticides and hormones in our food stimulate the formation of breast and other cancers. Radiation and drug exposure can cause genetic damage causing the formation of cancer in the exposed person or their progeny.

However, the Bible is filled with examples of disease caused by sin and God using sin as a punishment. Think about King Saul who was tormented by an evil spirit sent by God (1 Samuel 16:14) or Ananias with his wife Sapphira, who lied about their monetary gain and were struck dead on the spot (Acts 5:1-11).

Years ago, I remember having a conversation with a dear friend about cancer. We both agreed that God is more interested in our eternal life then our temporal life, and if contracting cancer would save one’s soul for eternity, God would allow cancer in that person.

But as Christians, we need to be careful about our attitude towards a person who has a disease, assuming it means the person is in sin. We need to remember each of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:22-24). All of us have the potential to develop a disease as a result of sin. It is why Jesus came to rescue us, and why I love Him so much. And why we need to treat others with love and respect whether or not sin is involved.

Matthew 22
37And He replied to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind (intellect).
38This is the great (most important, principal) and first commandment.
39And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as [you do] yourself.
40These two commandments [f]sum up and upon them depend all the Law and the Prophets.

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