There are many sick people. Is God angry with us?


In our congregation there are many people who are very ill. Several persons have cancer, a very young boy of 19 years old has leukemia. Since January 4 persons have died.

In 1 Corinthians 11:30 Paul writes: "For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep (I suppose: die)." Is God angry with us (as in the case of the Corinthians)? How can we know that?


Dear Jacob,

Paul indeed alerted the congregation of Corinth to this judgment of the Lord.  Due to their irreverent manner of celebrating the Lord's Supper, God placed His severe judgment upon that congregation. Many of the Lord's people in that congregation were sick and dying as a direct result of the Lord's judgment.

The Bible does lay a direct link between sin and God's judgments in sicknesses.  In Ex. 15:26 God says, "If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee."  Again, in Deut. 28 God details His judgments of all kinds of sicknesses when the people disobey His holy laws (see especially vs. 21-22; 27-28). I feel that we don't often enough lay this link anymore.  Paul did and so did James in James 5:15-16.

Those are God's general principles and we would do well to acknowledge them in our thinking about sicknesses.  However, we must not make the mistake that Job's friends made when they saw Job's affliction and immediately conclude that he had done some great sin.  We know that God in his case wasn't affliction Job for a particular sin issue.  Therefore we need to be very careful when we draw our conclusions.  God can afflict someone for personal sins but also lead His people through the tribulations to mature their faith and image of Christ. (Rom. 8:28-29; Heb. 12:5-11)

In the case of your church family, it is impossible for me to give a clear answer on your question.  Yes, it is possible that there are particular sin issues in your church family that aren't dealt with properly.  God will not bless a congregation where sin issues are ignored.  His Spirit will be grieved and withhold the blessings of the Word ministry. The 'weak' that Paul spoke can also refer to the weakness in spiritual life.  But it is also possible that God would proceed with the judgments of physical sicknesses as well as death as the Corinthians experienced. The Lord hasn't changed from what He said to Israel in Ex. and Deut.

My advice is to wrestle with God in prayer on this particular verse in Corinthians. Maybe you can share your concerns with your pastor/elders and ask them also to pray that the Lord would make that clear to your spiritual leaders.  God raised up Paul to address this issue among the Corinthian church and so God can do among your church family. 

May the Lord uphold your church as they face such serious trials of sickness and death.


Pastor Vergunst