God made him sick

SickThis little story really rattles my cage. What do you think??

“Azariah son of Amaziah king of Judah began to reign. … He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father Amaziah had done. … The Lord afflicted Azariah with leprosy until the day he died, and he lived in a separate house.” (2 Kings 15:1-5 NIV)

What?! This man obeyed God, was a good king and yet the Lord afflicted him with leprosy – the most dreaded disease of that day. Note it specifically says the Lord gave him this affliction. Sorry if that rattles your theological cage. I don’t like the idea either but it plainly says God did this.

So where is the justice in this? How can God do such a thing to a man who is walking in obedience? It would be one thing if it said God “allowed” it but it clearly says God caused it. Can we even trust God to be just when He does stuff like this to a good king who is faithfully serving Him?

I have found when I have questions about Scripture the best commentary on Scripture is the Scripture itself. Often, the answer to hard questions is found within the pages of the Bible if I will just diligently search it out. And that is the case here.

In 2 Chronicles 26 we read the expanded story of Azariah’s life – and we find he was also called Uzziah. We discover that power and success went to his head and he was struck with leprosy for a flagrant violation of God’s law and ignoring the counsel of the priests. 2 Kings covers over Uzziah’s sin. For the one who only knows part of the story it looks like God is terribly unjust. What a message for me.

In this life I can never know all the story, all the details, the attitudes and motives of the heart – even my own heart. It is easy to judge that God is unjust, cruel or capricious. God was even made to look worse because He failed to mention Uzziah’s sin in 2 Kings. Even His expressions of love and mercy can appear unjust because of my limited understanding, shallow perspective and incomplete knowledge. What a lesson on the importance of trusting His goodness and faithfulness even when He does not appear good and faithful.

And what a lesson on not judging others. I have no idea what is going on in their heart, their life, their walk with God.

We cannot judge how a story ends until we have read the entire book. Yet, how many of us will foolishly judge the character of God when we are right in the middle of the story He is composing in our lives and the world around us.
Romans 11:33-34 (NLT)
Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways!
For who can know the Lord’s thoughts? Who knows enough to give him advice?

2 thoughts on “God made him sick

  1. Great post Rick 🙂 You are quite correct 🙂 Our walks of faith are completely unique and wonderful specifically designed by our Creator for our Creator to have an intimate relationship with each of his children. If we are of like mind with regard to Christ our Savior then and only then are we able to share the beauty of each others walks. God bless and peace. 🙂

  2. Pruning for Fruit-Bearing

    Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. (John 15:2)

    This is a precious promise to one who lives for fruitfulness. At first it seems to wear a sharp aspect. Must the fruitful bough be pruned? Must the knife cut even the best and most useful? No doubt it is so, for very much of our Lord’s purging work is done by means of afflictions of one kind or another. It is not the evil but the good who have the promise of tribulation in this life. But, then, the end makes more than full amends for the painful nature of the means. If we may bring forth more fruit for our Lord, we will not mind the pruning and the loss of leafage.

    Still, purging is sometimes wrought by the Word apart from trial, and this takes away whatever appeared rough in the flavor of the promise. We shall by the Word be made more gracious and more useful. The Lord who has made us, in a measure, fruit-bearing, will operate upon us till we reach a far higher degree of fertility. Is not this a great joy? Truly there is more comfort in a promise of fruitfulness than if we had been warranted riches, or health, or honor.

    Lord Jesus, speedily fulfill Thy gracious word to me and cause me to abound in fruit to Thy praise

    C.H. Spurgeon

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