Being in the midst of COVID 19, we hear a lot about how the disease affects people differently. People are testing positive but do not have any symptoms, while others are dying from the disease. Age seems to be a factor as well- how healthy a person is plays a roll in how the disease affects the body. I have had COVID 19 positive patients describe their symptoms as being all-consuming. They describe terrible body aches, frighteningly gasping for air, and high fevers almost to the point of delirium.
We see in Psalm 38 David is ravished with disease. The source of his disease is his own sin. David is asking for God’s mercy. He states, “O Lord, rebuke me not in thy wrath: neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure. For thine arrows stick fast in me, and thy hand presseth me sore. There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger; neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin. (vs 1-3)” David is begging God to show favor on him and to spare him from God’s wrath. This section causes me to reflect on my response to sin. When I transgress against my Savior, do I even take into consideration its affect on our relationship or do I flippantly move on thinking I will do better next time? Lord, please help me be so sensitive to your desires for my life, I shudder at the very thought of displeasing you.
Sin’s affect on a believer may not seem too harsh to a believer, but to God it is a constant reminder of the pain and suffering His Son experienced on the cross. That ought to make every Christian feel ill. A self-righteous man once boasted to a Christian friend of his, “You know, John, I’m not such a bad fellow. There are many worse than I!” His friend replied, “Ivor, you are measuring yourself by the wrong standard. You measure yourself by the harlots and drunkards you see on Skid Row and you feel quite satisfied by comparison. But go and measure yourself alongside Jesus Christ and see how you make out.” No person’s life cuts much of a figure when placed alongside the perfect life of Christ. The life of the Lord Jesus shows us how crooked and defiled our own lives really are. It is no wonder God says, “There is none righteous, no, not one.” (Exploring Romans, John Phillips) There is no direct relationship between the “size” of a sin in a person’s mind and its affect on that person’s relationship with God. James 2:10 states, “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” And 1 John says, “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.”
Just as the effects a disease has on a person varies according to their health, a person’s spiritual health can help fight off the “symptoms” of sin. God gives us some guidance on this subject in Exodus 15. At the end of his song, Moses 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.” (vs 26)
Lord, help me to see my sin as you see it. Help me to do what’s right and just in your eyes. Help me not to compare myself to what others are doing, but let your Word be the measuring rod I compare myself to. Lord, when I do sin, help me confess it, turn away from it, and renew my relationship with you. Lord, help me live my life today basking in your mercy. “ The Lord is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.”(Numbers 14:18)