Does God Give People Illness And Tragedy?

Q. Does God put insanity on people to humble them today? It seems this was God’s judgment on Nebuchadnezzar, but only after warning him and giving him 12 months to repent. Does God put illness and tragedy on people to get their attention, teach them or break them in this present age? That doesn’t seem consistent with what Jesus did when He was on the earth – He healed all who were oppressed of the devil and never made anyone sick. I know these claims have come from other commentators, but I would love to know what you would say to them.

A. There are commentators who take specific cases like Nebuchadnezzar’s and try to make them into general principles for everyone without considering the context. I believe this is an improper use of Scripture.

God picked Nebuchadnezzar to be the ruler of the world, and enabled all of his victories (Jeremiah 27, Daniel 2:37-38). When Nebuchadnezzar bragged that he had done it all himself (Daniel 4:30), God chose to humble him, having previously warned him that He would. Afterward Nebuchadnezzar publicly praised, honored, and glorified God and was restored to his former greatness (Daniel 4:34-37).

The lesson here is not that God will arbitrarily break people by giving them diseases or tragedies. The lesson is if God chooses you for some great and noble task, and then enables you to complete it, be sure to give Him the credit.

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