And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick: the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity.
This is clearly a figure, designed to complete the picture of relief from the strain and pressure and anxiety of the time of invasion. Sickness is the constant attendant on prolonged siege. The point on which we may dwell is that sickness is the sign of the presence of evil, of sin; and so heaven is represented as the place where there is no more sickness, because there is no more sin. This connection between sickness and sin lies at the basis of some of the most important Mosaic regulations. It explains the importance ceremonially attached to the one disease of leprosy. Trench states this very skillfully: "The same principle which made all that had to do with death, a grave, a corpse, the occasions of a ceremonial uncleanness, inasmuch as all these were signs and consequences of sin, might in like manner, and with a perfect consistency, have made every sickness an occasion of uncleanness, each of these being also death beginning, partial death-echoes in the body of that terrible reality - sin in the soul. But, instead of this, in a gracious sparing of man, and not pushing the principle to the uttermost, God took but one sickness, one of those visible out comings of a tainted nature, in which to testify that evil was not from him, could not dwell with him; he took but one, with which to link this teaching. Leprosy, which was indeed the sickness of sicknesses, was selected of God to the end that, bearing his testimony against it, he might bear his testimony against that out of which it and all other sicknesses grew - against sin, as not from him, as grievous in his sight; and against the sickness itself also as grievous, inasmuch as it was a visible manifestation, a direct consequence, of the inner disharmony of man's spirit, a commencement of the death, which through disobedience to God's perfect will had found entrance into a nature made by God for immortality."
I. ALL SICKNESS IS A LITTLE DEATH. It is a beginning of death. Strangely death lurks in the smallest things - a pin-prick, a slip of the foot, a tiny clot of blood, the bite of a fly, etc.
II. ALL DEATHS ARE THE SIGN OF SIN. "The sting of death is sin." Sickness and death keep ever before men the fact that they are sinners.
III. SICKNESS AND DEATH WILL GO AWAY WHEN SIN GOES.
IV. AS GOD IS GRACIOUSLY WORKING FOR THE REMOVAL OF SINS, WE KNOW HE IS WORKING ALSO FOR THE REMOVAL OF SUFFERING. The day cometh when he shall be able to "wipe all tears from our eyes." - R.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick: the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity.