Disease, Pain, Suffering and Death

The Lord God placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Based on Genesis 2 & 3, I would like to believe that Yahweh our God frequently visited and had fellowship with Adam and Eve in The Garden. God’s presence made everything good and delightful to our parents.

Food was plentiful just for the picking. There was peace of mind and security. No toil, no unhealthy tiredness of the physical body. No pain, no sickness, no death. Adam and Eve were told by the Lord to be master of the whole physical creation. See Genesis 1:28. They have to become master of all animals and plants including the microscopic ones: virus, germs, bacteria. I believe that all animals were good and behaved very well. Kung hindi sana naging suwail si Adan at si Eva, they could have slowly learned how to understand the viruses, germs and bacteria and not be affected by them.

There was only one prohibition. Only one thing to be avoided: Don’t eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. This tree, together with the tree of Life, was located at the middle of the Garden of Eden. That prohibited fruit was there to test the loyalty and respect of mankind to their Creator God, Yahweh.

Unfortunately, Eve succumbed to the delightful seduction of the sweet-talking Devil. Eve ate of the forbidden fruit and she gave a bite to her husband Adam. This lack of love, lack of faith, lack of respect, lack of obedience to their Creator God, the owner of the Garden, brought in the diseases, pain, suffering and death into this world.

This August 3-5, two of my very close relatives got dengue fever and were hospitalized: One at the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center and the other at the Saint Louis University Hospital of the Sacred Heart. One child of a fellow preacher was likewise hospitalized about the same time due to dengue fever.

At the same SLU pediatric ward where my relative stayed came in a family who lives near the Mines View Park district with two children. One was 8 months old and the other was two years old. It was too late. The younger one’s blood supply has been severely attacked by the dengue virus and lowered the platelet count. He died. The older one survived.

I’ve also observed the Emergency Rooms of the two hospitals. People incessantly came in with their relatives with various sicknesses and medical problems. In one emergency room were two inscriptions conspicuously displayed at the wall:

“AN AVERAGE OF 229,000 GERMS PER SQUARE INCH ARE FOUND ON FREQUENTLY TOUCHED FAUCET HANDLES.”

“ON EACH SQUARE CENTIMETER OF YOUR SKIN THERE ARE ABOUT 1,500 BACTERIA.”

I recall reading in one article of a science magazine which made the estimate that the volume of these microscopic animals and plants if all were heaped together would be about 6 to 8 times the volume of the large animals.

Our God told Adam and Eve and all of us to have dominion over all the creatures, to be masters of all created things. But we have been mostly ignorant of many things. Significantly ignorant of how virus, germs and bacteria affect us or attack us. These creatures are in our food, in fruits, in vegetables, on our skin, in our mouth, in our stomach, in our intestines, on the ground, in the soil, in just everywhere. In their proper places these creatures are beneficial. Put in the improper place, they cause sicknesses and diseases. So if we become sick because it is possible that we have misplaced the germs and viruses and bacteria. Or we didn’t clean our food or our surroundings. Perhaps we have invaded the natural habitats of malarial and dengue mosquitoes. We bring ourselves into their territory.

In sum, I would say that diseases, pain, suffering and death are the results of the following:

  1. Man failed to become master and have dominion over all the animals and plants. Mastery and dominion over creation could have been slowly learned from God in the Garden of Eden had not Adam and Eve committed sin.
  2. Man’s preference for the Devil as his master in this world to that of having Yahweh as his true God and master.
  3. God’s withdrawal of His presence and fellowship with humanity made the microscopic animals and plants go wild and became the enemy of mankind.
  4. God’s withdrawal of the Tree of Life from the reach of mankind eliminated the possible supply of chemicals that could have renewed aging human body cells and strengthen the human immune system to neutralize venom, toxins, poisons, viruses, bacteria and germs.
  5. God’s presence in The Garden of Eden made trees and herbs supply all mankind’s food, but God’s absence and the Devil’s reign in this world brought about the curse upon the soil and climate which create food shortage.
  6. God’s withdrawal of His presence and fellowship with man has removed a kind of heightened healthy wellbeing and good immune system for man as suggested in Genesis 2:9; 3:22 and Luke 24:32.
  7. Man’s activities like destroying the rain forests, mountainside denudation, burning of fossil fuels and coals cause global warming and climate change that cause destructive erosions and flooding and strong winds.
  8. Man has not mastered nature when we build houses on low lying plains, river banks and mountainsides and earthquake faults.
  9. Man’s greed in manufacturing chemicals and products that are toxic and poisonous that also alter human genes and cancers.
  10. Statistics show that more die on the highways and roads due to vehicular accidents than those who die in wars and armed conflicts. Accidents happen because we don’t observe traffic rules which are based on physics and medical science like over speeding and no drink while driving.
  11. Statistics show that more people die of malaria than those who die in armed conflicts. This shows that man has not mastered, not dominated the malaria mosquito.

CONCLUSION:

God had placed man in a beautiful Garden of Eden where God was the owner and manager, but man insulted Yahweh God by virtually accusing God of lying and welcoming the Devil into this world. This brought the curses that we now suffer. This first week of August afforded me another time for a deeper reflection on life. It is man that is to blame and not God the Creator.

Your comments and observations are most welcomed. #   (Eusebio Tanicala, 8.7.10)

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