How Satan Brings Sickness and Suffering
I believe that Satan works in three major ways to bring sickness and suffering on people:
1. Satan causes sickness directly. An obvious tactic is demonization. For example, approximately 25 percent of Jesus healings as recorded in the Gospel of Mark involve demons. The direct influence of the devil is explicitly demonstrated when Jesus healed a crippled woman and was scolded by a synagogue leader for doing it on the Sabbath. Jesus said, “Ought not this woman being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has boundthink of itfor eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?” (Luke 13:16). Satans direct role is also explicit in the case of Job. What percentage of sickness is directly caused by Satan we do not know, but unquestionably much is.
2. Satan indirectly uses the natural results of the Fall to cause sickness and suffering. He uses bacteria, viruses, malnutrition, accidents, fights, poison, old age, rapists, murderers and on and on. In all probability most sickness falls into this category.
3. Satan tempts people to fall into sin, and God at times uses sickness to punish them for it. There are many examples in the Old Testament of plagues, which God sent on His own people to punish them for sin. When some Israelites rebelled against Moses and Aaron, God sent a plague and killed 14,700 (see Num. 16:45-50). Then God killed another 50,070 Israelites at Beth Shemesh when they disobeyed him by looking into the ark of the Lord (see 1 Sam. 6:19), just to cite two examples. In the New Testament, God made Elymas the sorcerer blind as part of a power encounter (see Acts 13:6-12). In Corinth some believers were sick and some had died as a result of abusing the Lords supper (see I Cor. 11:30).
No matter what the immediate cause, the usual outcomes of sickness are pain, suffering and death, all the works of Satan.