Thursday, May 21, 2009

Calvin on Why it is Okay to Remedy Sickness (Sometimes)

Calvin takes a moment in his commentary on John 18:11 (“...shall I not drink the cup that Father has given me?”) to remark on the appropriateness of seeking medicinal help to our physical afflictions. It seems to me the same principle applies in some measure to how we handle persecution, especially of the physically abusive sort.

“...fanatics should not be heeded, who assert that we must not seek remedies for sicknesses or any other kinds of affliction, lest we reject the cup which God holds out. We know that we must die once and we must be prepared for death. But because the time of our death is unknown to us, the Lord allows us to defend our life by the aids which He Himself has appointed. Diseases must be patiently borne, however grievous they be to our flesh; but while they are not yet certainly fatal we should seek alleviation of them. Only we must be careful not to attempt anything but what God’s Word permits. In short, provided it remains always fixed in our hearts that the Lord’s will be done, we are not failing to drink the cup which He has given us, even when we seek deliverance from the evils which press upon us.”