I cannot complete this subject in one article — but I hope that I don’t have to convince anybody today when I say that the land is sick. I don’t mean to offend anybody with this statement and with the issues involved, but if there is to be healing, you have to apply the healing salve to the sore. When a patient is sick we take them to the doctor so that they can be treated. We don’t ignore the problem because doing so could lead to further complications and damage down the road.
When a person is sick we take them to the hospital, and when they diagnose the problem, you address the problem for what it is. They cannot ignore the problem and hope that it will go away; they don’t sweep it under the rug and stick their heads in the sand. They immediately began treatment. But we all know that there are some sicknesses that you can’t treat in the hospital. There are some sicknesses that you can’t treat with medicine — you have to look for a cure at a higher level.
When I say “there’s a sickness in the land” I don’t mean that the land itself is sick; for there is nothing wrong with the land — God made the land and apart from the curse of Adam, of which we all have inherited, there is nothing wrong with creation or the land; it’s the people, it’s the mindset, it’s the attitude, the influence of the evil one that’s causing the land to regurgitate. People are sick in the land, sick of the worse kind of sickness, the kind of sickness that doctor’s can’t cure.
You see, “sin” is not something you can cure or treat in the doctor’s office, hospital, or urgent care unit. I tell you that there’s a sickness in the land and we all know that it is; and all we have to do is look on the front page of our local newspaper or television news to see what it is. Until man’s heart turns back to God or until his heart is changed altogether it’s not going to get any better; for, you see, there’s a sickness when we see what’s going on right here in our community. We can no longer turn our heads and look the other way. We cannot afford to be in denial but we must face the fact that some of the people in the land are sick! Sin sick! And the sad part about all of this is some of them don’t know that they are sick.
But how, Pastor Ellis, do you know when there is a sickness in the land?
It’s a sickness when we think in terms of all the recent shootings and killings among our young people right here in Scotland County. When the value of human life has lost it meaning; when they don’t see the tragedy of snatching from somebody one of God’s most precious gifts and that is the gift of life! When they don’t see that man was made in the image of God; and to shed blood strikes at God himself who made man in His image! The shedding of blood dates all the way back to the first murder when Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and killed him (Gen. 4:8). And because man is made in the image of God there is a guilt of conscious whenever human life is taken; because we all have but one life to live. Jeremiah asked the question “Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there?” (Jeremiah 8:22).
There’s a sickness in the land.
The Rev. George T. Ellis is pastor of Union Grove Baptist Church. Reach him at [email protected]