Certainly the wording of certain scriptures, especially in the King James Version, has cause some to wonder if God is the One who inflicts sickness on us. For example, Deuteronomy 28:61 has been translated, “Also every sickness, and every plague, which is not written in the book of this law, them will the Lord bring upon thee, until thou be destroyed.”
That definitely sounds like God causes the sickness. But in his book Hints to Bible Interpretation (out of print) and the front matter to his Young’s Literal Translation of the Bible (3rd printing, 1977), Dr. Robert Young explains that the Hebrew language contains idioms which cannot be translated into the English language and properly understood. He also points out that at the time the King James Version was written, there was little understanding of permissive and causative verbs.
Take the verse we just quoted. He explains in the KJV it was translated with a causative verb (“I will bring…”), but it should have been translated with a permissive verb (“I will permit…”). More accurately it should read, “Every sickness and every plague, which is not written in the book of this law, them will the Lord allow to descend upon thee, until thou be destroyed.”
Of course that leads to a similar question: “But even if God is not the source of sickness, doesn’t that still credit Him with allowing the devil to make us sick?”
Only from the standpoint of man’s authority; God allows it because we do. He’s given us the right to make our own choices (Deuteronomy 30:19). Adam never experienced sickness until, of his own free will, he disobeyed God. Sickness is part of the dominion of darkness Adam entered into and passed down to all men.
God’s plan was not to manipulate man with the threat of sickness, but to send Jesus to take our sin and bear our sickness and diseases. Good and perfect gifts come from God. No matter what tradition has taught, sickness and disease simply don’t come from God…any time, any way, for any reason. We are the redeemed.