YHVH tells us in Shemot 4:11-12 that individuals with disabilities were created as special instruments to reveal God to others.

Shemot / Exodus 4 :

[11] But YHVH said to him, " Who gave mouth to-man, or who makes [the] Dumb or Deaf or Seeing or Blind? Is it not I, YHVH ?" ( וַיֹּ֨אמֶר יְהֹוָ֜ה אֵלָ֗יו מִ֣י שָׂ֣ם פֶּה֘ לָֽאָדָם֒ א֚וֹ מִֽי־יָשׂ֣וּם אִלֵּ֔ם א֣וֹ חֵרֵ֔שׁ א֥וֹ פִקֵּ֖חַ א֣וֹ עִוֵּ֑ר הֲלֹ֥א אָֽנֹכִ֖י יְהֹוָֽה )

[12] " So now, go! I will be with your mouth, and I will instruct you what you shall speak. " ( וְעַתָּ֖ה לֵ֑ךְ וְאָֽנֹכִי֙ אֶֽהְיֶ֣ה עִם־פִּ֔יךָ וְהֽוֹרֵיתִ֖יךָ אֲשֶׁ֥ר תְּדַבֵּֽר )

Later in Tehillim 38, we read controversial thoughts of King David who considered physical disabilities & diseases as God's punishment on people for their sin, instead of opportunities to reveal God.

Tehillim / Psalms 38 :

[4] There is no soundness in my flesh because of Your fury; there is no peace in my bones because of my sin. ( אֵין־מְתֹ֣ם בִּ֖בְשָׂרִי מִפְּנֵ֣י זַעְמֶ֑ךָ אֵין־שָׁל֥וֹם בַּֽ֜עֲצָמַ֗י מִפְּנֵ֥י חַטָּאתִֽי )

[6] My boils are putrid; they fester because of my folly. ( הִבְאִ֣ישׁוּ נָ֖מַקּוּ חַבּֽוּרֹתָ֑י מִ֜פְּנֵ֗י אִוַּלְתִּֽי )

[14] But I am as a deaf person, I do not hear, and like a mute, who does not open his mouth. ( וַֽאֲנִ֣י כְ֖חֵרֵֽשׁ לֹ֣א אֶשְׁמָ֑ע וּ֜כְאִלֵּ֗ם לֹ֣א יִפְתַּח־פִּֽיו )

[22] Do not forsake me YHVH my God; do not distance Yourself from me. ( אַל־תַּֽעַזְבֵ֥נִי יְהֹוָ֑ה אֱ֜לֹהַ֗י אַל־תִּרְחַ֥ק מִמֶּֽנִּי )

If the scroll of Shemot was available to be read/heard by King David, Why does Psalm 38 view physical disorders as punishments instead of God's view of disabilities as opportunities to reveal Himself in Exodus 4:11-12?

  • I think you are not distinguishing between two different things. Some scriptures speak of physical disabilities and this may be (I repeat may be) a consequence of human action or divine judgment. Other scriptures speak of divine mercy in granting, for example, sight to the spiritually blind, or hearing to the spiritually , deaf. I think this question has not adequately distinguished between the two types of references and, therefore, the question has not proved its thesis, but rather has made an assertion based on no (substantiated) evidence.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Nov 6, 2020 at 16:17
  • @Nigel J - Thanks for your feedback. Perhaps John 9:3 was written to provide substantiated evidence that Exodus 4:11-12 regards disabilities as opportunities not punishments. Commented Nov 6, 2020 at 16:26
  • John 9:3 would cover only the circumstances of a miracle. It would not extend to circumstances outside of that particular situation.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Nov 6, 2020 at 16:37
  • As with Romans 9:21-23, there is little reason to interpret creation as implying approval. Down-voted for asking trivial questions.
    – Lucian
    Commented Nov 7, 2020 at 10:43

2 Answers 2


Jesus provided another example of a disability created as a special instrument to reveal God to others in

John 9:1 As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
3“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.

The purpose of suffering is to humble the person.

Psalm 38:13 I am like the deaf, who cannot hear,
like the mute, who cannot speak;
14I have become like one who does not hear,
whose mouth can offer no reply.
15Lord, I wait for you; ... 22Come quickly to help me,
my Lord and my Savior.
you will answer, Lord my God.

He learns to depend on God to help him so that the works of God might be displayed in him.


There is not a contradiction. Both view physical disorders as punishments. Neither view them as a way to connect to G-d. David is mentioning these to humble himself before G-d. Biblically when someone prays, they humble themselves before G-d before asking a request. Several other examples include Daniel's prayer in Daniel 8 and Jacob's prayer in Genesis 32:11-12.

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