Hoping for a Miracle
When we are hard-pressed, and facing death and disability due to disease, we are often searching for a miracle. The good news is that God our Healer does have that miracle working power. Jesus came to earth for many reasons, but one of them was that he “healed every kind of disease.” He was and still is God our healer; it was a sign that he was the Messiah. Jesus did the unthinkable and touched the man with leprosy, healing him of this great affliction. He performed this miracle as a testimony of his authority as Messiah, and as a way of preaching. But it is noteworthy that he also told the man to fulfill the law of Moses, and make the appropriate offering for an atonement.
A Mission to Heal
Jesus mission was to restore people to a right relationship with the Father, and to do this the sin that causes so much mental and physical suffering must be forgiven.
David understood this principle when he wrote,
“Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:
3 Who forgives all your iniquities
Who heals all your diseases,
4 Who redeems your life from destruction
In a dramatic way Jesus tied the elements of forgiveness for sin and healing at the Pool of Bethsaida on the Sabbath. He had healed the paralyzed man, and then later instructed him to “sin no more.” As Paul recognized, the wages of sin was death … there were natural consequences for ignoring or disobeying God’s instructions.
Cause and Effect
While living in Egypt the Israelites were subject to Pharaoh and his laws that produced slavery and death; there was cause and effect. In delivering the people from this bondage and way of life, God gave these ex-slaves a new body of laws that would produce good results. But only if they would listen carefully and do what was right. These commands were not only ‘do-able,’ but they were not difficult to obey, and they would demonstrate love for God and neighbour. And in following God’s instructions he gave them the promise, that they would no longer suffer from the illnesses that they had endured in Egypt. God’s ways would produce wellness.
Getting Back to Basics
This wellness would begin with God providing their basic physical needs. He would bless their bread and water! Walking in covenant with God and being biblically-minded we have the assurance of good food and clean water that are basic to healthy living. Consider how many problems relating to disease could be resolved if we applied God’s wisdom to keeping our water clean, through proper public sanitation. Or, reflect on the impact of modern mechanized agriculture and food production and marketing systems that undermine the ability of many to have an uncontaminated source of nutritionally complete foods. If we listen to God’s wisdom we would avoid these very basic health-inhibiting factors. There is cause and effect. So we need to do what we can for our families to provide these health-giving basics of good food and clean water.
In Need of Mercy from God our Healer
But there is also mercy, for those who cry out for God’s deliverance. The book of Kings provides examples worthy of consideration. Ahaziah, the king, had an accident and was suffering, but refused to look to God for help, and as a result he paid the natural consequence — death. Hezekiah, on the other hand, when faced with death, pleaded for God’s mercy, and for mercy on the whole nation that was under seige. His bitter tears, and prayer for compassion, changed God’s mind, and God healed him. Likewise, Namaan, a Syrian general, humbled himself to do a simple task as God had instructed. He swallowed his pride and washed 7 time in the Jordan, and God performed a miracle and healed Namaan of his leprosy. For Christians, God gives us some simple instructions to follow in those times of great need when we are being overwhelmed by sickness.
Is Anyone Sick?
“Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. 17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. 18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.”