God Our Healer — Tests his People
When Israel left Egypt, and entered the desert of Sinai one of the first challenges they faced was a lack of water.
It was at the waters of Mara that God performed a miracle. By healing the water, God turn the bitter waters into fresh sweet water . God had tested them and many had responded with discontent and grumbling. But God was faithful and provided for his people. Paul used their example as an object lesson for all believers that we should to trust in God in times of trial.
Then God gave his first ‘lesson’ to the nation of former Egyptian slaves. He gave them a promise if they would listen to him and do what was right! Then, God would not put on them any of the diseases they had suffered in Egypt. And he would be known by his name, God our Healer, Yahweh Rophe.
From the evidence of archaeology we can know that the people in ancient Egypt were afflicted with many diseases. But God promised the Israelites to be their healer, their physician. He would be the one to cure them and make them whole. This was an individual promise for literal physical healing. But, it also referred to the figurative healing of the nation. Bod would heal the injustice and the hurt that they had suffered collectively. They had lived in slavery in a land where the Nile was their source of life-giving water. But, it was also a ‘sewer’ and a source of many diseases. God’s promise to bless or heal their water was symbolic of the restoration of well-being for all of the nation. Restoration that would occur as they learned to walk with God and keep his commandments.
Sin and Sickness
The Lord God could do more than remove the physical causes that produce sickness. He could and would heal their diseases, but would also forgive their sins. Jesus example of healing the paralyzed man was a testimony to his power as ‘God our healer’ who also forgives sins. It required a leap of faith on the part of this broken man and his friends to trust and have the faith to be healed. At some point everyone faces similar trails. We must endure times of ill health when our faith in God’s wisdom and revelation is tested. In such times, God wants to know if we will trust him to heal all our diseases.
Learning from Experience
Our first ancestors were given a choice to follow the Lord God’s instructions and the way of life he revealed. Or, to become their own authorities and choose for themselves what was good and what was evil. They chose the tree of knowledge and rejected revelation. But with the human spirit they still had an opportunity to choose natural law and learn from their experience. They had been made in God’s image and had been given powers of observation and could learn from the world around them. What they lacked was the benefit of science combined with revelation which would have helped them understand the true reality of things. And God had much to reveal in terms of maintaining health.
The Mind-Body Connection
God’s revelation was a practical guide for living in a physical world, as well as, a guide to spiritual salvation . If we believe the scripture, we know that a person’s soul and spirit are a unified whole. God’s people were to be a clean temple, a place for God’s spirit to dwell. As believers we are given a mandate to live a righteous, godly, lifestyle, and this is much more than a mere intellectual pursuit. Physical and spiritual health are intimately interconnected. So that we gain spiritual wholeness and emotional and physical well-being when we “live by every word of God.” In following God’s revelation, we can avoid creating the conditions that would lead to sickness. Applying God’s revealed wisdom to daily living we can experience the benefit of healthy lives — a blessing from God our Healer.