I’m certain you have prayed for healing. Maybe for yourself or a loved one or perhaps a friend of colleague. We all become ill at some stage or the other. It might be a common cold or the flu. It might be something more serious such as heart problems, kidney problems, stomach problems or even some form of cancer. At present the COVID-19 virus has smitten many people across the planet. Most have recovered, but many have died. How does one pray for those battling with an illness, be it mild or serious? It might be good to recall that when God created … and specifically this planet and the trees, shrubs, animals and humans, everything was created perfectly. We read that God was pleased with His creative work”
Ge 1:31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.
What we need to get is that “a good God” created everything “very good”. Look at what happens when Jesus was labeled “good”:
Mk 10:17 As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone.”
We understand what Jesus is doing as He is God in the flesh, but this news is too early to make known, so He attributes “good” to God alone. “Good” in this context and that of Genesis 1 carries the idea that no sin, evil, corruption or bad can be associated with God or what God does. But then … we have Genesis 3 where sin entered and the good creation was devastated. The ground is cursed resulting in thorns and thistles (weeds and other contaminating growths). The terrible end to this is that slowly all trees, fruits trees and other crops will be affected and to crown it all, where man was created to live forever, he will die.
Ge 3:17 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. 18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.
The planet is no longer perfectly healthy. Later we see when the flood arrives, the water canopy around the planet protecting it from the sun’s killer rays is removed. Plant, animal and human health since deteriorates unto death and decay. Why is it necessary to start here? Simply because the root of all illness, like it or not, is born in sin … not our sin firstly, but Adam’s sin. Naturally our sin plays a part such as excessive alcohol causing cirrhosis of the liver or prolonged use of tobacco resulting in cancer of the lungs (there are many other examples but these two are sufficient). The basis to all illness is sin!
Very often people use Scripture passages to claim divine healing over disease, be it self-inflicted or because of the Genesis 3 fall. Often passages are used like:
Ps 103:3 and heals all your diseases
Ex 15:26 for I am the LORD, who heals you
Isa 53:5 by his wounds we are healed
1Pe 2:22 by his wounds you have been healed
I am certain you have either heard these in a prayer or heard people audibly claiming healing quoting these passages. Now let’s look at the context of each of these claims.
Ps 103:2 Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits—3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion
Easily you can see the healing is a spiritual one for there is forgiveness (v3) and redemption (v4) and sandwiched in between is healing of all your diseases. The healing is spiritual.
Ex 15:26 He said, “If you listen carefully to the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, who heals you.”
Again here we find spiritual obedience leading to physical health. But get this … health is totally dependent upon God’s will … not our desire nor demand.
Ps 32:3 When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. 4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. 5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD”—and you forgave the guilt of my sin.
David’s depression was sin-related. Confession saw him being healed.
Isa 53:4 Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; and by his wounds we are healed. 6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Peter uses this concept in his epistle:
1Pe 2:22 “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” 23 When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
Again this is a spiritual healing! By Jesus wounds, blood flowed and this is the blood that cleanses or heals us from sin. Though you pray for physical healing, your aim must be spiritual. Earth is temporal – heaven is forever!
O God, thank You that You feel passionately for Your people. Thank You that we may pray about anything, even for physical healing. Help us though to use Scripture in its right context. Where we desire physical health, help us to remember that heaven is our home and help us to remember that we are passing through this planet. Amen.