This past month another child died of diabetes because her parents refused medical treatment. Her parents prayed for her to get better; they expected God to heal her and certainly did not want her to die. The mother stated that the family believes in the Bible, which says that healing comes from God. What heartache this family must be enduring. What guilt feelings the mother and father must be experiencing. What questions they must be asking themselves. How will this affect their faith? They obviously believed until their daughter’s last breath that God was going to heal her, so no one can question their faith. They asked God to heal her, so no one can accuse them of negligence in prayer. Were they wrong in believing that God heals? Were they wrong in believing the Bible?
Space will only permit a very brief study on physical healing, but we can hit some high points on which you can continue studying. We receive many letters about healing and God’s will, always with a variety of scriptures.
Remember that God always answers prayer, but it may be with a “no” or “later.” One of our instructions in Bible study is to rightly divide the word (2 Timothy 2:15.) By ignoring this command, we often claim promises that are not made to us.
There are those who claim that the phrase “with His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5) means that physical healing is part of Christ’s atonement (which means He will heal all who ask Him, just like He saves all who ask Him.) Christ said in Matthew 8:17 that the physical part of this verse was fulfilled by Him in His ministry. Peter said in 1 Peter 2:24 that the healing was spiritual, pertaining to salvation, hence, the Bible explains the meaning of “with His stripes we are healed.” (Look at the scriptures, don’t ignore the truth.)
As long as the kingdom was being preached, laying on of hands for healing was the practice . In the kingdom, all men were to be priests (Exodus 19:6.) In order to qualify for the priesthood, one must have no physical blemishes (Leviticus 17:17-21.) When Christ entered the scene declaring “the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17) healing of the sick became the order of the day. The last occurrence of “hands on” healing is in Acts 28:8-9. At the end of Acts 28, Israel was set aside and the salvation of God was “sent unto the Gentiles” (vs. 28) and they have received it for almost 2000 years. Since that time, Epaphroditus got deathly sick because of his work for Christ, not some sin in his life (Philippians 2:25-30.) Paul said it was God’s mercy that spared him, not a promise or covenant. Paul had left Trophimus at Miletum sick, obviously nothing he could do about it (2 Timothy 4:20.) Timothy was exhorted to take a little wine for his stomach and his “often infirmities” (1 Timothy 5:23.) Evidently Timothy was not a healthy person. There is no other exhortation about prayer, having faith or rebuking the devil, just diet.
Paul himself had physical problems and asked God three (3) times to heal them. God refused to do so (2 Corinthians 12:7-9.) In many of his missionary travels, Luke, the physician, accompanied Paul. Obviously God uses doctors. What is amazing is that Paul said he would glory in his sicknesses! That will stand the modern “faith healer” on his ear! Have you ever noticed that those who claim God always heals, if one has enough faith, are wearing glasses or contacts and have had a lot dental work done?
What we must remember is that God is God.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9
When our Lord and Saviour prayed that the cup of God’s wrath on sin be passed from Himself, He included these words,
“…nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” Luke 22:42
Our rule of thumb in prayer is found in 1 John 5:14-15:
“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing ACCORDING TO HIS WILL, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” (caps mine)
Bible study is God speaking to us, prayer is us speaking to God. Try not to monopolize the conversation.
Pray for the family who lost their daughter and others like them who got lead astray by not rightly dividing.
Keep Looking Up!