Healing in the Old Testament

Healing in the Old Testament is as much a part of God's blessing as Healing in the New Testament.  This is how John expressed his highest wish for the noble Gaius: “Dear friend, I pray that everything will go well with you and that you will enjoy good health” (3 John 2). Thus he asked for the two boons most people want above all – prosperity and good health.

But does God want us to have these things?  When John wanted his friend to enjoy prosperity and good health, was he also giving voice to the will of God?

This study is intended to show that generally speaking  it is fair to ask God for health and prosperity, and to expect him to give it. Scripture shows that the ordinary will of God for his people embraces spiritual, mental, and physical soundness (Ac 3:16; 1 Th 5:23).

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Healing in the Old Testament and the New Testament is biblical fact.  John understood this when he prayed for Gaius, and there can be little doubt about his confidence that God would grant his request. He was not merely expressing a pious wish; he stated what he wanted for his Christian brother, and he expected to obtain it.

It is my intention to show that the Bible presents to every one of us an offer from God to pardon all our sin and to heal all our sickness. The plan I have followed is to take the whole Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, and to show how the scriptures everywhere reveal God’s willingness to deliver his people from these twin sorrows: sin and sickness.

That is, within the normal framework of life. Such special exigencies as times of persecution, natural disasters (floods, earthquakes, and the like), or other civic or social disturbances that strike indiscriminately at entire populations, are ordinarily excluded from the promise.

In those instances, the healing promise may be worked out in a different form. The same applies to those perils that belong simply to going about the business of living (stumbles, falls, accidents, and losses).

Both scripture and experience show that God intends us to live with risk. Some of the reasons for this state of affairs, and the manner in which such risks may modify the promise, will be discussed later.

When God made Adam and Eve in his “image” he gave them a form that was a reflection of the divine. Built into that first human couple was a resemblance in physical form to the spiritual form of God. Their life came from God, their human personality, the laws of their existence, the nature of their minds, were all based on the divine pattern.

Because of that “likeness”, and though they were physical beings, Adam and Eve were able to enjoy free and delightful communion with God. The result of this perfect association was freedom from fear or failure and an unhindered experience of divine blessing and bounty (Ge 2:8-9).

But then they fell into rebellion, and the result was their exclusion from the Garden. They no longer had access to the direct personal presence of God (Ge 3:23-24). However, the basic facts about their creation in the “image” and “likeness” of God did not change. And we, their children, still possess those same attributes. Though we are marred by sin we bear the form of the divine. Because of this, God is still able to reach out to us, to call to us in the darkness, and we are able to respond.

How do these things relate to sickness and health? In two ways –

  • being made in the image of God, the human race was originally created free of any disease; and
  • since we still bear the likeness of God, we can be healed of the disease that is now in us.

This book is now also available as an  ebook from Healing  in  the  Old  Testament - Ebook version

All Scripture is God-breathed and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfected, thoroughly furnished to every good work.  (2Ti 3:16-17)


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