God’s plan for us is that we are well and that we stay in good health. The devils intention is to make us get sick and live unhealthy lives. We have to make a decision. The right thing to do is to follow God’s word and live by them. If we do that, then we don’t have to worry about what the devil is doing. For example; God calls us to be moderate in everything, like eating, working etc. The system of the world, which is run by the Prince of the power of the air (Satan), encourages uncontrolled eating and workaholics. These can cause serious physical pain, madness and render us powerless spiritually (ill-health).
Sickness was not a part of God’s plan and it certainly doesn’t contribute to us obtaining our inheritance, in any form. Sickness and bad health are debilitating and can stand in the way of our advancement. Sickness, disease and ill-health can come in different forms, as follows:
- Mental and or emotional form (depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders addictive behaviors etc.)
- Physical form (diabetes, asthma, arthritis, cancer, severe pain, ulcers etc.)
- Spiritual form (lack of joy, hopelessness, fear, guilt etc.)
The world is suffering. The church is also suffering. Jesus and the disciples’ teaching support healing and promote good mental (God gives the spirit of a sound mind), physical (Jesus touched him and immediately the leprosy disappeared) and spiritual (Jesus said, blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled) health.
The origin of sickness
Long ago, around 1300 years BC, Moses, a man called by God to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt, stood before Pharaoh and thousands of people and threw a handful of ashes into the air. When the black carbon dust taken from the heart of a furnace settled, all the people and animals of Egypt were infested by festering boils. This was in support of God’s prompting for Pharaoh to release the Israelites form years of slavery (Exodus 9:8-12).
It must be noted that the people of God did not get sick, although they were living in the same country where the ashes spread like fine dust throughout, so one could say that the people of God were immune to sickness at the beginning.
About all of the prominent leaders of the people of God from Noah to the Prophets, lived healthy lives that were, free of sickness or disease. They died either naturally or were killed for their faith.
Sickness declared as a curse
In Marah, the generation of Israel was given a decree to test their faithfulness. The Lord promised that if they will listen to his voice, do what is right and obey his commandments then none of the disease which the Egyptians suffered from, would come upon them, “for I am the lord that heals thee,” He declared (Exodus 15:24-26). But if they refused He would in fact inflict them severely (Deuteronomy 28:58-62).
Sickness and bad health from Satan
In the land of Uz where cattle find food easily in ever green pastures, there lived a man called Job. He was very rich and was regarded highly by all of his countrymen. Job loved God dearly. Satan couldn’t stand to see him inherit good from God so he became the target of Satan’s attacks. After trying several methods to get Job to forsake God, Satan resorted to applying sickness. He assured God that if a man’s health was taken away, he will curse God and give up even to death. God knew otherwise and he allowed for Job to fall sick. He was rejected by family and friends but he continued looking to God for help. Job’s spiritual health was strong so although he was shaken mentally and physically his overall health was eventually restored. He was completely healed by God. (Book of Job) Although Satan failed in his attempt to use sickness as a weapon against the child of God, the forces of darkness still try to use it in like manner…till today.
Sickness and bad health as a punishment
In 608 BC during the reign of King Joachim God held back the rain in Canaan. The children of Israel had wandered from Him and bowed before other Gods. They also broke the commandments and lived according to their own ways. The punishment for such disobedience brought on a drought and everything that needed water for survival suffered. But the retribution did not stop with the holding of the rain. God told Jeremiah that he shouldn’t pray for the children because He was going to devour them with war, famine and disease (Jeremiah 14).
Yet Jerusalem and Judah continued to be disobedient even when they were given over to Babylonian captivity. Their sins brought punishments that caused metal, physical and spiritual depravity, as declared by all the prophets from Isaiah to Malachi.
God’s promises of healing and health
The prophets in all their messages to God’s children spoke of how God would heal, restore, rebuild etc., if the people repented:
- Isaiah the first of the prophets said, “But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins, beaten so we could be whole and whipped so we could be healed.”
- Malachi the last of the prophets said, “…those who fear the name of the Lord, the Sun of Righteousness will arise with healing in his wings!”
They pointed prophetically to the one who would be born of a virgin, as the Savior, the healer, the redeemer.
By the time Jesus came, illnesses and diseases of various kinds were widespread. By the time he began public ministry his hands were full. Many sought him earnestly for help either for themselves or for their friends/relatives. They needed healing and Jesus was attentive to their faith. More than 70% of the miracles that Jesus performed while here on earth, were healing miracles. His disciples also performed about the same number.
Jesus and His disciples healed physical, mental and spiritual illnesses. A Gentile woman who begged him to heal her daughter, possessed by demons, is a prime example. First she had need for a physical healing. Secondly, she was bowing to the ground and begging for crumbs, she could easily be passed as mad, so apparently she needed mental healing, and thirdly she wasn’t a child of God so she needed spiritual healing. Jesus declared that she had great faith.
The apostles continued to preach and perform healing after Jesus ascended to Heaven. For example, God was performing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that handkerchiefs or aprons were even carried from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out.
Can anyone deny knowing the importance that God has placed on healing and good health in the church, even to today? Well…through His inspiration, Paul actually included healing as one of the gifts of the spirits that is given to the Church…for common good and for obtaining God’s promise inheritances.