Healings - Why Not Today?
In the Scriptures we read about healings and wonder why we do not see such miracles today. We see friends and loved ones die and wonder why they were not healed. Yahweh has not changed - He still has that power. He can use it any time He chooses. So why doesn't He? Doesn't He care? Could it be that there is a problem with us humans? Or is it simply Yahweh's prerogative?
There are healings mentioned throughout the whole of Scriptures. The first mention is of the healing of Abimelech, his wife and maidservants so they could bear children (Genesis 20:17). Healings appear even at the end of Yahweh's Word. In the very last chapter (Revelation 22:2) it relates that in the new city of Jerusalem, the leaves of the tree of life are for the healing of the nations.
There are some things that we can do to maintain our health, like plenty of rest. Yahweh gave us His sabbath, a day of rest (Exodus 20:8-11; 23:12; 31:13-17). He forces us to rest at least one day out of every seven. He also specified laws regarding sanitation (Deuteronomy 23:12-14), quarantine (Leviticus 13-14), and cleanliness (Leviticus 15; Deuteronomy 23:10-11). He also wishes that we have a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7) and that we exercise, even though the benefits must be regular as they don't last a long time (I Timothy 4:8).
Many people refer to the laws of clean and unclean meats as health laws, but that claim cannot be supported by Scripture. Those laws were instituted to set Yahweh's people apart - as He is set apart (Leviticus 11:44-47; 20:25-26). Nowhere in Scripture does it say that those animals listed as unclean are bad for the health of humans.
What part in our lives - if any - should doctors play? If we believe Yahweh is our healer, should we be turning to doctors? Are there times when medications are appropriate?
Definitions of Healing
Immediately upon bringing His people out of Egypt, Yahweh made them a promise.
And he said, If you carefully listen to the voice of Yahweh your Elohim, and you do what is right in His eyes, and you give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will not put on you all the diseases which I have put on Egypt; for I am Yahweh your healer.
2 - Bless Yahweh, O my soul, and forget not all His rewards;
3 - who forgives all your iniquities; who heals all your diseases.
The word "healer" is from the Hebrew #7495, rapha. It means to mend (by stitching), i.e. to cure; cause to heal; physician; repair; make whole.
Does this word refer to Yahweh alone? Let's look at this word in a few other verses.
18 - And when men strive, and one strikes his neighbor with a stone, or with a fist, and he does not die, but falls on his bed,
19 - if he rises and walks away in the street on his staff, the one who struck him shall be innocent - only he shall pay his sitting; surely he shall pay for his healing.
It is the word "healing". But notice the context. The person who injured him is the one responsible for having the person healed: Yahweh is not mentioned.
The same word also appears in Genesis 50:2 referring to the physicians who embalmed Jacob. Notice the physicians were not condemned - they were Joseph's servants.
I Kings 18:30
And Elijah said to all the people, Come near to me. And all the people came near to him; and he repaired the altar of Yahweh that had been broken down.
Can't figure out how this verse fits in? The word "repaired" is rapha. Was that a job humans could perform or did it require supernatural intervention?
Rapha can also be defined as medicine.
There is no one to plead your cause, for your ulcer there are no healing medicines for you.
Here the lack of medicine is equated with a lack of healing.
In the Greek of the New Testament, there are three words translated "heal" - · #2323, therapeuo, meaning to wait upon menially, i.e. (fig) to adore (God), or to relieve of diseases, to take care of. · #2390, iamoai, meaning to cure, to heal, to make whole. · #4982, sozo, meaning to save, i.e. deliver or protect; to heal, make whole, preserve; to deliver from spiritual death.
The last word, sozo, was one often used to describe physical healings by Yahshua and the disciples. But it is also used nearly 100 times to speak of the spiritual salvation offered by Yahweh.
A Conditional Promise
The healing of Yahweh is a miracle and is freely given. Do we realize what that really means? It is a benefit and a blessing His people should deeply appreciate. But is it something He gives for no reason, expecting nothing in return?
Not always. The verse quoted above, Exodus 15:26, explains to us that healing is a conditional promise. It is based on the obedience of His people. He goes one step further than just healing. He says He will not put diseases upon His people.
25 - And you shall serve Yahweh your Elohim. And He will bless your bread and your water; and I will remove sickness from your midst.
26 - There shall not be one miscarrying nor one barren in your land; I will fulfill the number of your days.
Read both Deuteronomy 28 and Leviticus 26, regarding the blessings and cursings of the people of Israel. These long chapters contain lists of curses that will befall the people if they do not obey Yahweh. Many throughout that list refer to health problems, diseases, premature loss of life and lack of healing.
Yahweh does not give a blanket promise for healing. In fact, there are times He chooses not to heal.
2 Kings 13:14, 21
14 - And Elisha had become sick with his illness in which he died …
21 - And it happened, they were burying a man; and, behold, they saw the band, and threw the man into the grave of Elisha. And the man fell and touched the bones of Elisha; and came alive, and rose on his feet.
Interesting. Elisha was not healed, though he had been used by Yahweh to perform miracles. And after his death, there was still a miracle through him!
The New Testament records many amazing healings done by both Yahshua and others who received that gift. But there were others who were not healed, such as Paul. We certainly can't say he did not have faith. He had what he called "a thorn in the flesh" (2 Corinthians 2:7-10). The word "weakness" is the Greek #769, astheneia. It is defined as feebleness (of body or mind); by implication malady; without strength, weak, sick. Isn't it interesting that healing was denied him as he was extending it to others?
"But, wait a minute! Yahweh promised to heal us!" is what some will cry. And then they try to determine why someone was not healed. Was it because they lacked faith? Faith is one of the important ingredients.
27 - And Yahshua passed on from there, two blind ones following Him, crying and saying, Have pity on us, Son of David.
28 - And coming into the house, the blind ones came near to Him. And Yahshua said to them, Do you believe that I am able to do this? And they said to Him, Yes, Master.
29 - Then He touched their eyes, saying, According to your faith let it be to you.
2 Corinthians 5:7
for we walk by faith, not by sight.
But a person can have all the faith possible and yet not be healed. Many things come into play when Yahweh decides whether, when, how and/or why to heal an individual. He may have many reasons for what He does: for encouragement, to show love, to be merciful, to strengthen belief, as a witness, etc., to either the individual or someone else who knows that person. Sometimes Yahweh says no - and we have no idea why.
For He said to Moses, 'I will have mercy on whomever I have mercy, and I will pity whomever I pity'.
What if we feel that we don't have the needed faith? We can ask for it. We can make the same request the disciples did.
And the apostles said to the Master, Give us more faith.
As a part of faith, we must include prayer. Yahweh knows what our needs are, but He wants us to seek and beseech Him.
… for your Father knows what things you have need of before you ask Him.
13 - And whatever you may ask in My name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
14 - If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.
And all things, whatever you may ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive.
Yahweh hears our prayers and answers all of them. If we don't see the result we expect or want, then we must understand that His answer was "No" or "Not yet" or "Not in that way."
14 - Is any among you sick? Let him call the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Master.
15 - And the prayer of faith will cure those being sick, and the Master will raise him up. And if he may have committed sin, it will be forgiven him.
16 - Confess faults to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous one has great strength, having been made effective.
Does this mean that Yahweh has an obligation to heal? Or does this mean "if Yahweh be willing?"
First note, the sick person has something to do: call on the elders of the congregation. Do we actually do that? If not, why not? We may be denying ourselves an important part of the process Yahweh has set in motion.
Mark 6:1, 13
1 - And He called the twelve near, and began to send them out two by two. And He gave them authority over the unclean spirits.
13 - And they cast out demons, and anointed with oil and healed many sick ones.
Why anoint with oil? What was the purpose? Throughout Scripture it was used, often in conjunction with laying on of hands, to show a person being dedicated, consecrated or set-apart to Yahweh and/or for a specific purpose. Don't we want that?
Now look at the word "cure" in James 5:15. Which of the Greek words is used here? It is sozo, meaning most often to save or deliver in a spiritual sense.
The word "raise" in verse 16 is the Greek #1453, egeiro. It means to waken, i.e. rouse (literally from sleep, from sitting or lying, from disease, from death or from obscurity). But the word is used most often in the New Testament when speaking of the resurrection of the dead. To verify that, look at these few examples, though there are many more:
- Matthew 11:5 - the dead are raised up
- Mark 16:6 - he is risen; he is not here
- Luke 20:37 - Now, that the dead are raised
- John 5:21 - as the Father raiseth up the dead
- Acts 13:30 - Yahweh raised him from the dead
- I Corinthians 15:35 - How are the dead raised up?
- I Thessalonians 1:10 - whom he raised from the dead
The verses in James 5 do refer to physical healing from Yahweh - if it be His will at that time. But if it is not, He reassures us of a resurrection to a spiritual life.
Sickness And Sin
James mentions forgiveness. What does sickness have to do with sin? Is all illness related to sins that have been committed?
2 - And, behold, they brought a paralytic lying on a cot to Him. And seeing their faith, Yahshua said to the paralytic, Be comforted, child. Your sins have been forgiven you.
3 - And, behold, some of the scribes said within themselves, This one blasphemes.
4 - And seeing their thoughts, Yahshua said, Why do you think evil in your hearts?
5 - For what is easier, to say, Your sins have been forgiven you; or to say, Rise up and walk?
6 - But that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins, then He said to the paralytic, Rising up, lift up your cot and go to your house.
7 - And rising up, he went away to his house.
After these things Yahshua found him in the temple, and said to him, Behold, you have become well; sin no more, that a worse thing not happen to you.
In these verses, Yahshua is demonstrating that He had the power and authority to forgive sins, as well as heal. But not all illness or handicap is caused by sin.
2 - And His disciples asked Him, saying, Teacher, who sinned, this one, or his parents, that he was born blind?
3 - Yahshua answered, Neither this one sinned nor his parents, but that the works of Yahweh might be revealed in him.
Note the ending phrases of James 5:15 - "…if he may have committed sin, it will be forgiven him."
"If" is often called the biggest word in the English language. If the ill or infirm person has sinned, he will be forgiven as well as healed. If no sins were committed, he will simply be healed. But it is not the business of the elders or anyone else to determine if the person has sinned. It is between the individual and Yahweh.
Some people see our accidents and claim that those are due to sin. Some may be, but there are also incidents that are beyond our control. Those are often referred to as "time and chance." That seems to be what Yahshua was referring to.
1 - And some were present at the same time reporting to Him about the Galileans, whose blood Pilate mixed with their sacrifices.
2 - And answering Yahshua said to them, Do you think that these Galileans were sinners beyond all the Galileans, because they suffered such things?
3 - No, I say to you; but if you do not repent, you will all perish in the same way.
4 - Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell, and killed them, do you think that they were sinners beyond all men who lived in Jerusalem?
5 - No, I say to you; but if you do not repent, you will all perish in the same way.
When we are sick, we are sometimes accused of committing a "physical" sin. Can that accusation be supported by Scripture? If we are ill because we didn't get enough rest, ate too much junk food, didn't drink enough liquids, etc, - something physical - where is the verse containing the law we broke? Are those statements made anywhere in Scripture?
I John 3:4
Everyone practicing sin also practices lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.
Sin is breaking Yahweh's law as stated in Scripture.
One example of illness that could be the result of sin would be that of a venereal disease. In most cases, that would have been contracted by sexual activity that was forbidden by the law. That would be a penalty for breaking Yahweh's law.
Any time we or someone we know experience a healing, we should all be grateful. But we must be careful in our attitude toward the healings. We should never look on them as a proof of righteousness of that individual. Or lack of healing as a sign of unrighteousness. Healings are not to be used as a test of spirituality - or a lack thereof.
Doctors And Medical Science
What about seeing a doctor then? How does that fit with our beliefs? If we say that Yahweh is our healer and that we will rely on Him, then would it be right to go do a doctor?
2 Chronicles 16:12-13
12 - And Asa was diseased in his feet in the thirty-ninth year of his reign, until his disease was severe. And also in his disease he did not seek Yahweh, but among the healers.
13 - And Asa lay with his fathers, and died in the forty-first year of his reign.
So does this mean that Asa was wrong in seeking the medical profession? No. The key words are "he did not seek Yahweh." The problem was not the doctors, but he neglected turning to Yahweh for help at all.
2 Kings 1:2
And Ahaziah fell through the lattice in his upper room in Samaria, and was sick. And he sent messengers and said to them, Go, ask of Baalzebub the god of Ekron if I will recover from this sickness.
What about Ahaziah? Some have used this to say that he used doctors and died as a result. Is that what it says? No! It says he sent to another god - not a doctor. That was a direct breaking of Yahweh's law. He says He is the only Elohim we are to have - we are not to call on others or even mention their names (Exodus 23:13). Ahaziah was consulting an oracle to determine the future.
Consider the story of the woman with the issue of blood in Luke 8:43-48. She spent a lot of money on doctors, but received no relief. Yahshua did not correct her for that; He did not condemn her. She had done all she could, and so had the doctors. When she had the opportunity, she reached out to Him. He healed her and commended her faith.
12 - But Yahshua hearing, He said to them, The ones who are strong have no need of a physician, but the ones who are sick.
13 - But going, learn what this is, 'I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.' For I did not come to call righteous ones, but sinners to repentance.
Two points come to light here: · Yahshua was here doing miracles, but His purpose was to call for repentance and offer spiritual healing and deliverance. · If you look at verse 12 realistically, Yahshua isn't condemning physicians and doctors. He is saying that the sick ones need them.
We as humans still have a certain amount of responsibility for our own health. Already we have seen that there are things we can to do maintain or improve our health. So what about the medical technology of today? In the past, church leaders have said that it was okay in limited ways - such as having broken bones set, gashes stitched, a painful tooth removed, etc. These things do not deny faith or ignore our Healer. These things are simply common sense. Who mends the bone or heals the gash? The doctor who stitched or bound up? No. Yahweh does the healing.
Luke, the author of one of the gospels, was a physician. It does not say that he only set bones or stitched wounds. Could it be that he availed himself of all the medical knowledge and treatments of the time. At no time was he condemned for what he did. He was a friend of Paul's, a witness to many of the events of the early first century and an author of part of Yahweh's word.
Paul wrote the two following statements about him:
Luke the beloved physician greets you, also Demas.
2 Timothy 4:11
Only Luke is with me…
If a brother decides to see a doctor and another chooses not to, it is not our place to judge either of them or compare them. Each person must do what they believe. We are not to condemn.
Romans 14:13, 23
13 - Then let us no longer judge one another, but rather judge this, not to put a stumbling-block or an offense toward a brother.
23 - … whatever is not of faith is sin.
2 Corinthians 10:12
For we dare not rank or compare ourselves with some of those commending themselves - but they measuring themselves among themselves and comparing themselves to themselves, are not perceptive.
Keep in mind - we may ask a doctor to treat us, use the medications and recognize that those can help to correct something within our body. But only if Yahweh is willing! We must always remember that He is in control. He is our ultimate healer and restorer of life. If He is not willing that we be healed at any particular time, then no amount of treatment or medicines will help.
What about medications? Are they forbidden by Scripture?
For Isaiah had said, Let them take a cake of figs and rub it on the ulcer, and he will live.
12 - For so says Yahweh, Your break cannot be cured; your wound is grievous.
13 - There is no one to plead your cause, for your ulcer there are no healing medicines for you.
Did He condemn the medicines? No, there were simply none available for him at that time.
Suddenly, Babylon has fallen, and is broken. Wail for her; take balm for her pain; if perhaps she may be healed.
Of course, this is metaphorical. But the balm (the medication) is not condemned; in fact, it is recommended.
Son of man, I have shattered the arm of Pharaoh king of Egypt. And behold, it shall not be bound up to give healing, to set a bandage to bind it, to make it strong to handle the sword.
Aren't doctors usually the ones who set broken bones? That treatment wasn't condemned here. It was simply that Yahweh would not allow it. He was not choosing to heal at that time.
Note one thing: the verses referenced here in Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel all contain the word rapha. Same as the word used when it says Yahweh is our healer.
But for the cowardly and unbelieving, and those having become foul, and murderers, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all the lying ones, their part will be in the lake burning with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.
"Sorcerers" is the Greek #5333, pharmakos. People jump on it to point out that "pharmacy" or medicines are condemned. But what does the word really mean? Simply put, sorcerer. This word, as well as the word pharmakia, refers to cult worship and the use of drugs to induce spells. They were used in the worship of other gods or in ways that Yahweh said He was not to be worshipped. It cannot refer to today's pharmacological combinations - they did not exist at that time! As we've seen in earlier verses, there is no condemnation for healing medications.
To say that we should only use natural herbal preparations because that is what Yahweh created is not logical. They are not always used the way they are found in nature. Sometimes things have to be done to them first, such as drying, steeping, boiling, mixing, diluting, etc. And what was the source of many of the earliest medicines? Herbs! And they can be just as deadly or carry as many side-effects as chemical drugs. Both herbs or other medications are physical things, not spiritual. Just as setting a broken bone or stitching a cut is physical. Not one of the treatments for the body are more "spiritual" than another.
Throughout His ministry, Yahshua performed many healings. They were obvious miracles to those standing by.
29 - And moving from there, Yahshua came beside the Sea of Galilee. And going up into the mountain, He sat there.
30 - And great crowds came to Him, having with them those lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others. And they flung them down at the feet of Yahshua. And He healed them;
31 - so that the crowds marveled, seeing the dumb speaking, the maimed sound, the lame walking, and the blind seeing. And they glorified Yahweh of Israel.
And wherever He went into villages or cities or fields, they laid the ailing ones in the markets, and begged Him if only they may touch the fringe of His garment. And as many as touched Him were healed.
These are only a few examples. Look up "heal" in the concordance or read through the gospels. This was a continuing theme of His ministry. The healings were an act of love and mercy. He cared about the people and eased their suffering.
Yahweh wishes us to have a sound mind and peace of mind, as well as a healthy, strong body. He can heal minds and emotions, as well as demonic influences.
33 - And in the synagogue was a man who had a spirit of an unclean demon. And he cried out with a loud voice,
34 - saying, Aha! What is to us and to You, Yahshua, Nazarene? Did you come to destroy us? I know You, who You are, the set-apart one of Yahweh.
35 - And Yahshua rebuked him, saying, Be silent, and come out from him! And throwing him into the midst, the demon came out from him, not harming him.
36 - And astonishment came on all. And they spoke with one another saying, What word is this, that He commands the unclean spirits with authority and power, and they come out?
Yahshua also healed numerous lepers. They were the outcasts of the society, but He extended His mercy there as well. It was mentioned in one place (Matthew 8:3) that He touched them, something the general populace would not do.
In the following incident, notice that He gave this leper something specific to do. Just because Yahshua had instantly cleansed and healed the man, there were procedures the man still had to fulfill in order to be accepted back into society.
12 - And it happened, in His being in one of the cities, even behold, a man full of leprosy. And seeing Yahshua, falling on his face, he begged Him, saying, Master, if You choose, You are able to cleanse me.
13 - And stretching out the hand, He touched him, saying, I will; be cleansed! And instantly the leprosy departed from him.
14 - And He charged him to tell no one, but going away, show yourself to the priest, and offer concerning your cleansing, as Moses commanded, for a testimony to them.
Yahshua also did healings using the deeper meaning of the word sozo. He resurrected some back to life. Read Mark 5:22-24, 38-43 and John 11. We are all familiar with the story of Lazarus.
As Yahshua healed physical bodies and returned them to health, there is a time of "spiritual healing" coming. A time when His people will be resurrected to a wondrous spiritual life as a part of Yahweh's family, with Yahshua as our older brother.
Not only did Yahshua do miracles, He passed on the gift of healing to His disciples.
Matthew 10:1, 8
1 - And having called His twelve disciples, He gave them authority over unclean spirits, so as to throw them out, and to heal every disease and every weakness of body.
8 - Heal sick ones, cleanse lepers, raise dead ones, cast out demons. You have freely received, freely give.
1 - And having called together His twelve disciples, He gave them power and authority over all the demons, and to heal diseases.
2 - And He sent them to proclaim the kingdom of Yahweh, and to heal the ones being sick.
14 - And more believing ones were added to the Master, multitudes of both men and women;
15 - so as to carry out the sick in the streets, and to place them on cots and mattresses, that at the coming of Peter, if even his shadow might overshadow some of them.
16 - And also the multitude came together from the cities around Jerusalem, bringing sick ones and those being tormented by unclean spirits; who were all healed.
8 - And a certain man was sitting in Lystra, powerless in the feet, being lame from his mother's womb, who had never walked.
9 - This one heard Paul speaking, who looking intently at him, and seeing that he had faith to be cured,
10 - he said with a loud voice, Stand upright on your feet! And he leaped up and walked about.
11 - And seeing what Paul did, the crowd lifted up their voice in Lycaonian, saying, The gods have come down to us, becoming like men.
Just before He died, Yahshua was given a cruel beating. There was a purpose behind the stripes He received. What was it?
4 - Surely He has borne our sicknesses and our pains; He bore them, yet we regarded Him as plagues, stricken by Elohim and afflicted.
5 - But He was pierced for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was on Him; and with His wounds we ourselves are healed.
16 - And evening having come on, they brought to Him many possessed by demons. And He cast out the spirits by a word, and He healed all those having illness;
17 - so that it might be fulfilled that spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying; 'He took upon Himself our weaknesses, and bore our sicknesses'.
I Peter 2:21-24
21 - For you were called to this, for even Messiah suffered on our behalf, leaving behind an example for us, that you should follow His steps;
22 - who, having been reviled, did not revile in return; suffering, He did not threaten, but gave Himself up to Him who was judging righteously;
24 - who Himself bore in His body our sins onto the tree; that dying to sins, we might live to righteousness; of whom, by His wound, you were healed.
How seriously do we take this? Do we really understand what our Savior did for us? We'd better not take His sacrifice (His body and His blood) lightly.
I Corinthians 11:27-30
27 - So that whoever should eat this bread, or drink the cup of the Master, unworthily, that one will be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Master.
28 - But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread, and let him drink of the cup;
29 - for the (one) eating and drinking unworthily eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Master.
30 - For this reason many among you are weak and feeble, and many sleep.
Could misusing this ceremony, not understanding it, or in some way profaning it be the cause of some deaths, illnesses and lack of healings?
Why Not Now?
As Yahshua and His disciples passed from the scene, it seems that these miracles did as well. Why? We really don't have the answer to that except to say that it must not have been in Yahweh's plan for that momentum to continue. Yahshua gave that power and authority to the disciples - was it something they could not pass on to the next generation of elders but that must come from Yahweh Himself?
Those acts brought the church to the attention of people, but there was more for everyone to learn. It would be a long time before Yahshua would return. It seems the gospel of salvation had to be preached and done without those miracles. We have to learn to believe and have faith without the constant visible signs of miracles.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Although those miracles are not a daily occurrence in our world, there are times we know, without a doubt that Yahweh has healed. There are rare occasions when these miracles are visibly witnessed, but not on a large scale. These events can totally amaze and confound the medical community. Sometimes Yahweh may heal quickly to strengthen faith or to get the attention of one who is just learning or who is wavering.
But when it does not happen, do we become discouraged? Do we feel that Yahweh has failed us? We shouldn't. We know that this physical life will not go on indefinitely. This body is only temporary, no matter how well we take care of it or how many times it is healed. It was designed to die. Because of that, we must realize that a healing is short-term only. We should use the time to draw closer to Yahweh so that the ultimate healing - resurrection to a spiritual life - will be granted to us.