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Foundational Theology in the Old Testament re: Healing, Sickness & Sin

Updated: Nov 7, 2019

INTRODUCTION – My story through praying for Steve & ________’s baby in H.K.

My objectives in these studies: 1. Is to give you an overview of the subject of healing so that you can see how prevalent a theme it is in the scriptures.

2. So that you can avoid some of the errors and extremes that have cropped up in some healing ministries.

3. So that you can study these passages yourselves and develop your own convictions about what the Bible teaches and what God would have you do about what He has revealed in His word.

O.T. Terms Traced (NASV) – sick, sickliness, sickly, sickness, illness, disease, diseased, diseases, infirmities, heal, healed, healer, healing, heals, health, healthy (over 127 passages)

I. The Roots or Causes of Sickness & Diseases A. Sickness often is a result of our sin – or – sin often results in or causes sickness. Psalm 32:3,4; Psalm 38:3, 5-8, 10, 18 Psalm 107:17-20; Isaiah 17:10,11

By sin I do not mean that you have done something awful. Sometimes our greatest sin is just our laziness and apathy in seeking after God and responding to His invitations for us to walk with Him and know Him.

B. God’s judgment on sin is sometimes in the form of sickness. Numbers 12:13; (the story of Miriam, who spoke against Moses’s leadership and God infected her with leprosy for seven days) 16:41-50 (congregation grumbled against Moses and Aaron – God sent a plague – 14,700 were killed by it; because of Moses and Aaron‘s intercession the rest were saved)

Deut. 28:58-61; 29:22

I Sam. 5:6 I Kings 13:4,5 I Chron. 21:1-14 (Satan caused David to number the people of Israel. God was displeased with David’s action, so He judged them by sending a pestilence or disease and 70,000 people died).

II Chron. 21:12-20 (God through Elijah to King Jehoram – because you have walked in rebellion against the Lord “you will suffer sickness, a disease of your bowels…” Psalm 106:13-15;  Isaiah 10:12-16

Jeremiah 16:3-13

Daniel 4:29-33, 34,36 (cf. I Sam. 16) (mental illness) Micah 6:13

Isolated occasional sins is not the problem. We all sin. But willful, rebellious ongoing sin and hard heartedness are usually the issue when God steps in.

Any new testament examples come to mind? I Cor. 11:29,30 re: the abuse of the Lord’s supper.

Warning: Beware of assuming sickness you observe in people is because of God’s judgment. I personally have sinned and not gotten sick; so have you.

There will be times where it is fairly obvious – still doesn’t mean you need to speak it out.

C. God’s judgment on a father’s sin has on rare occasion been taking the life of his son. II Sam. 12:13-18 I Kings 14:1-13

D. Satan/demons – Job 2:4-7

II. The Old Testament promise and expectation for those who live godly and righteous lives is good health and protection or healing from sickness and disease. Ex. 23:22-26 Deut. 7:11-15

I Kings 8:37-40 II Chron. 6:28

Psalm 41:3 Prov. 3:5-8; 4:20-22

Isaiah 58:6-12 Malachi 4:2,3

III. Godly people in the O.T. that were sick not as a result of sin, and not “unto death.” Job (2:3-7); Daniel (8:27); Hezekiah? (II Kings 20:1-11; Isa. 38:1-5)

IV. At least with Elisha, God wanted us to know that he “became sick with the illness of which he was to die.” II Kings 13:14 (cf. John 11:4)

V. People who were sick in the O.T.: Joseph’s father – Gen. 48:1;

Egyptian who was a servant of the Amalekite – I Sam. 30:11-20;

David’s 1st child w/ Bathsheba – II Sam.12:13-18;                 

Abijah son of Jereboam – I Kings 14:1-13;                              

Son of woman Elijah provided food for during famine – I Kings 17:17-24;                                                                                              Son of the Shunammite woman – II Kings 4:32-37;                

Naaman – captain of the army – II Kings 5:1-14;                      

Ben-hadad – king of Aram -II Kings 8:7-15;                            

Joram – son of Ahab – II Kings 8:24-29;                                    

Elisha the prophet -II Kings 13:14;                                            

King Hezekiah – II Kings 20:1-12;                                              

Joash – II Chron. 24:25; King David – Psa. 30:1-3; Daniel – Daniel 8:27;

VI. Note: “Heal” etc., in the Old Testament is a broad term that can be used for emotional, spiritual, physical and even national healing. “Sick” can also refer to one who is sick spiritually as well as physically. The context is often the key to determining whether it is spiritual, emotional, relational or physical. For example the following usages are more for spiritual and relational, not physical: II Chon. 7:14; Isa. 57:15-19; Jeremiah 3:22; 8:15,22; 14:19; 17:14; 30:12-17; 33:6; 46:11; Hosea 14:4; Mal. 4:2

VII. People whom God used to heal others (physically) in the Old Testament were: Abraham (Gen. 20:17)

Moses (Num. 12:1-13) The man of God (I Kings 13:4-6)

Elijah (I Kings 17:17-24) Elisha (II Kings 4:32-37)

Elisha (II Kings 5:1-14) Elisha (II Kings 13:20,21)

Hezekiah (II Chron. 30:18-20)

VIII. People that God healed directly in response to their prayers (for themselves): David (Psalm 30:1-3)                                                          

Hezekiah (II Kings 20:1-12; Isa. 38:1-5) Job (Job 42:10)

IX. God deeply cares about those who are physically sick or diseased. Isaiah 53:5 Ezek. 34:11-16 47:1-12

X. Though God sometimes has to judge with sickness, disease & even death, His desire is to restore and heal. Isaiah 19:22 30:26 Jeremiah 30:17 33:3-9

XI. God wants to be known as the God who heals; and He expects us to look to Him for healing before we turn to doctors and medications. Ex. 15:26 Deut. 32:39 II Chron. 16:12 20:9 Job 5:18 Psalm 41:3 Psalm 103:3

XII. God expects His shepherds to care for and heal the sick and diseased. Psalm 35:12-14; Ezekiel 34:1-5; Ezekiel 35:12-14 Zechariah 11:15-17

CONCLUSION – 1. If we are really concerned for people’s physical healing, we must be concerned about their spiritual/emotional/relational healing (i.e. their sin). It is all intertwined together. 2. The purpose of God’s judgment is always restoration – even with pagan kings -Hos. 6:1 3. If we claim to know and follow God we must have His heart for the sick and His commitment to seeing them healed. Ezek. 34:1-5

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