Stories of God’s Healing Hand in the Old Testament - - Danny’s Blog - - Part II

Updated: May 9


Good morning and thank you so much for your prayers for my older brother Danny! May today’s post help us all know our God and His will and ways more re: all things healing.


I want to share some thoughts with you in this second blog regarding how and whom God healed as recorded in the Old Testament starting with King Abimilech’s wife and maids. Before we look at this story, a couple of things should be considered. First, when the Holy Spirit inspired the various authors of the 39 books of the Old Testament to write their said books, He had a specific purpose or perhaps purposes in mind for each book. What the authors chose to record in their books was to help fulfill those purposes. Very possibly there were things in the authors minds that they on their own might have wanted to talk about, but because they submitted to the Holy Spirit’s inspiration and guidance, they only spoke of what contributed to their (or His) overall purpose. All of that to say, I am confident many more people in that 4,000 year period of human history were healed by God than we are told of in these 39 books. But as far as I can tell, none of them had the purpose of recording all the known healings by God. Second, while there are only 13 or so accounts (we will look at 7 of them today) of people being healed in the Old Testament that I am aware of, there is much to learn from these accounts. And again, it is so important that we discover God’s heart and intention for the health of His people (and even those who are not His people) while we examine healing, etc., in the Old Testament. Third, please consider reading this blog when you are not rushed and when you have time to open your Bible to all the stories I will comment on. If not, you will be limited to my observations and interpretations. I’m confident God has much more to say than I have said.


As to discovering God’s heart and intentions for the health of His people, I recently read Moses’s song in Deuteronomy 32, which is mostly a rebuke of Israel for their unfaithfulness to God and for their idolatry.. But scattered in it are statements of God’s heart and attributes, such as vs. 39 where God says of Himself, “See now that I, I am He, And there is no god besides Me; It is I who put to death and give life. I have wounded and it is I who heal,….” Eliphaz spoke a similar word about God in Job 5:18, “For He inflicts pain, and gives relief; He wounds, and His hands also heal.” While God inspired His Old Testament writers to only record 13 or so healings, He wants to be known as the One who heals (and the One who sometimes wounds, but always with a view or intention to heal).


Mercy All Around

This account mentioned above re: Abimilech’s wife and maids or concubines is found in Genesis 20 wherein we find Abraham and Sarah lying or telling a half truth to King Abimelech about the fact that they are brother and sister instead of husband and wife. They lied out of fear that he and his men might kill Abraham to be able to have Sarah (vs. 11). God was watching this situation very closely and because Abimelech took Sarah, whom God had a covenant relationship with God closed the wombs of Abimelech’s wife and all of Abimilech’s maids (vs. 18). Abraham prayed for them (vs. 17) apparently at God’s directive, and God immediately healed them all so that they could have children again (vs. 17). This is the first of many examples throughout human history where God has used far less than perfect instruments to accomplish His purposes (which is no excuse for us to not pursue holiness and maturity in Christ). And God healed concubines, which were never part of His plan for humanity and families (see Gen. 2:24 for God's purpose and design for marriage).


Who Initiated the Healing?

Was there a root cause or reason for the sickness/condition?

How was the person healed?

Was there a declared purpose for the healing?


Struck Down but not Destroyed

The second account in scripture of someone being healed this time by God directly is that of Job. (Many scholars believe Job’s life and story happened during the time of the Patriarchs, thus my chronology of healings). As I’m sure you are aware, God allowed Satan to bring great destruction to most of Job’s family and belongings, and then later to his health (Job 1:6-19; 2:1-8). Satan was confident that if he was allowed to so mess with Job, Job would soon curse God. Another way of saying that was Satan was confident that the main reason Job worshipped God was because of all the good things God gave him including his health. God knew better and allowed Satan to pour out his cruel designs on Job and his loved ones for a time. In the end as seen in ch. 42, God restored to Job everything Satan had taken away from him including his health; and blessed him with much more besides. Job’s friends might have been used by God to bring healing to Job had they not become so consumed with trying to prove to him that he was somehow at fault for all of his afflictions. They were blind to Satan’s hand in all of this as well as God’s hand in the situation. In the end, God extended mercy to them through Job’s prayer, but we are not told whether Job’s prayer caused God to remove some kind of judgment or physical punishment already poured out on them or whether his prayer just prevented God from pouring out judgment and punishment on them. Most of Job’s prayers for his own healing and God’s deliverance from his misery can be found in the following passages (3:24, 6:8, 7:11, 9:14, 9:34, 10:1,2, 10:8, 13:15, 13:21, 14:13, 16:18, 19:7, 23:1-4, 30:20, 30:28, 31:35). Sadly some teachers have used Job’s physical maladies to try to substantiate the thought that sickness is a form of suffering and that we should just accept it and learn from it and not be healed from it per the passages (mainly in the New Testament) that speak of the good things that are meant to come from our suffering. I fully embrace all the New Testament teaching about the value of suffering to make us more like Christ. I do not believe God has sickness in mind when He speaks of suffering in the Bible. Perhaps I will speak more to that in a later blog.


Who Initiated the Healing?

Was there a root cause or reason for the sickness/condition?

How was the person healed?

Was there a declared purpose for the healing?


Barren Wombs and Praying Husbands

The third healing, which I overlooked until yesterday (5/8/22) when I was discussing the passage I will be preaching on this Sunday with my son, took place within a marriage relationship. Isaac loved his wife Rebekah (Gen. 24:67). Great promises (e.g. Gen. 24:7) had been made for his descendants, which ideally would come through Rebekah. Unfortunately she was barren. So "Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was barren; and the Lord answered him and Rebekah his wife conceived." Gen. 25:21 This is a great example for we husbands to heed as our wives encounter difficulties, especially physical/medical situations that require a touch from God our Healer. Who better to lift their needs up to the only One who can do whatever is required?


Thank God for Forgiving and Humble Relatives!

The fourth time someone is healed by God in the Old Testament is when Miriam and Aaron came against Moses’s leadership (Num. 12:1,2) and as a result God caused Miriam to break out in leprosy (vs. 9,10). Aaron out of desperation cried out to Moses to have mercy on her, admitting their foolishness (vs. 11,12). Moses then immediately cried out to the Lord for her healing, (which is a demonstration of the humility God attributed to him in vs. 3 btw). While the text does not explicitly say God healed Miriam (after letting her squirm for seven days – see vs. 14,15) in response to Moses’s prayer, the implication is that He did after seven days.


Who Initiated the Healing?

Was there a root cause or reason for the sickness/condition?

How was the person healed?

Was there a declared purpose for the healing?


Who Else Can We Turn To?

While God chose not to answer David’s prayer for his newborn son, it should be noted that for seven days David fasted and prayed for God to heal his sick son (see II Samuel 12:13-23). He only stopped when he learned the child had died. Nathan the prophet had prophesied to David that because of his sins toward Bathsheba and her husband Uriah, and all of the collateral damage thereof (including giving “…occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme”), his newborn son (via adultery with Bathsheba) would “surely die” (vs. 14). Even with this prophesy from a known and respected true prophet of God, David still cried out to God for seven days. This “man after God’s own heart” (even in his fallenness) knew God as a God who heals and who sometimes changes His mind in response to fervent prayer.


Who Initiated the Healing?

Was there a root cause or reason for the sickness/condition?

How was the person healed?

Was there a declared purpose for the healing?


Rebuked and Restored by the Same Servant!

Very interesting that the next healing is experienced by an evil idolatrous king named Jeroboam (see I Kings 13:1-6). A “man of God” rebuked King Jeroboam for his rebellious and self-willed worship (vs. 1-3), and prophesied of a king who would come and be God’s instrument for revival and restoration (vs. 2). When King Jeroboam heard these words, he tried to have the man of God apprehended and silenced, but God immediately zapped his hand (vs. 4). King Jeroboam then cried out for the man of God to pray to God for mercy and healing, which he immediately did. And God mercifully healed the king via the prayers of the man of God (vs. 6).


Who Initiated the Healing?

Was there a root cause or reason for the sickness/condition?

How was the person healed?

Was there a declared purpose for the healing?


First My Husband, and Now My Son!??

In I Kings 17 the prophet Elijah responds to the desperate cry of the widow (see vs. 9) of Zarephath (a Gentile) for her son who died of whatever sickness he contracted. We find the story in vs. 17-24. Sadly like so many earth people she assumed that her son’s malady was punishment from God due to her sin (vs. 18). Based on Elijah being able to carry him up to the upper room he was staying in, her son must have been young (vs. 19). Elijah strangely enough laid on top of him, not once but three times (vs. 21). I’m assuming God led him to do this because he prayed to God before He did it (vs. 20), and very likely God spoke back. I’m also assuming that laying on the child’s body had something to do with the presence of God and anointing of God (or the power thereof) on Elijah being transferred to or imparted to the boy. (God is not into formulas for healing the sick or raising the dead, which is clearly seen by the diversity in almost every healing Jesus did in His earthly ministry). Then Elijah prayed and God answered and restored this young boy to life (vs. 21,22). So this is the first account in the Old Testament of a person raised from the dead btw.


Who Initiated the Healing?

Was there a root cause or reason for the sickness/condition?

How was the person healed?

Was there a declared purpose for the healing?


Closing Thoughts:

1. Please know that while I am asking many people to pray for my brother’s healing, we are not trying to talk God into doing something that He is not into. We are not trying to wear Him down with more and more people crying out to Him on Danny’s behalf until He finally gives in. Rather we believe God is pleased when His people, based on what we know about His character and His track record, express our absolute dependence upon Him to do what only He can do. Please know He is nothing like the unrighteous judge in Luke 18!

2. When Moses asked God to “show me Your glory”, this is how God responded, “And He (God) said, I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the Lord before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.” Exodus 33:18, 19. This is the kind of God we serve folks! He is good, and kind and gracious and compassionate all the time and feels people’s pain for more than you and I ever will. Much more evidence of this to come as we continue to follow His tracks (see Psalm 17:5 marginal note) in the Old Testament.

3. The questions I put at the end of each section are good questions to ask (among others) whenever meditating on a passage wherein a person is healed or raised from the dead by God as recorded in the Scriptures.

4. Next post Lord willing we will look at the next six healings in the Old Testament. Thanks for your prayers and encouragement and for praying for Danny along with anyone else the Lord leads you to pray for!

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One of the reasons King David was called “a man after God’s own heart” (see I Sam. 13:14 & Acts 13:22) I believe was because of how broken and contrite he was (most of the time) over his sin. Psalm 51