Divine healing in the Bible – Part 3
KING Saul became mentally unstable, and it is of interest that he gained some help from music (1Sam 16:23), a form of therapy that has proved to be beneficial in some cases of mental illness.
Perhaps, the most dramatic example of mental illness related in the Bible concerns the Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar (Dan 4). No treatment is described, but the king’s sanity was restored when he acknowledged the true God. Childlessness/sterility was a great burden in biblical times (Gen 16:1-3; Ex 23:26; 1 Sam 1:6)
Several examples of sickness are mentioned in the Bible where no description of the treatment given is described. King Asa had a disease of the feet (2 Chron 16:12). The nature of the treatment provided by his physicians is not given, but it was unsuccessful, and he died after two years. He may have been afflicted with gout, but this is uncertain.
“Asa became diseased in his feet, and his malady was severe, yet in his disease he did not seek the Lord, but the physicians” (2 Chr. 16:12).
Consulting physicians and using medications are perfectly scriptural. What Asa did wrong (in 2 Chr. 16:12) was consulting physicians to the total exclusion of God. It is not sin to use human means to solve our problems, but it is sin to trust them more than God, to think they are better than God’s way, or to leave God completely out of the problem-solving process.
It is idolatrous to trust in physicians and medications alone, to trust physicians and medications more than God, or to put equal trust in physicians and God. God is the healer. Know that it is God “who heals our diseases” (Ps. 103:3). He is also the God of science who has provided the raw materials for the drugs (Jer. 8:22; Ezek. 47:12; Gn. 1:11, 12). Though God has all the power and authority to heal us even without drugs (Mt. 8:3, 8, 15-17; 14:14), He still wants us to do our own bit (Ex. 14:15; Jos. 7:10). Science, afterall, is the discovery by man of what God has created! Hence, when you are sick, you pray ceaselessly before, during, and after consulting a physician.
King Jehoram died with a painful intestinal disorder (2 Chron 21:18-20). King Uzziah died of leprosy (2 Chron 26:19-23). King Herod Agrippa I died of some kind of parasitic disease (Acts 12:21-23). Several kings died of injuries received in battle. Ahaziah died following a fall from the upper portion of his home in Samaria (2 Kings 1:2-17). When illness or accident occurred in the ancient world, it mattered little whether one was a royal person or a commoner—in either case, only limited medical help was available.
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