2 Chr 16:12 says, “And Asa… was diseased in his feet, until his disease was exceeding great: yet in his disease he sought not the the Lord, but to the physicians.” Christians must remember that, when dealing with our health and with disease, we must first and foremost turn to the Lord for help.
In 2 Chr 15, you see that Asa was, at first, a king who sought the Lord and the Lord blessed him. 2 Chr 15:9 says, “the Lord his God was with him.” And 2 Chr 15:17 says, “the heart of Asa was perfect all his days.” Yet, later in his rule, he made a tragic mistake. In 2 Chr 16:1-4, when Baasha, king of Israel, built Ramah, to stop Israel from falling out to Asa, Asa didn’t seek the Lord; he sought help from Benhadad, the king of Syria. God sent Hanani the seer to Asa in 2 Chr 16:7-10 to tell him that he had done foolishly in relying upon the king of Syria. Asa didn’t get the message. And so, near the end of his reign, when he was diseased in his feet, he again failed to seek the Lord, and turned, rather, to the physicians. That was a big mistake.
When you get sick or when you are dealing with a disease, it is great to have a good physician. Luke, the beloved physician, was the only man still with Paul at the end of his ministry [Col 4:14, 2 Tim 4:11]. It can be like that later in life. You’ll be spending plenty of time with your doctor when you get older. But you don’t want to turn to the physician before you turn to the Lord. That would be a big mistake. You must pray to God first until you are fully trusting him to help you and lead your doctor(s) to the right medical treatment(s) for you. And you want to continue to pray for them while you are in their care. Remember these truths about physicians:
Physicians can’t heal diseases directly related to sin – Jn 5:1-14 – this impotent man who had an infirmity thirty-eight years was healed by the Lord. The Lord told him after he healed him, “Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.” His infirmity was obviously directly related to sin in his life. And since Jesus came to save his people from their sins, he’s the only one who could help him.
In sicknesses like these, only the Lord can intervene to heal the problem because the problem is the consequence of sin. In 2 Chr 21:11-19, Jehoram had a deadly bowel disease. Physicians were helpless to cure Jehoram’s bowel disease because it was from the Lord, and it was “incurable.” See Deut 7:12-15 and Deut 28:58-61, for examples of how God deals with Israel. During Jesus’s earthly ministry he healed many diseases in Israel. Jas 5:14-15 gives instructions for dealing with sin and sickness in the Tribulation.
If your health problem is related to sin in your life, deal with the sin. A friend has COPD and he smokes. Deal with the sin. Another friend had lung cancer. Her doctor said, “If you don’t quit smoking, I will not treat your cancer.” She quit; she dealt with the sin. A friend was dying of liver disease related to drinking. His doctor told him to quit or he would die in six months. He dealt with the sin; he quit. He lived 22 more years.
When you can see a direct correlation between your heath and your sin, deal with your sin. There is a very sure way to prevent sexually transmitted diseases. Deal with the sin. There is a very easy way to prevent hepatitis from drug needles. Deal with the sin.
Physicians can’t heal everybody who’s sick – Mk 5:25-34 – this woman had an issue of blood for twelve years and “suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse.” No physician could cure her sickness. She probably felt like Job in Job 13:4, “ye are all physicians of no value.” Jesus healed her when she touched the hem of his garment.
Please understand, not everyone who gets sick is going to get well. Elisha, that great prophet that followed Elijah, died from sickness, 2 Ki 13:14. He had twice the spirit of Elijah on him. His sickness wasn’t healed, it wasn’t medically cured, it wasn’t the result of some horrid sin in his life. He just got sick and died. That happens.
Sometimes, people are sick and can’t get the medical help they need. There is “no physician there,” [Jer 8:22]. There just aren’t enough doctors to help all that are sick, whether it’s because they are overwhelmed, which is the stated concern with this virus, or because there are so few doctors in a particular country. Sometimes, there just isn’t enough medicine or the right kind of medicine. Again this is one of the stated concerns with this virus. Jer 30:13 says “thou hast no healing medicines.”
Physicians can be directed by the Lord to help you – 2 Ki 20:1-7 – Hezekiah, the Bible says, was “sick unto death.” However, when he prayed to the Lord, God added fifteen years to his life. Isaiah said, “Take a lump of figs. And they took and laid it on the boil, and he recovered.” God gave Isaiah the wisdom to know what to do to fix Hezekiah’s health problem, and the problem was fixed.
Timothy, Paul’s son in the faith, suffered with infirmities [1 Tim 5:23]. Paul told him to “use a little wine” to help him. Apparently, the wine didn’t cure the sickness; but it did relieve the symptoms. That happens. This was a good medical solution for him.
Conclusion: the thing to do when you are dealing with a health problem is to pray before anything else. Make sure to pray diligently for your doctor, nurses, and other medical professionals who deal with your health. They need wisdom, understanding, compassion, and discretion. You need to understand their limitations and you need to trust the Lord to help them make the right medical decisions in your case. If sin is a relevant problem, deal with the sin in your life. Understand that sickness is normal in this life of sin stricken bodies. And trust the Lord to direct you and your physicians in the choices that must be made to address your particular health concerns. Finally, remember, when you get out of this body, if you are saved, you are home free in Jesus!! So don’t be afraid to die.