Healing Interventions

February 10, 2018

My five year old went to let our dog out Monday. As he opened the screen door, his arm went straight through the glass. He cut his arm, and as he sat on my bed holding a paper towel on his wound, he prayed that God would heal him.

In the moment as I was panicking, my five year old was preaching the Gospel to me. Not just because he prayed to God, but that he believed that God would heal him.

I started to wonder how often I ask for healing, but more than that, I wondered if I really believed in a healing God.

In the world in which I live, full of grief, strife, violence and war, do I believe in a God that heals?

We studied Psalm 6 last week and we encountered a voice that was unwavering in his belief in a healing God. David, cried out in such a human clarity in Psalm 6, begging God to remember him, and to heal him. We see in this Psalm and within scripture, that there are often three components to sickness. The individual component, the God component, and the communal component.

The Psalmist progresses through these components as well with a gravity that leads us to believe that when we are sick, God plays a role. We often want to fix our sickness, and pain with relative ease, and wonder why God isn’t fixing our troubles fast enough. We wonder where God is in our grief and isolation, and sometimes even wonder why God has allowed us to suffer in the first place.

We also see the Psalmist bring up a community of enemies that oppress. When we look back through scripture we often see illness being used as a consequence for sin. In other words, if you were sick, you became ostracized within the people of God. You were cast out of the community. While the psalmist doesn’t specify who his enemies are, he does show us that God heals.

When we look at scripture we see that while God wounds occasionally, he does so in a way that points us towards grace and allows for healing.

Last night we discussed this with Numbers 21:4-9 in mind. The people of God are being led by Moses and they are starting their journey to the promise land. When reading the scripture we see that God just delivered the Canaanites to the Israelites.

They are a people who are tired, and start complaining, “Why have you brought us out of Egypt to die here in the wilderness?” they complained. “There is nothing to eat here and nothing to drink. And we hate this horrible manna!”

God responds with a healing intervention.

He sends snakes.

Snakes, that bite to kill.

The people of Israel come to Moses and ask him to intercede, specifically for God to take the snakes away. Instead God responds and tells Moses to create a snake. When a person was bit by a snake, they were instructed to look at the bronze snake and be healed.

God doesn’t take away the snakes, for the snakes are a healing intervention. They were intended to remind the Israelites of who gives life and who takes it away. In the culture of the first five books of the Bible we see a world ruled by gods and demons. A world where my God is stronger, better, smarter, than your God. A world where most of the time, the God you worshipped didn’t have your best interest at heart.

This is the world where we see YAWEH for the first time. A God who was love and who consistently kept his promises. A God who was first and foremost a healing God.

Our God is so interested in our complete restoration that we are given all kinds of healing interventions, from sickness, to family dynamics, to work relationships, to outright burdens. These healing interventions bite, and often lead to feeling like we heading towards death, but in God’s grace he uses them to point us back to life, the only life that is found in the resurrected Christ.

For we cannot enter into a complete restorative life, without dying first.

During our group we set aside 15-20 minutes of quiet time. A time to reflect on our study, pray, or sit in silence. I would encourage you to try it out.

Psalm 6:2-3

Heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony.

3 I am sick at heart.

How long, O Lord, until you restore me?

When is the last time you cried out for the Lord to heal you?

What healing interventions do you see God using to point you back towards Christ?

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