by Sharon Merhalski
About a year ago, after hearing ad nauseum about national health care reform, I began considering many things concerning health care that are taking shape around us: Waiting lists for surgeries, less availability of physician services, a growing number of people who have no health care and the criteria that may be considered by insurance companies before a person is able to receive medical treatment for cancer and other life-threatening conditions. (This consideration of criteria–age, health, etc.–is standard in Great Britain and already happening in America. Recently a woman on the West Coast received a letter of denial from her insurance company for chemo-therapy for stage 4 Cancer and enclosed in the envelope was a consent form for her to sign if she wanted the option of physician-assisted suicide…which the insurance company said they would pay for.) God spoke to my heart plainly that His children need to remember that He is our great and infallible physician.
Matthew 6:33 “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
JEHOVAH-RAPHA==The God Who Heals
The first mention of God’s name Jehovah-rapha is found in Exodus 15:2 “The LORD (Jehovah-Rapha) is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him.”
Is Jesus Jehovah-Rapha?……John 5:19 says that Jesus is one with the Father.
One day, as I sat still and considered many things about nationalized health care, God brought to my heart a truth from Scripture I learned over 30 years ago. This truth involves King Asa. I have spoken and written about this truth many times in years gone by and I believe God brought it to my heart again because this time in history needs to drive us back to Jehovah-Rapha…our perfect healer.
To quell any questions let me say I know modern medicine has a place in the health of a Christian…but not first place. God has used physicians many, many times in my health care. However, I have both practiced and know so many other Christians who have done exactly what King Asa did: sought the physicians only and not God for their healing. 2Chronicles 16:12 “And Asa in the thirty and ninth year of his reign was diseased in his feet, until his disease was exceeding great: yet in his disease he sought not to the LORD, but to the physicians.” And King Asa died two years later (verse 13).
Barnes commentary: “Yet in his disease he sought not … – Rather, “and also in his disease he sought not.” Not only in his war with Baasha, but also when attacked by illness, Asa placed undue reliance upon the aid of man.”
When I first read this account of King Asa I was quick to say that surely he must not have been abiding in God. However the Bible is clear to say that King Asa walked with God: 2Chronicles 15:17 “But the high places were not taken away out of Israel: nevertheless the heart of Asa was perfect all his days.” The word ‘perfect’ in the Strong’s Concordance is defined as “complete (literally or figuratively); especially friendly….full, just, made ready, peaceable, perfect (-ed), quiet, whole.”
After first reading the account of Asa’s death I looked back over my life of chronic illness and saw how many times I had done exactly the same thing when I trusted in physicians without consulting with God to get His direction for my healing. Again, God, our perfect Physician, often uses the physicians wisdom and tools for our benefit and healing. However, we are to seek Him first for healing, wisdom and direction. King Asa didn’t do this…and he died.
In many medical valleys I’ve learned: Putting any person (medical professionals and clergy included) above God is idolatry. Giving any person credit for any benefit in our life is giving God’s glory to a man. Wondering why God allowed a medical intervention to go badly, or a prescription drug to cause problems, when I never prayed and sought God’s wisdom in the matter first is stupid (and it’s happened to me more than a few times). Not seeking healthy alternatives first is like not treating a cut on my leg until gangrene sets in and then needing surgery…or amputation.
God taught me that even concerning my health the Holy Spirit will guide me. John 16:13 “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth:” All truth…if I seek Him first in all matters I will know God’s best for me…for every aspect of my life.
Do we as Christians pray and seek God’s will for every prescription drug offered to us by our physician? (I didn’t and it caused many physical problems including diabetes.) Do we seek God’s will before submitting to medical testing? (My friend didn’t and she almost died after a colonoscopy…and learned after the fact that many people do die from the side effects.) Do we always ask our Abba Father to guide us and give us His wisdom?
I hope the degenerating state of health care in America–coupled with the growing problems with the Food and Drug Administration–will cause Christians to re-think our trust in anyone or anything above our God…our Great Physician. I don’t have all of the answers but I’m increasingly thankful that God has put in my heart a desire to learn truths about how I can help this marvelous body–which He created–to function at a healthier level so that less physician and prescription intervention is necessary. I’m very thankful that God has led me to seek Him in all that He is to better know Who is in control of me–to better understand my Abba Father who has much to say in His Word concerning our health and healing–some of which I have never heard preached from a pulpit or taught in Sunday School even though it is plainly taught in the Bible.
“The LORD (Jehovah-Rapha) is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him.” Exodus 15:2
“But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence: and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all;” Matthew 12:15