Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Healing Grace: Does God Cause Sickness and Disease? (What about Exodus 4?)

 For it’s by God’s grace that you have been saved. You receive it through faith. It was not our plan or our effort. It is God’s gift, pure and simple. You didn’t earn it, not one of us did, so don’t go around bragging that you must have done something amazingEphesians 2:8-9 Voice

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. 3 John 2 NKJV

 We've been in a study of God's healing Grace. We've seen that God is a good Father. We've put into remembrance the faithfulness of God no matter the situation or circumstance we face. Last time we saw that God is a miracle working God and we can trust in Him no matter what.

 Today, I would like to begin to answer some of the hard questions. I'd like to begin to look at those difficult Bible passages that seem to suggest God makes people sick or sends disease into His people's lives. Some of these passages tend to be roadblocks in the minds of some of God's people hindering them from receiving the truth that God is a good Father, who desires to see His Children healed and walking in wholeness.

 In the Gospel of Mark, we see an account of Jesus healing a leper. This account also illustrates how Jesus removed the barrier of trust in the individual. You can see the full account here. Paying closer attention to the narrative what can we see?
40 Now a leper came to Him, imploring Him, kneeling down to Him and saying to Him, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” 41 Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.” 42 As soon as He had spoken, immediately the leprosy left him, and he was cleansed. Mark 1:40-42 NKJV
 The leper had a barrier in his mind hindering his trust in the Lord Jesus. He said if you're willing, you can heal me. His trust couldn't move past this question. Take note how Jesus responds. He actually lays hands upon him. Nothing happens. It is not until Jesus speaks the truth, "I am willing, be cleansed" that this man receives healing. 
 The takeaway from this account is sometimes we all have questions and uncertainties. We need the truth revealed to us so we can fully trust God and His Word and promises. So it is in this arena of God's healing Grace. There are some passages that traditionally leave some with the idea that our good Father is behind sickness or disease. 

So What About Exodus 4:11?

What about what God told Moses?
11 So the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the Lord? Exodus 4:11 NKJV
 This passage seems to indicate that God is the one who makes people blind or mute or deaf. Before I continue, I must make one thing abundantly clear. If someone has been born with a disability such as deafness or blindness or any other birth defect, they all have infinite value and worth and purpose in this life. The disabled among us are not second class citizens or less valuable to society. God loves them with an everlasting love and they're just as capable of contributing to society as anyone else, and we should give them respect and dignity and honor just as we would anyone else.

 Going back to the passage, is it true that God is the one ordaining people to be born blind or deaf? Here is a good question, did God have any blindness or deafness or any other disability or disease in the Garden of Eden? Will there be deafness or blindness in Heaven? Understand we live in a fractured and fallen creation. Blindness and deafness and disease are never God's best or design for His creation.

 So how do we understand Exodus? We must not take a text out of context and try to create a theology out of it. Do we have any record of Jesus making anyone blind? We never see Jesus placing disease onto anyone. So how do we understand this challenging passage?

 In context, Moses was fearful of speaking to the Pharoah. If you have knowledge of Moses' life you recall he had a speech impediment. God was only telling Him I am the creator. He isn't teaching a theology of creating disabled people. He simply stated that He is the creator of all. If He created you He can strengthen you to carry out His purpose and plan for your life no matter your weakness or inabilities.

 Father God is a good and faithful Father. He isn't the source of our troubles or adversity. He is not the creator of sickness or disease or infirmity. He takes no joy from sickness or malady. He delights in loving kindness and mercy. He is the healer of all our disease and brokenness. God is the restorer of broken lives. He is the one who makes us whole. 

 In Him, we find life and love and wholeness. He is who completes us. He isn't breaking us with crushing disabilities or disease. In His hands we find healing. In His arms, we find unconditional love. His words speak life over us. He is the source of blessing and healing and never the source of death or destruction or disease. 

 Our life finds true fulfillment in Him. In Christ's Finished Work He exchanged our lack, our disease, our brokenness for His wholeness and abundance. Remove the roadblocks to receiving the truth that He is forever for us and never against us. We can rest confident and secure in His Word and Truth. He is the healer.

No comments: