There is an account in Scripture that is pertinent to our day. In 2 Kings 5, a commander in the army was distraught because he had leprosy. God used a young Hebrew captive to direct him to the prophet Elisha for help. As Namaan journeyed to see the prophet, Elisha sent him a message to go and wash in the Jordan River for healing.
Namaan took offense for a number of reasons. First, Elisha did not come to meet him face-to-face. Second, he took exception to the manner in which he would find relief. He was expecting something dramatic, possibly a big ceremony to request healing. Third, he could not reconcile why the Jordan River was better than the rivers in his country. He left in an angry rage prepared to return home without healing.
One of his servants told him, “If the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’!” Namaan finally obeyed Elisha and his flesh was restored to health.
How many of us suffer from the plagues of modern life: obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, etc., but never consider going to the Word of God as the first step in our road to health? Is it just too simple to examine our habits and practices to see if they are in keeping with “every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4), and then alter our lifestyle accordingly? Do we need to get to the point of resorting to extreme measures in the face of debilitating and life-threatening illness?
R.J. Rushdoony notes,
God’s law is a plan and prescription for dominion in all of life. It is a statement of the means to victory by Christ’s covenant people in their daily lives, in education, the family, the school, the arts and sciences, our vocations, in church, state and everywhere else, including our health…”
We are promised in Deuteronomy 7:15 that listening to and adhering to God’s law will spare us from evil diseases and remove sickness from our lives. In addition, we are exhorted in 1 Corinthians 10:31 that whatever we eat or drink is to be made subject to the glory of God, and be consistent with His Word.
Many doubt they can restore their health by refraining from overeating, refusing to eat highly processed foods, and making sure they get enough exercise and sleep. Like Namaan, they assume that our plagues must require extreme measures. How many walk away from the obvious solutions because they are just too simple? Simple because self-discipline is the starting point and that begins with the individual.
The story of Namaan concludes with the prophet Elisha refusing to accept payment from Namaan for his healing, thereby acknowledging that the Lord was the One who had healed him. But Elisha’s servant determined that his master had been too easy on Namaan and pursued the grateful man and took the gifts Namaan tried to present to Elisha. Gehazi got more than he bargained for. Because of his presumption, he ended up with leprosy.
All healing comes from God and we dishonor Him when we live recklessly and expect to pay others for our healing. If we truly wish to be Kingdom-oriented in all we do, it is a prerequisite that we carry out the simple things we have been instructed to do regarding our health.