The God who heals

Exodus 15:26 (NLT)
He said, “If you will listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in his sight, obeying his commands and keeping all His decrees, then I will not make you suffer any of the diseases I sent on the Egyptians; for I am the Lord who heals you.”

This verse is a stumbling block to many Christians and non-Christians who have looked into it. It has hindered most Christians from receiving healing and confirmed to non-Christians that the Christian God is only concerned with rule-keeping and point-scoring.

On the surface, it seems like it. God gives the children of Israel a law – if you will listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in his sight, obeying his commands and keeping all his decrees, and then the promise – I will not make you suffer any of the diseases I sent on the Egyptians; for I am the Lord who heals you, but only 

Read this directive carefully. In plain English, it means this. If you will obey my law, I will not make you sick. I will do my part if you do your part.

This idea keeps repeating itself in the Old Testament. If the Israelites were to enjoy God’s blessings, they had to obey God’s laws. When they obeyed, God would bless them, conversely, when they disobeyed, tragedies and calamities would come upon them. 

Now imagine with me two Christian neophytes who read Exodus 15:26. One of them, by good fortune, never gets sick (which has never happened but imagine with me). What will he attribute his good fortune to? If he fervently believes Exodus 15:26, he will say to himself and others, “I am not sick because I obeyed God’s commandments. Exodus 15:26 promised me that if I obey God, he will not make me sick”. 

Now let’s imagine further. The second neophyte gets sick. What will he attribute his misfortune to? If he fervently believes Exodus 15:26, he will say to himself and others, “I am sick because I have disobeyed God’s commandments. I deserve this punishment because I am a lawbreaker”. 

The Church has taken these two positions for thousands of years. A part of the Christian Church believes that if you obey God’s commandments, nothing bad will happen to you. Another part of the Christian Church believes that God allows tragedies and calamities to test us. Both these groups have Bible verses to back them up. 

This COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the fore the latter group. This virus is being deemed as God executing judgment on the nations. They are saying we have failed God’s tests and therefore deserve the punishment. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I will post a subsequent blog post on this test and what tests in the Old Testament were meant for. 

For now, let’s focus on how the obstacle to your healing (Christian) and skepticism (non- Christian) have been dealt with.

Here’s the good news of grace

Exodus 15:26 has to be read through who Jesus is and what he has done for us. In fact, the whole Bible has to be studied through the lens of Jesus. 

I have had very bad eyesight for years. When I finally had a bit of money, I went to an optometrist. As usual, the optometrist had to run some tests. She fitted me with those gigantic frames and inserted some lenses and then asked me to read the letters in front of me. I paused for a moment, squinted my eyes, and blurted out a letter. She smiled wryly. She then removed the lenses, inserted new ones, and asked me to read the letters. As the optometrist kept changing the lenses, my eyesight improved, I saw more clearly. This is what reading the Bible through the lens of Jesus does to us. We finally see what the Bible is for. Our ideas about God that were blurry now become clearer because of Jesus. Look at Jesus teaching two of his disciples how to read the scriptures. 

Luke 24:27 (NLT)
Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

Exodus 15:26 has to be read through who Jesus is and what he has done for us. In fact, the whole Bible has to be studied through the lens of Jesus. 

This is how I believe you can lay hold of this promise of healing in Exodus 15:26

Exodus 15:26 (NLT)
He said, “If you will listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in his sight, obeying his commands and keeping all His decrees, then I will not make you suffer any of the diseases I sent on the Egyptians; for I am the Lord who heals you.”

Law – “If you will listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in his sight, obeying his commands and keeping all his decrees”.

First, you and I are lawbreakers, therefore, we cannot keep the law. If you think you can, you have an overrated view of yourself. For all of us have fallen short of the glory of God. All of us. 

So someone else has to do it for us. Enter Jesus. 

Jesus fulfilled the whole law. In Jesus’ own words, “Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose”. Matthew 5:17 (NLT) In plain English, Jesus passed the test. 

But Jesus passing the test makes him a role model, which makes it twice as hard for us, if not impossible. His perfect performance is no much for the most obedient among us and humiliates the most complicit among us. And even if the most obedient among us obey his commands, they eventually become proud and self-righteous, and guilt and condemnation besiege the disobedient ones.

The good news is that Jesus is not our moral example but our savior. Because Jesus has fulfilled the law and passed the test for us, God has credited his perfect obedience to us. When God looks at us, he sees us as if we perfectly obeyed, right? And then what happens next is amazing? Because Jesus has fulfilled the requirements of Exodus 15:26, we receive the promise – I will not make you suffer any of the diseases I sent on the Egyptians; for I am the Lord who heals you.”

Does this mean if Jesus has passed the test, I will never become sick? Not at all. Because you live in a broken world, you will inevitably fall sick, but when you fall sick, it will not be because you have disobeyed. This should comfort us all. 

If you need healing, go to Jesus. Look away from your good performance or lack of it and receive healing from him. Read Exodus 15:26 through the lens of Jesus and receive the promise of healing. How he longs to heal us.

As I wrote this post, I noticed in the gospels that Jesus asked no one who came to him for healing whether they had obeyed all of God’s commandments before he healed them. Why? The person needing healing was a lawbreaker in many aspects, but Jesus the perfect law keeper stood in his place. That’s why the writers of the gospel wrote this. “A vast crowd brought to him people who were lame, blind, crippled, those who couldn’t speak, and many others. They laid them before Jesus, and he healed them all”. Matthew 15:30 (NLT)

Last, you can receive healing because even though Jesus passed the test in Exodus 15:26, on the cross, God treated Jesus as if he had failed the test. God treated him as a sinner by putting our diseases on him. Isaiah 53:4 (BBE) God punished Jesus in our place so he could heal us. Jesus took our diseases so we could go to Jehovah Raphah and receive our healing. This is grace.

So go to God and receive your healing right now. God will heal you on account of Jesus’ perfect performance for you. 

That’s what grace looks like

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

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Husband | Orthodox Charismatic Christian | Leads The Life Place | Enjoys meeting new people, reading, cooking, traveling and exercise | Loves Jo’burg