Blessings and Cursings: Health and Disease
In Deuteronomy 28 we find a listing of blessings and cursings; blessings for obedience and cursings for disobedience. God told His people that he would bless the work they did, the food they grew, the security of their homes, their prosperity, their financial health, their international affairs, and their children. In short, it would go well with God's people, but the catch was that they had to be obedient to His commandments and His calling as the people of God.
On the other side of the coin, if they disobeyed, cursings would come upon them. Confusion, poor food quality, famine, drought, breakdown of the family, disease, and more would reign if they disobeyed. Examples of diseases are given: consumption (our modern day degenerative diseases), inflammation, tumors, skin diseases, psychological disorders, and more.
In James 5:14-15 we find that when we are sick the command is to go before the elders so they can pray for us. In the Old Testament the priests were an integral part of the prescription when someone was diseased. Why? Because the Bible addresses disease within the context of sin and rebellion.
It's been estimated that up to 80% of our diseases are spiritual in origin. Medical science has been able to show us, for example that the mechanism in our immune system that fights cancer are enzymes called anti-oncogenes. When these enzymes are compromised, cancer may develop.
But what causes these enzymes to be compromised? In Parkinson's Disease, research suggests a deficiency of dopamine, a neurotransmitter. Again, what causes that deficiency? A growing body of evidence is suggesting that when the bodily systems are not operating the way God intended them to, the cause may be due to the fears, resentments, self-hatred, rejections, bitterness, unforgiveness, and other such manifestations of sin that we harbor, dwell on, ignore, suppress, or otherwise have become part of our internal spiritual condition.
The fruit of the spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, faith, and self-control) in Galatians 6 then takes on new meaning when it comes to Paul's admonition in I Cor. 11 that "...for this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep."
Want to know more? Check out the book A More Excellent Way by Pastor Henry Wright on our web site.We as a people have deferred the knowledge of many things in our modern day to science and medicine because we have not been taught the relevancy of God's Word to our daily lives. Maybe it's time that we start taking the Bible at it's word.
The Great Proving Ground
Consider, the political process can affect our culture for better or for worse, the real focus of the forces that mold and shape society are taking place in our homes. It is in the sanctity of the home that we are able to teach, influence, discipline, educate, and demonstrate godly attributes to our children. The home and family are the great proving ground of life where relationships are made, values and ethics are formed, and character is built.
To the degree that we tolerate ungodly behavior and influences in our homes is to the degree that we contribute to the further slide of our culture into the godless, nihilistic void that is so indicative of our nation today.
It is a mistaken notion to think that the we need large efforts on a national scale to reverse that slide. We don't. A large movement with a national (or even regional) figurehead, although valuable for disseminating information and guidance, will never change the culture in and of itself. If it could, it would have by now.
Government cannot do it. Institutions cannot do it. All they can do is influence. This is not to denigrate that influence and the good, even noble, efforts of so many people in many good institutions, but rather to put the responsibility for the direction of the culture squarely where it belongs. That responsibility is in the hands of mom and dad, the biggest influence being the father.
An intact home where dad leads and loves his wife and family as Christ loves the church, and where mom respects and is the help meet to her husband in the work God has ordained for his family, is where true national renewal takes place. Is there poverty? Look to the home life. Is there a need for the elderly to be secure? Look to the family. Is there a need for better education? Look to the leadership of the father in the home.
What have become SOME of our favorite books are Reforming Marriage by Doug Wilson and The Fruit of Her Hands by Nancy Wilson. These books will challenge the reader to consider our responsibilities for our families.