Long ago in Israel, in about the year 892 BC, there was a long siege of the City of Samaria, by king Ben-ha?dad of Syria, which led to a very severe famine in the city. The famine was so bad that, women agreed to take turns to butcher and cook the bodies of their sons and eat them as food in order to survive the famine.
One day, the famine miraculously came to an abrupt end, and with it, a large supply of lots of ready-to-eat foods and many other goodies. Of course, this supply came from outside the city walls; and the first people who benefited from it were a group of four lepers, who, because of their low health status, were banished outside the walls of the city.
At the end of the day, this despised band of lepers, ostracized from civil society, turned out to be the messengers of the Most High One to bring great tidings about the end of the siege and famine to their countrymen.
Interestingly, without showing any hard feelings from their banishment, these lepers displayed much patriotism and love, in that, after feeling guilty for a time in keeping the happenings of this miraculous supply of food, to their sole benefit, they had to quickly seek to announce this miracle to the king of Israel.
We can read the account on this miracle in the book of Second Kings 6:24?7:1-20, from the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible.
Oh, how I wish I had the opportunity to get to the rulers of our nations with the glad tidings of how that the Almighty has made available, a cost-free, drugs-free, and a perfect healthcare plan for mankind; if only they would listen and look towards the direction of the Almighty in this regard.
Today, among all the citizens of the world, there is a menace to life that is being fought without victory in sight. This menace is the destruction of mankind by sickness and disease. Mankind?s body has come under the siege of disease-causing bacteria, germs, viruses, fungi, and what have you.
For almost all people suffering from this menace, the skills of medical doctors and Para-medics are their best bet; and yet new disease-causing micro organisms are ever evolving to resist man-made drugs developed to fight them!
Mankind?s body, essentially composed of earth, has become the habitat of all types of parasites and killer micro organisms which are commonly available in soil, their natural habitat ordained for them by the Creator!
Bodies of mankind have, sadly, succumbed to the siege by these micro organisms to the extent that, they have taken full control of them. Bodies of men have become helpless in warding off these enemies, by the natural in-built mechanism placed in them by the Creator. The notoriously known Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) of medical scientists is one case in point.
Of course, Elohim foresaw the destructive lifestyles of mankind that would ultimately render the in-built disease control mechanism He has placed in mankind, ineffective, not only to AIDS, but to lots of diseases?epilepsy, Parkinson?s, Alzheimer?s, and what have you. Elohim foresaw this and, therefore, put in place a healthcare plan for mankind that would give him a disease-proof body.
About two millennia ago, long before the bodies of men came to suffer from a compromised immune defense system and the hazards caused by disease-causing micro organisms, the Almighty had made it possible for every man to have a sickness-free and disease-proof body.
Before this sickness-free and disease-proof body was made available to mankind, Elohim, over the period the Old Testament was in force, ?constantly announced its coming and demonstrated its veracity and glory, in, and by His dealings with His chosen people?the Israelites.
It is, therefore, very sad that more than 99% of today?s world population is ignorant of this very special blessing of the Almighty. And one can only wonder where, then, mankind has been looking for a potent healthcare plan to fight enemy micro-organisms afflicting his now immune-deficient body?
Having personally been enjoying for a good while this blessing of a sickness-free and disease-proof body, I feel very embarrassed to have kept such a special blessing of the Most High One to myself all this while. Hence, one of the reasons I write this article is to deal with the ill-feeling I have, more so at such times that killer micro organisms seem to make mockery of man?s capacity to overcome them.
Many students of the Old Testament scriptures know that all health challenges of Israel were dealt with by the Most High One, directly, or indirectly through His ordained priests and prophets.? To this effect, this is what Elohim says in His Word??. . . for I am the Lord that healeth thee? (Exodus 15:26, KJV).
By this scripture alone, the Almighty reveals to healthcare practitioners and all in need of healing, that, He takes full responsibility for all the health needs of His people; and how I wished that all people recognized Him as such! And why not so, one may ask? Is not the one who manufactures a car, better placed, than any other person, in repairing it when need be?
Again, we read the testimony of the scriptures about the Most High One saying to Israel,?? thus: ?Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases? (Psalm 100:3, KJV). In this verse, interestingly, healing is linked to forgiveness of sin; and the relationship between sin and sickness, and, forgiveness and healing, is plainly revealed and copiously taught in the Bible.
In Psalm 107:20, KJV, we read??He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions?. Though this verse is plain and simple to understand, I would still encourage readers to read all of Psalm 107:17-21 to be blessed in greater measure.
If anyone doubted the Most High One in what he says in these short verses of scripture referred to, He did show His integrity in them by what He did for the Israelites, during their journey from Egypt to Canaan through barren lands.
For all the forty years that Israel was in this journey, they were never sick; not even the feet of one Israelite was recorded to have been swollen (Deuteronomy 8:4), albeit temporally, throughout this long trek through a hard and difficult terrain!
Elohim kept His Word to Israel that He would never bring any of the horrible diseases that they saw afflict their Egyptian slave-masters, upon them (Exodus 15:26); and so for forty years and beyond, Elohim masterminded and managed a free healthcare plan for Israel in fulfillment of His Word.
But of course, whenever Israel sinned and thereby drew sicknesses upon themselves?for the wages of sin is first, sickness and ultimately, death?Elohim was only able to heal them, if and, when they repented of their sins and asked Him for His forgiveness.
While Israel alone enjoyed this glorious healthcare of the Almighty, it was anticipated to be made even better for them in a coming era; an era in which it would then be opened-up for access by all kindred of the human race, insofar as they take advantage of the instruction of the Almighty on the issue. And so, this great healthcare that Israel enjoyed was only a shadow of some really good things billed to come to mankind.
Therefore, when Yeshua came as the messenger of Elohim to our world, it was time for this better healthcare plan, which, as it were, had been test-run under the Old Testament, and enjoyed by Israel, to be fine-tuned and put into operation for all mankind.
At the start of Yeshua?s earthly ministry, he announced he had come to kick-start the process of bringing Eternal Life?the Life of the Creator?to mankind. This, he was to do, through recreating the bodies of all who believe in him, to make them sickness-free and disease-proof, and co-join all of such bodies to his own sick-proofed body in a tree and branch relationship (John 15:5). What glory!
An indirect announcement to this effect is in the Gospel of St John and states thus: ?And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life?(John 3:14-16).
Yeshua, in these words, referred to an occurrence in the wilderness journey of the Israelites, in which they were healed miraculously, after they were virtually subdued by the power of the age-old serpent, which bit and killed many of them. In that encounter with the killing-venom in snake bites, Elohim healed Israel, insofar as His Word on the issue was obeyed.
During that wilderness journey, any Israelite who was bitten by a snake simply had to look at an image of the snake made out of bronze metal and hung on a pole outside the camp, to gain instant healing; and returned to the camp completely freed of the venom of the old serpent (cf. Numbers 21:5-9).
Fantastic, as the potency of this means of healing might seem then, it was only a blessing in its shadow form; the real and ultimate potency and glory of such healthcare plan was yet to be displayed and made available to mankind in the work and sacrifice of Yeshua.
When, therefore, the time for the fulfillment of John 2:14-16 was due and for mankind to be able to access the power and blessing of gaining such a wonder-body?a sickness-free and disease-proofed human body?Yeshua?s own disease-proof body had to be bruised and disfigured by as many as thirty-nine lashes from a cruel multi-stringed Roman-Jewish whip (cf. Isaiah 53:4-5, First Peter 2:24), and then hung on a pole outside the walls of the Holy City, in similar manner that the bronze serpent of the wilderness journey, made-out under the hammer, anvil, and forging-heat of a metalworker, was hung on a pole outside the camp. (—concluding part of this article is in Part 2 of 2: Soon to be published).
The writer is a Bible-expositor and author of the book: Beware of This False Doctrine: Of Reciting the Sinners? Prayer for Salvation, published in Ghana and the USA. His e-mail address is: [email protected].