For too long, we have allowed the devil to steal our divine healing. It is part of God’s purpose for His people in salvation, a sign that we are His and are perfectly and completely redeemed.
and said, “If you diligently heed the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you.” (Exodus 15:26)
This particular verse has cropped up a fair amount in my recent journey with the Lord through some fairly challenging territory like divine healing. It occurs right after God has parted the Red Sea and brought them safely out of Egypt. This fact alone makes it significant, and I’ve found myself meditating on it more and more. The Exodus, as we all know, is the type or foreshadowing of salvation, and it’s worth our while to dig a little deeper into the revelation God provides to His people. Previously, we saw God interacting with individuals rather than a nation. This is the first time that Israel truly assumes a national identity as the people of God. His first action is to bring them out of Egypt by miraculous salvation and deliverance. His first words of revelation are to declare Himself as their healer. This has to be significant.
Divine healing is integral to the purpose of God.
It helps to remember that Israel had a long period of ‘silence’ whilst in Egypt – somewhere around 400 odd years. But we should also remember that God Himself had led them there during the famine. What this all boils down to is that only about 80 years or so were actually in slavery. The rest of the time, under the previous Pharoah of Joseph’s day, they enjoyed a good life. It was only when things got really rough that they began to call on God for deliverance. Previous to this, they had no need to call on God and were quite content to remain in comfortable exile. But the point God is making in today’s verse is that there is something that sets them apart from the Egyptians. It’s defined by relationship with God, and it manifests in divine healing.
The contrast is made very clear in today’s verse. God puts the diseases on the Egyptians but heals the Israelites. It’s black and white, a clear-cut line which He draws very early on in the Exodus adventure. He makes it absolutely indisputable that divine healing is integral to His purpose for His people. Right up front, He confirms that healing is part of the package of salvation and deliverance. It is a sign to the world that they are God’s people and that He has the care of them. More importantly, it’s a sign that His care is perfect and complete. It meets every need of spirit, body, and soul. While the matter of divine healing is a somewhat controversial one, we cannot escape one simple but powerful truth. In defining the new God-people of God relationship, He uses the matter of healing as the point of differentiation.
The conditions of divine healing.
This is the part where many of us come unstuck. Believers read the list of ‘ifs’ and immediately discount the effectiveness of the promise. This, beloved, is a lie of the devil. God knew that it was equally impossible for those Israelites to live perfectly righteous lives, just as it is for us. The parallel of our salvation and theirs is legitimate and powerful. All of us will sin and miss the mark. We cannot hope to keep every single one of the commands. Logically, this should then exclude us from the promise of divine healing. Satan wants nothing more than that believers should fall into the trap of religious condemnation. But what’s important here is the spiritual principle that God conveys. It’s exactly the same principle that is conveyed through the cross, and it’s one of relationship and identification – us with God, and Him with us.
Everything that God says and does in relationship to His children occurs within the context of grace and mercy. Today’s verse refers to our willingness to enter into relationship with Him, to willingly choose to follow His ways and obey His commands. It’s about our heart attitude and our commitment to living as He desires we should. If there was even the slightest chance that we could ‘get it right,’ Jesus would never have gone to the cross. We’d have simply been judged according to whether or not we made the grade. Even back then, God was already working to put the necessary sacrifices in place to ensure that His people had what they needed to comply – not in and of themselves but through His methods of fulfilling the requirements of blood upon the mercy seat. Through these, they were able to receive the grace of divine healing when needed.
Divine healing in the covenant of the cross.
Under the new covenant, one perfect sacrifice meets every need of all. We’re no different to those first people of God. That means that divine healing is as much a part of His covenant with them as it is with ours. The only condition is that we commit ourselves to living as His people. This commitment means a desire and a willingness to do His will, to live in worship and obedience, and to surrender to His purposes. It means submitting ourselves in intimacy and relationship, in hearkening to His voice and drawing on His grace to live as we should. Better yet, we have the righteousness of Christ freely available to enable us to receive forgiveness when we confess and repent each time we fall short. It is never, ever a matter of excluding ourselves from this promise of divine healing until we’re perfect.
Of course, there is the matter of deliberate rebellion. If we choose to persist in known, unconfessed sin, even though we know better, we can put a ‘temporary hold’ on divine healing. Rebellion will never be rewarded. But it will be forgiven when we ‘fess up and deal with it. We cannot deliberately choose to sin and keep sinning and then expect God to fulfil His side of the covenant. But the cross is the covenant of grace and mercy. Through the blood of Jesus, we have all we need to draw near to God with broken hearts and contrite spirits, and expect that He will respond as He has promised. He knows our struggles, just as He knows the attitudes of our hearts. He will never ‘punish’ a heart which genuinely seeks to overcome human frailty and weakness by withholding a single one of His promises.
Satan seeks to steal divine healing.
After reading today’s verse in its full context, we can understand why he would want to hijack this blessing. Divine healing is the supernatural proof of his defeat and failure. Remember, he is the slave master, the death dealer, and the prince of destruction. Right there, at the very beginning of their journey with Him, God made it very clear to His people that divine healing sets the believer apart from the unbeliever. It is a sign of salvation and deliverance, supernatural proof that He has redeemed His people. This doesn’t mean that He doesn’t heal the unbeliever. He does, but it’s usually as witness to the Gospel. For too long, we have allowed Satan to steal our covenant healing and the evidence that we are citizens of the kingdom of God. It’s time to relook our response and take hold of what God has decreed belongs to His children.
Father God, forgive us for missing the vital truth Your divine healing is part of Your purpose in our lives. Grant us the faith and courage to resist the lies of the enemy and to take hold of Your precious promise. Help us to draw near in surrender and to live as Your people, committed to Your ways and Your Word. Teach us, Lord, to see Your promises as they truly are, not as others have persuaded us they are. Thank You that Your salvation is complete – grace for body, spirit, and soul.