Psalm 41:3 “The Lord will strengthen him on his bed of illness;
You will sustain him on his sickbed.”
There is much debate when it comes to the topic of healing. Some believe that the gift of healing ended with the Apostles, others believe that God wants everyone to be healed. My concern with topics such as this are the emotional ties we proceed from when considering such a subject. We might be suffering from a chronic illness that we have prayed earnestly for or have a loved one enduring through the same circumstances. We can easily lean in the direction of a spiritual hope by how beneficial the conclusion is for us, regardless of what the conclusion might show otherwise, in other words, we don’t always see Gods hand moving. For instance, I believe without a doubt that I have been redeemed by God from sin. I can’t show you any tangible evidence this fact is true but I can allow the perfect qualities of the Spirit of God to manifest in and through my life and show through example that this is true.
I believe the Word of God and because of this I believe that what God says is true. The question is—What is God actually saying? When I read a scripture like Psalm 41:3, does this mean that if I consider the poor I’ll be healed if I get sick? I know from a personal standpoint that this is not true. How do I know this? Because I have known many people who have devoted their lives to the poor, got sick and died. If I maintain a view of God that is not in accordance with His Word, I give myself over to a doctrine that invokes trouble upon my life. Inevitably I am going to witness something that conflicts with my false view of God and it is then that my faith in God will be shaken. I will tend to draw false conclusions about God based off my false view of His Word. When I do this, when I place my understanding as paramount in my view of God, I am placing my understanding over God’s revelation.
What is the correct position to take?
If God reveals Truth that is contrary to my position on Truth, I need to adjust my position, not try to fit God into a role He didn’t imply.
Isaiah 9:7 “Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish and sustain it with justice and righteousness from that time and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of Hosts will accomplish this.”
The word ‘sustain’ in the Hebrew is the term ‘Saad’. When the Lord says that he will sustain a man who “considers the poor” on his sick bed, we can look at what God was implying by understanding the meaning of the word.
In Isaiah 9, the prophecy of the coming Messiah reveals the methods of His rule and reign. Jesus’ Kingdom is the people of God who have followed Him throughout history, which includes us today. He said He will sustain(saad) His people with Justice and Righteousness. Now, let’s apply this concept to our sick bed and see if it reveals any clues to what God is saying….
**In Justice and Righteousness the Lord will sustain a sick man who considers the poor.
Psalm 18:35 “You have given me Your shield of salvation; Your right hand upholds(saad) me, and Your gentleness exalts me.”
In Psalms David ties in God’s sustaining hand with salvation, His power, and His gentleness. In the midst of our fleshly weakness, he is saying that God protects that which is far more valuable, our salvation. We are strong because God is our strength and He is strong. God’s gentleness is a reflection of His control. Another word for gentleness is meekness. It is founded in His strength and is reflective of His Sovereignty.
Let’s look at our sick man once more…..
**In justice and righteousness, by the power of God, the Sovereign Lord gives a sick man strength through meekness by meeting us where we are in our weakness.
I almost forgot to mention—- Justice is a reflection of God’s position, righteousness is a reflection of our position. As our Judge, God has brought us out from spiritual death to life through the blood of the Lamb. God has imparted His righteousness to us. The saints of old looked forward to the promise fulfilled. They received the promise when Jesus brought them out of Sheol into glory by His resurrection.
Where is the sick man now?
**By God’s authority as Judge He has recognized our position in Christ and by His power He has sovereignly ordained our future in Him. In the midst of our weakness, He is our strength.
Psalm 94:18 “If I say, “My foot slips,” Your mercy, O LORD, will hold me up(saad).”
Proverbs 20:28 “Mercy and truth preserve the king, And by lovingkindness he upholds(saad) his throne.”
God’s forgiveness as judge is a function of His mercy. The King is Jesus–Forever. His throne is founded on the principles of mercy and truth and upon His throne love reigns supreme.
What promises can this sick man of virtue come to expect? What we see is that his body is the least of God’s priorities. We make such a ridiculous amount of investment into our flesh only to see it perish in time like everyone else. We analyze scripture to meet our hope of living in these bodies just a little bit longer. Our good health is tied directly to our happiness and if we are to die at an age we consider young, well, people will say that is another tragedy that has just occurred. Borrowing a line from my grandpa—Hogwash!
These bodies are completely corrupted by sin….why on earth would anyone want to hold on to them a second longer than what God has allowed? As people redeemed of the Lord, we look forward to a land that God has promised, enjoying it in new bodies that are devoid of the sinful nature we now endure.
The sick bed is not a time for mourning, in some cases it is a prelude to a coming graduation. The saint who is physically ill that leads to their death is enduring a physical death, not a spiritual one—they are alive in Christ and they will keep on living beyond the parameters of the that world we now know.
A final promise….
**By God’s authority as Judge He has recognized our position in Christ and by His power, He has sovereignly ordained our future in Him. In the midst of our weakness, He is our strength and He will continue to sustain us and preserve our lives by His love.
That is God’s promise!