Good health is something we take for granted—until we start to lose it. When our health takes a downturn, we quickly begin to question our habits and diet. God has designed the human body so that it is a finely tuned instrument that is the most resilient on earth. It can endure fractures and adhesions, constant pain, and great stretches of tedium.
However, it is a fragile instrument because it is not built to handle excess, whether in the form of nourishment, fuel, or additives. Unlike machines, it chokes on poisons when ingested in unending doses and mistaken for fuel. Though it has moving, feeling, and thinking parts, they can be misused. God has provided us with an “owner’s manual” that tells us how to operate the human body. That manual is the Biblical accounts, a book that contains instructions for proper maintenance. Although it isn’t a medical text, it is God’s Word, and in its pages He reveals many basic principles for good physical, mental, and spiritual health.
A major part of the Bible’s health instruction dates back to the time of Moses. Yet in our day, many researchers and medical doctors are stunned at the accuracy and effectiveness of its many provisions. The Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia tells us that the laws given by God to Moses contain remarkable rules pertaining to public health which concerns us even today: water and food contamination, sewage disposal, infectious diseases, and health education. These issues were all dealt within the Mosaic health laws.
The Bible gives us the foundational key to physical and mental health. “My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.”Proverbs 3:1-2, 8.
It should not surprise us that obedience to God’s commandments and other laws would promote health. When we obey them, we operate in accordance with His instructions. As our Creator, He knows what’s best for us: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” Ecclesiastes 12:13
Some biblical statements about health are specific, such as: “And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee.”Exodus 15:26
The ancient Egyptians suffered from the kinds of diseases that have ravaged mankind throughout history. Autopsies on Egyptian mummies have revealed evidence of cancer, arteriosclerosis, arthritis, tuberculosis, gallstones, bladder stones, parasitic diseases, and smallpox. They suffered many diseases because they did not understand the health principles God gave to Moses.
The biblical instructions regarding health, maintenance, and recovery from illness involve application of cause-and-effect principles—based on true science—that were given thousands of years before scientists developed the technology that enabled them to discover germs, bacteria, viruses, genes, and the like. Modern medical science has discovered many principles of good health, but they originated with God who designed and created the miracle that is the human body.
What the Bible says about health is that those who follow God will generally be healthy. That does not necessarily mean that those who don’t follow God will always be sick. Nor does it mean that God’s people will be absolutely free of disease.
“Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” 3 John 1:2
God is interested in our spiritual health as much as our physical well-being. On the other hand, disease is a result of Adam’s sin, and even the most righteous may suffer. After all, Job was righteous, but God allowed him to suffer disease and hardship.
It was not until the modern era that men obtained detailed knowledge of human physiology and medicine. Yet the Creator God, who is sometimes called the Great Physician, knows everything about us, and He’s provided the necessary keys to good health. The choice to obey the Lord and reap the resulting benefits is ours to make. In the meantime, sickness and disease can be assuaged through obedience, faith, prayer and the realization of who you are and what authority you have in Christ to resist the enemy and his attacks on us spiritually, emotionally, financially, relationships, mentally and physically.
“Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” Luke 10:19
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7