Is seeking for medical treatment Biblical?
Few years back, I was taken to a hospital to pray for a 69-year-old known Diabetic patient in a critical condition. He has fallen into a diabetic coma and had just become conscious after about a week. Meanwhile, his kidneys had failed and he needed dialysis which cost a humongous amount of money weekly! He never recovered; he deteriorated rapidly and passed on, not even reaching the age of three-score and ten, according to Moses in Psa.90:10. But do you remember that God’s desire for man is 120 years? Gen.6:3.
But how did the late Deacon get to that critical point? After all, his Pastor and many in the congregation testified that he was a good Christian, a Deacon in the Church, and he was serving the Lord with all diligence… The problem was that he was believing God for his healing so he had not been to the hospital for follow-up for about nine months! He was just buying his anti-diabetic drugs and taking them. He had also neglected his low carbohydrate diet and was even drinking the largest bottle of Coca-Cola regularly.
Beloved, God warned us that we must not make a trial of His power – Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Matt.4:7. We must not be presumptuous and assume that God will heal us and so we can be careless with our bodies. We must not assume that He has healed us and then proceed to stop taking our medications which were controlling a diagnosed ailment! God will heal us, yes, but He must decide and communicate to us HOW and WHEN!
I am always amazed and I cringe, listening to some Christians giving testimonies in Church, telling us of how they fell ill but stayed at home praying about it for four, five, six days without paying a single visit to a health facility or asking for medical advise from a health care-giver! Is it because we believe that medical science is of the devil? Or we believe that if we pray and go to seek medical help as well, we have shown lack of faith? Beloved, it is rather the other way round when it comes to your health – you usually need to add works to your faith! See Ja.2:24,26 –
Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only… 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
Never forget that the devil does not just come to steal our health when he makes us sick – he comes to properly kill us DEAD; so we must not play into his hands and allow him to succeed in his mission! We must pray first, yes, but we may also have to make use of other means of healing which God has prepared for us.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
Or do we not believe that medical care is a good gift from our God to all mankind? Or hospital care is only for unbelievers? Then, Beloved, look at it this way – many young Christians want to be Doctors and Nurses; and many Christian parents would love to testify of their child one day, “Ah, my child has just graduated from Medical school, praise God!” So then, please tell me, has he or she gone to Medical school for the purpose of treating only unbelievers? I doubt it. All good and perfect gifts come from God, first and foremost for the use of His Children; and medical science may not be perfect, but it gets us out of crisis most times before divine healing perfected, so it is a good gift of God.
Yes, the ultimate desire of God for us Christians is to live in health –
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.
And ye shall serve the LORD your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee.
However, before we reach that level of faith in our walk with God, we have to make use of other healing avenues He has prepared for us. I seriously believe that Medical Science is one of those healing avenues God has prepared for us and I will site three reasons here –
- In Psalm104:14b, the Bible tells us that God made “herb for the service of man”. This is so true because most prescription drugs were made from vegetation originally – from leaves, roots and barks. However, in most instances, scientists have been able to make pure and safer copies of the needed chemical in the original plant extracts and package them conveniently as tablets or capsules or injectables.
A good example is the Quinine which is the oldest cure for Malaria and is still in use; especially when faced with resistant Malaria and cerebral Malaria. Quinine was first extracted from the bark of the Cinchona tree found in South America where the natives had known of its anti-malarial properties for centuries and had been making use of it. Also Artesunate, the latest anti-malarial component of the group of drugs called ACT, which we are using now, is a refined form of Artemisinin which is an extract of a Chinese herb. The life-saving first antibiotic and its derivatives, Penicillin, was first extracted from a mould which is really a miniscule herb.
- Most earth-shaking, life-saving medical discoveries were given through Christians over the centuries! It is as though God would tear a veil and reveal something to His Children so that the glory would belong to Him alone. Some examples –
- Alexander Fleming who accidentally discovered the first antibiotic – Penicillin
- Edward Jenner who discovered the vaccine for the eradication of the deadly killer, Smallpox
- Faraday with others who discovered anaesthesia among other discoveries
- Two Quakers who produced the compound microscope
- Lois Pasteur who discovered immunization
- David Lister who discovered aseptic surgery
…to mention a few.
- I have discovered in almost 40 years as a Doctor, that no matter how sick a patient is and no matter what the medical team does for him/her, he/she may still live; and no matter how well the patient looks, he/she may still die. This is a great mystery to all medical doctors and it only became clear to me when I became a Believer in 1988 and realised that it is God Who makes the difference and cures the patient if someone is praying or if He has need of that sick person’s life in His purposes. He declares in Deut.32:39, See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal:…
A case in point –
Even now, decades later, I cannot forget a case I saw in the early ‘80s – A 14-year-old boy was rushed into ER in a semi-comatose state one day I was on call. I examined him and because he had no fever, I was so sure this was a serious case of encephalitis (deadly inflammation of the brain covering) which we did not have the facilities to investigate or treat in that particular medical facility where I was working then. So, I referred him to the teaching hospital only to have him brought back within an hour because all tertiary hospitals were on strike at that time! I was stuck with him now so I admitted the boy and took blood samples for whatever tests we could do; and since he suddenly produced a temperature, I placed him on Chloroquine injections, just for something to do till the test results came back. I was in shock the next morning when I came in for ward-round and met a commotion – the boy was sitting up in bed, vehemently refusing the next dose of Chloroquine injection! Apparently, all he had was cerebral malaria, a most uncommon condition in a 14-year-old who has lived all his life in a malaria area. One thing I can’t forget though was that the parents kept praising God and insisting that it was all His doing. I was not a Believer then so I didn’t know what to make of all that. I have since seen quite a number of such cases and I have come to believe that God simply stops the disease process; and I have seen many occasions where He simply changed the diagnosis to something we could treat – if someone is praying!
So, what do we do when we fall sick?
- We must first take it to God in prayer as with all other challenges of life we face, and ask God to heal us. In 11Chro.16:12, God was upset with king Asa and allowed him to die because when he fell ill, he did not pray but simply went to seek medical help… And Asa in the thirty and ninth year of his reign was diseased in his feet, until his disease was exceeding great: yet in his disease he sought not to the LORD, but to the physicians.
Many Christians use this passage to claim that God does not want us to seek to physicians; but hear what God had said to Asa earlier when he committed the same offence and ignored God when he was faced with a war… And at that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah, and said unto him, Because thou hast relied on the king of Syria, and not relied on the Lord thy God, therefore is the host of the king of Syria escaped out of thine hand. 2Chro.16:7
- If we do not get better within hours, we must seek the counsel of the Lord and ask Him IF we should seek medical intervention and specifically ask God WHERE to go. I had an experience recently which illustrates this perfectly… I developed deep vein thrombosis (DVT) few weeks after surgery for a broken ankle but my primary surgeons could not diagnose what was wrong and neither could I; simply because it was located in an unusual place and because I had no pain whatsoever to indicate what was going on and where! The Lord then led me by a series of mysterious moves to a surgeon in another city in Nigeria who made a spot diagnosis because he had read about it ONCE before but never saw a case! Meanwhile, the Lord preserved me for many weeks because DVT is a deadly silent and instant killer!
- We must not only pray that God should lead us to the medical team of His choice, but we must keep praying for them, asking God to open their eyes to see what is wrong and give them the needed wisdom and understanding to know what to do about it.
- If you are sick presently, ask God for healing according to His promises
- Ask God what steps you need to take as enumerated above.
- Now pray vehemently – Any form of infirmity hiding in my body or in the body of any loved one, waiting to kill us in future, Blood of Jesus! Holy Ghost fire! Locate it and kill it, in Jesus Name. Amen.