Saturday, January 5, 2013

Mission 2013 # 6. Knowing God Brings Health

Why doing some research on the topic of why and how God introduced wellness and health care to His chosen people I came across the following book review of a classic book None of these Diseases by S.I McMillen and David. E. Stern.  Elsie Y. Smith, Associate Professor of Biology, Union University, Jackson, TN.

I read the book decades ago but reordered it when I was writing my book, Breaking Free

The authors of None of these Diseases, S.I. McMillen and David E. Stern, are Christian medical doctors who draw upon experiences from their profession and faith to make the point that the Bible is not only a guide for spiritual development but is also a guide for living healthy physical and emotional lives. Exodus 15:26 serves as the underlying theme discussed in the book. In that scripture God says, "If you will diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord your God, and do that which is right in his eyes, and give heed to his commandments and keep all his statutes, I will put none of the diseases upon you which I put upon the Egyptians; for I am the Lord your healer."
As they describe scientific discoveries relative to infectious diseases, the authors point out that God had Moses record guidelines to protect people against microorganisms long before they were known to cause disease. They identify specific scriptures that address hand washing, quarantine, circumcision, proper treatment of dead bodies, and proper disposal of human feces (Num. 19, Lev. 13:46, Gen. 17:12, Deu 23:12-13) , all of which are recognized today as measures significant in the prevention and/or control of infectious diseases. Relative to circumcision they call attention to God's instruction to circumcise on the eighth day after birth, which can be confirmed medically as the ideal time for the procedure to be performed in order to prevent uncontrolled bleeding and excessive trauma.
The authors call specific attention to God's warnings about the physical, mental and sociological effects of excessive use of alcohol by addressing on pages 44-54 problems or diseases related to alcoholism (Eph. 5:17-18, Prov. 23:19-21, 29-34). Reference is made to damage of nerves and body organs, damage to newborns, and sexual disorders. Attentions is also called to the number of highway deaths and broken homes resulting from alcohol abuse.
God's plan for sexuality as set forth in I Thess. 4:3-5 is contrasted with the practices of homosexuality , incest and adultery , which lead to devastating consequences such as sexually transmitted diseases and neurotic behavior. They explain how these violations of God's instructions have not only affected those directly involved but have generated problems for society as a whole.
One section of the book, devoted to the concept of emotional wholeness, discusses the role of faith in coping with stress and dealing with anger.(Ps. 23, Prov. 29:11) Numerous psychological disorders and aberrant behaviors are identified as the results of the failure of Christians to exercise faith. Attention is called to the fact that some medical schools in the U.S. have recognized the power of prayer in healing and have instructed doctors to emphasize the faith principle.
The final chapters address spiritual wholeness and discuss the resources Christians have to cope with the loss of loved ones (Phil.4:6-7), live victorious lives (Gal. 5:24, Rom. 6: 5-6), and die in peace (Num. 23:10). The price of perfectionism and extreme ambition is described on pages 239-243. It includes fatigue, frustration and anxiety, as well as serious physical and emotional disorders.
Perhaps the major thrust of the book is to highlight the fact that God gave instructions for protecting us spiritually, mentally and physically long before we understood what elements we needed to defend against. If we had heeded those instructions , our society would be better and more advanced and Christians would indeed be more like Christ. Our daily challenge is to live the lifestyle God commanded so that we can claim the promise of "none of these diseases." 

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