Questions and Answers


Part 1



John Hoole - August 1, 2010







         •  What do we learn from the healing of Hezekiah

         •  Does having the gift of healing make the person the healer?

         •  Do you have to be a follower of God to receive God's divine healing?

In our first lesson on this series on HEALING, I presented you with a list a 20 questions I have been asked or heard over the years on this topic.  We have answered a number of them thus far.  Today I want to address several questions that, by themselves, would not constitute an entire lesson.


To begin our time today, I want to ask a question that was NOT on that long list shown before.  It is a question which is related to our last lesson, that being, "Should Christians go to doctors and take medicine."  We decided in that lesson that doctors and medicine are often discussed in the Bible.  And they are presented in a neutral to positive light.


In that lesson we looked at the illness of King Hezekiah.  We read, in Isaiah 38 and 2 Kings 20, what transpired and the outcome.  Let's once again read the account from 2 Kings.


2 Kings 20:1-7 NKJV


1       In those days Hezekiah was sick and near death. And Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, went to him and said to him, "Thus says the Lord: 'Set your house in order, for you shall die, and not live.'"

2       Then he turned his face toward the wall, and prayed to the Lord, saying,

3       "Remember now, O Lord, I pray, how I have walked before You in truth and with a loyal heart, and have done what was good in Your sight." And Hezekiah wept bitterly.

4       And it happened, before Isaiah had gone out into the middle court, that the word of the Lord came to him, saying,

5       "Return and tell Hezekiah the leader of My people, 'Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father: "I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; surely I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of the Lord.

6       And I will add to your days fifteen years. I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for My own sake, and for the sake of My servant David."'"

7       Then Isaiah said, "Take a lump of figs." So they took and laid it on the boil, and he recovered.


In our examination of this Passage last week, we took note that in extending Hezekiah's life an additional 15 years, God instructs the people to use a "lump of figs."  Divine healing was used in conjunction with a natural remedy.  We also recognized that this healing is a great example of a healing that is NOT instantaneous.  Miracles need not be immediate - a process over some duration is sometimes used by God.


The questions I want to ask, that is related to this healing, is this:




1.      Sickness is not based on how godly or ungodly a person is.


This was one very godly man. Let's go back a couple of chapters, to chapter 18.

2 Kings 18:5 NIV


5       Hezekiah trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel. There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before him or after him.


         How many of you would like to have that said about you?  Hezekiah was very sick and facing a premature death.


Sickness and death does not come upon a person based on how good a Christian we are.  Nor is death a respecter of persons based on how good they are for society.  The ways of the Lord are totally beyond our own, and it is a mistake to try to interpret them within the framework of our limited understanding.


When Hezekiah pleaded with God for extra time based on his track record as a godly king he was not being dishonest.  He had been outstanding in his effort to serve the Lord faithfully and to bring godly reform to Judah.  So, at this point, there is no point in asking why God was ready to take him out.  We leave that with the Lord.  Our task, as was Hezekiah's, is to serve God as best we can in the time He's given us.


2.      It is never too late to pray for deliverance.


No matter what has happened, it is never too late to pray for healing.  This was true for Hezekiah, even though he had been told that he was going to die by God Himself.  It is one thing to be told by a fallible doctor that he's done all he can do to remove the disease.  But to be told by the Lord himself who never gets it wrong, that you are going to die, and you had better get your house in order is something else.  So we read that Hezekiah turns towards the wall and prays to the Lord for more time.


Is Hezekiah acting in an unspiritual manner here?  Shouldn't he have said, along with Job, "The Lord has given and the Lord has taken away.  Blessed be the name of the Lord"?


In an earlier lesson, we learned that it is Satan that puts sickness and disease upon us.




To help with our answer here, lets investigate another passage - again in 2 Kings 18.


2 Kings 18:1-3 NIV


1       In the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, Hezekiah son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign.

2       He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-nine years. His mother's name was Abijah daughter of Zechariah.

3       He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father David had done.


Let's do a little arithmetic here.  Hezekiah was 25 years old when he became king of Judah.  We are also told he reigned for 29 years.  That means he dies at a young 54 years.  We can now deduce that Hezekiah's illness came 15 years before the end of his reign.  The illness then occurred in his14th year of his reign.  How old was Hezekiah when he almost died?  He was only 39 years old.


What has this to do with Satan inflicting a pre-mature death upon Hezekiah?  Was his statements about his loyalty to the Lord the only thing on his mind as he wept bitterly and prayed?  We are not told anything else, but there is one thing that may have been on Hezekiah's mind.  And it would also be the reason why Satan wanted to snuff out his life.  What was that one thing?


At that time, when he was 39 years old, Hezekiah was yet without a child.  He would not beget Manasseh for another three years.  How was the Davidic dynasty going to continue?  It was from this dynasty that the Messiah would spring.  Or to put it another way, how would the Messiah come unless the dynasty itself survived.  According to Matthew 1, Jesus is a descendant of Hezekiah and Manasseh.  So without Manasseh there would be no Jesus, and without Jesus there would be no salvation for anyone.  Was this in the mind of Hezekiah as he pleaded with the Lord?  The text doesn't say, but we certainly shouldn't rule it out.


Again, no circumstance is too dire for prayer.  We need to always have in mind two passages from the New Testament.


                   James 4:2 - "You have not because you ask not."


                   1 Peter 5:7 - "Casting all your care upon Him for He cares for you."


=> Does having thE gift OF HEALING make a person the healer?


Many of you are familiar with the story recorded in Acts 3, where we find Peter and John going to the temple to pray.  At the temple gate, they see a man who had been a cripple since birth.  He was begging for alms.  Starting with verse 4, it reads:


Acts 3:4-11 NIV


4       Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, "Look at us!"

5       So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.

6       Then Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk."

7       Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man's feet and ankles became strong.

8       He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God.

9       When all the people saw him walking and praising God,

10     they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.

11     While the beggar held on to Peter and John, all the people were astonished and came running to them in the place called Solomon's Colonnade.


This lame man was no stranger to the many who came to the temple.  People were used to seeing him there begging for money.  But when he was healed, the people rushed in and were curious.  They marveled, wondered and were surprised.


This lame man was now holding on to Peter and John – and you can’t blame him.  Peter took this opportunity to preach – beginning with the very next verse -- verse 12.


Acts 3:12 NIV


12     When Peter saw this, he said to them: "Men of Israel, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?


“You stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk.”  Peter couldn’t have said it more bluntly.  Having the gift of healing did not make him the healer.


Acts 3:16 adds:


16     By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus' name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see.


Once again, having this gift does not make a person a healer.  The truth of the matter is that the person himself is not the healer, but an instrument used in the hand of God who is the true Healer.


=> Do you have to be a follower of God to receive God’s divine healing?


In the Scriptures, some people who were healed had a vital relationship with God prior to their healing and others did not.


In the Old Testament, being a Hebrew was not a prerequisite for healing.  Naaman, captain of the army of Syria, was healed of leprosy  (1 Kings 5).  In the New Testament, salvation also was not a prerequisite for healing.  Jesus healed the man beside the pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem.  This man had been sick for 38 years, and after his healing, when asked who healed him, he said “did not know who it was.”  (John 5:13)


These are only two of many instances where it is obvious that salvation is not a prerequisite for divine healing.  Physical healing flows from God’s character, and, although both healing and salvation is provided for in the atoning work of Jesus, they – salvation and healing – are not necessarily dispenses at the same moment.