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When Doctors Treat in Vain

by J. M. Farro on February 23rd, 2020

   “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.  Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.”  Psalm 127:1 NIV

   When I suffered a major attack on my health last year, and I sought the Lord for His wisdom and healing, He led me to the verse above.  Then He spoke to my heart, “Unless the Lord heals the man, the doctors treat in vain.”  Psalm 127:1 warns us against depending upon anything or anyone but the Lord.  It tells us that real success and protection can come only from God.  And that depending upon our own ingenuity, skills, or talents – or upon another human being – will lead to loss and defeat.  The Lord was warning me that if I left Him out of the equation when I was seeking healing, all of the medical help I would get would be useless and in vain.

   Then the Holy Spirit brought to my remembrance a passage in Second Chronicles concerning King Asa.  “In the thirty-ninth year of his reign, Asa was afflicted with a disease in his feet.  Though his disease was severe, even in his illness he did not seek help from the Lord, but only from the physicians.” (2 Chronicles 16:12 NIV)  Here, the Chronicler is highlighting the fact that, rather than depending upon the Divine Physician for help, Asa depended only upon his doctors.  And the next verse in this text reveals the devastating results of Asa’s folly.  “Then in the forty-first year of his reign, Asa died and rested with his ancestors.” (v. 13)  Did God condemn Asa for seeking medical help?  No.  He judged Asa because he sought help “ONLY from the physicians.”  God is not against doctors or medical treatment.  Many of them are gifts from God Himself.  But what the Lord IS against is His people seeking medical help without seeking Him.  In years past, I was guilty of this very thing myself.  When I exhausted every medical option, without the results and relief I had hoped for, I had the attitude that said, “I guess all I can do is pray.”  Prayer should always be our first option, not our last.

   Throughout the pages of the Bible, we see warning after warning against putting our faith in people, instead of in God.  “This is what the Lord says: ‘Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans, who rely on human strength and turn their hearts away from the Lord.’” (Jeremiah 17:5 NLT)  One translation says it this way: “Bad things will happen to those who put their trust in people.  Bad things will happen to those who depend on human strength.  That is because they have stopped trusting the Lord.’” (Jeremiah 17:5 ERV)  Notice the words “rely” and “depend” in these verses.  And ask yourself, “Who am I putting my trust in most, when I am seeking healing for my body?”  Verse 7 in this same passage says: “But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.” (Jeremiah 17:7 NLT)  Notice the contrast between those who are “blessed” and those who are “cursed.”  Trusting in God definitely has its rewards.

   The Bible says, “Stop trusting in mere humans, who have but a breath in their nostrils.  Why hold them in esteem?” (Isaiah 2:22 NIV)  I have seen a lot of people over the years trusting in doctors, and holding them “in esteem” to their own hurt.  They had more respect for physicians than they had for the Divine Physician, and it cost them dearly.  Throughout the above-mentioned attack on my health, I first put my trust in God, and then I sought medical help as the Lord led me to.  And I know that I am healed today because I depended on God more than on people.  What or who are you relying on most today?

   Lord, please forgive me for the times that I didn’t seek You first when I had a need.  Work in my heart so that I will learn to depend on You for healing, protection, and provision.  When I am tempted to rely too heavily upon doctors or others, remind me of what it can cost me.  Today, on the basis of Your Word, I pray: “Give us help from trouble, for the help of man is useless.  Through God we will do valiantly, for it is He who shall tread down our enemies.” (Psalm 108:12-13 NKJV)

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