Does God use natural remedies to heal diseases?

SHARE

By BibleAsk Team


The topic of divine healing and the use of natural remedies has been a subject of theological reflection and practical application throughout human history. In the Christian tradition, the Bible provides insights into God’s interaction with humanity, including instances where natural remedies are employed in the process of healing diseases. This exploration seeks to examine biblical examples of God’s use of natural remedies, drawing from the narratives and teachings found in the Bible.

Understanding Divine Healing in Biblical Context

A. God as the Source of Healing:

  1. Exodus 15:26 – “If you diligently heed the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you.”
  2. Psalm 103:2-3 – “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases.”

Throughout the Bible, God is depicted as the ultimate source of healing and restoration. His power to heal diseases is often linked to His divine attributes of mercy, compassion, and sovereignty over creation. Whether through miraculous interventions or the use of natural means, God’s healing activity reflects His care for the physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being of humanity.

B. The Role of Natural Remedies:

  1. Proverbs 17:22 – “A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones.”
  2. Colossians 4:14 – “Luke the beloved physician and Demas greet you.”

The Bible acknowledges the value of natural remedies and practical measures for maintaining health and well-being. Proverbs emphasizes the connection between a joyful heart and physical health, highlighting the psychosomatic aspect of healing. Additionally, the presence of medical practitioners such as Luke, the beloved physician, in the New Testament underscores the importance of utilizing natural means for addressing health issues.

Examples of Natural Remedies in Biblical Narratives

A. Healing through Plants and Herbs:

  1. Genesis 1:29 – “And God said, ‘See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food.'”
  2. Ezekiel 47:12 – “Along the bank of the river, on this side and that, will grow all kinds of trees used for food; their leaves will not wither, and their fruit will not fail. They will bear fruit every month, because their water flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for medicine.”
  3. “So Moses brought Israel from the Red Sea; then they went out into the Wilderness of Shur. And they went three days in the wilderness and found no water. Now when they came to Marah, they could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter. Therefore the name of it was called [a]Marah. And the people complained against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” So he cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a tree. When he cast it into the waters, the waters were made sweet” (Exodus 15:22-26).
  4. The prophet Isaiah instructed,, “Let them take a lump of figs, and apply it as a poultice on the boil, and he shall recover” (Isaiah 38:21; 2 Kings 20:7)

From the beginning of creation, God has provided natural remedies like plants and herbs with healing properties for the benefit of humanity. In Genesis, God grants Adam and Eve access to the fruit of the trees and herbs for food, suggesting a natural remedy for sustaining health. Similarly, Ezekiel’s vision of the healing river portrays trees with leaves for medicine, symbolizing God’s provision for physical restoration. And also how Moses healed the waters by a tree and Isaiah instructing the usage of figs as a poultice on a boil for healing Hezekiah.

B. Healing through Food and Nutrition:

  1. Daniel 1:12-16 – Daniel and his companions choose a diet of vegetables and water, demonstrating their commitment to God’s dietary laws.

The Bible contains examples of individuals who experience healing or sustenance through specific dietary choices or provisions. Daniel’s decision to abstain from the king’s rich food and wine in favor of vegetables and water illustrates the importance of dietary discipline for maintaining health.

C. Healing through Water:

  1. John 9:7 – “And He said to him, ‘Go, wash in the pool of Siloam‘ (which is translated, Sent). So he went and washed, and came back seeing.”
  2. 2 Kings 5:10, 14 – Elisha instructs Naaman to wash seven times in the Jordan River to be healed of his leprosy.

Water plays a significant role in several healing narratives in the Bible. Jesus’ instruction to the blind man to wash in the pool of Siloam results in his restoration of sight, suggesting the cleansing and purifying effects of water. Similarly, the prophet Elisha’s directive to Naaman to wash in the Jordan River leads to his miraculous healing from leprosy, demonstrating the transformative power of obedience to God’s commands.

The Lord can heal His people without the use of these elements, but where natural remedies exist God intends that they should be used in the healing of disease. To use them does not show a lack of faith; on the contrary, a refusal to do so is presumption and reveals a lack of sound judgment.

Interpreting Divine Healing and Natural Remedies

A. God’s Sovereignty and Wisdom:

  1. Job 12:7-10 – “But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you; and the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you; and the fish of the sea will explain to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this, in whose hand is the life of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind?”

The Bible affirms God’s sovereignty over creation and His wisdom in providing natural remedies for the well-being of humanity. The diversity of plants, herbs, and elements in the natural world reflects God’s intricate design and care for His creation. As stewards of God’s creation, humans are called to appreciate and responsibly utilize the resources provided for their sustenance and healing.

B. Divine Intervention and Miraculous Healing:

  1. Mark 5:25-29 – The woman with the issue of blood is healed by touching the hem of Jesus’ garment.
  2. Acts 3:6-8 – Peter heals a lame man at the Beautiful Gate in the name of Jesus Christ.

While God often works through natural remedies for healing, He is also capable of intervening supernaturally to bring about miraculous healings. The New Testament records numerous instances of Jesus and His apostles performing miraculous healings, demonstrating God’s power to overcome sickness and infirmity through divine intervention. These miracles serve as signs of God’s kingdom and His compassion for the suffering and marginalized.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Bible affirms the value of natural remedies and practical measures for maintaining health and well-being. From the provision of plants and herbs with healing properties to the utilization of dietary choices and water for healing, God’s creation abounds with resources for physical restoration. As believers navigate issues of health and healing, may they draw wisdom and discernment from the biblical teachings on divine healing and responsibly utilize the resources provided by God for their physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.

Check out our Bible Answers page for more information on a variety of topics.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

We'd love your feedback, so leave a comment!

If you feel an answer is not 100% Bible based, then leave a comment, and we'll be sure to review it.
Our aim is to share the Word and be true to it.