Faith-Building Glimpses of Healing In The Old Testament

Are you praying for a healing breakthrough in your life or ministry, or that of someone close to you?

The Bible is full of life-giving and faith-building truths about God’s purpose and power to heal. Today I share some scriptures and events recorded in the Old Testament that reveal Jesus as our Healer, as well as the healing work of the cross. (Luke 24:27)

8 Windows on Healing in the Old Testament

1. Wholeness—God’s Ultimate Purpose

In the creation of Adam and Eve, God reveals His ultimate purpose for humanity. This includes unbroken communion with Him and wholeness of body, soul and spirit. (1 Thess 5:23) [1]

2. Healing in the Exodus of Israel

The New Testament tells us that Jesus is the fulfilment of the Passover lamb. (John 1:29, 1 Cor 5:7)

We read in Exodus 11-12 of Israel’s first Passover meal. Central to Passover is the sacrifice of a lamb—one for each household. The flesh of the lamb is eaten, whilst the blood is sprinkled on the sides and top of the door frame of the house.

The sacrifice of the lamb and sprinkled blood protects God’s people from the angel of death—the 10th plague sent upon Egypt.

At the same time, an astonishing miracle of healing occurs. Psalm 105:37 tells us that as the nation of Israel left Egypt, ‘from among their tribes, no one faltered.’ [2]

3. Healing and God’s Covenant Names

In Exodus 15, God reveals one of His covenant names to Israel: “I am Jehovah-Ropheka,” meaning ‘The Lord Who Heals You.’ (Ex 15:26)

The word Ropheka, or rapha, means ‘cure, heal, physician, repair, make whole.’ [3]

Other covenant names include

  • Jehovah-Shalom, The Lord Our Peace (Judges 6:24)
  • Jehovah Tsidkeenu, The Lord Our Righteousness (Jer 25:6) and
  • Jehovah-Mekaddishkem, The Lord Our Sanctifier (Ex 31:13)

All of these will later find perfect fulfilment in Jesus and His work of redemption.

4. Healing Foretold in the Bronze Snake

There are many prophetic ‘types,’ or symbols, in the Old Testament that speak of Jesus and His redemptive work on the cross. One of these is the bronze serpent. (John 3:14)

In Numbers 21, we read of how the Israelites’ sin (speaking against God) results in a plague of poisonous snakes in the camp. The people repent of their sin, and ask Moses to intercede on their behalf.

‘The Lord said to Moses, ‘Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.’ So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, he lived.’ (Numbers 21:8,9)

God could easily kill the snakes or cause them to leave the camp; however this would effectively be revoking His judgment on the sin itself, which He cannot do.

Instead, He chooses this moment to demonstrate His mercy by providing a way of healing. By looking upon the bronze snake, Israelites are not only delivered from judgment and death—they are physically healed.

5. A Picture of Jesus’ Healing Ministry

Elijah and Elisha, as prophets of God, perform great signs that include physical healing and resurrection from death—their miracles foretell the ministry of Jesus.

6. Healing in the Psalms

In Psalm 103, David praises the Lord for all of His blessings, or benefits, which include healing.

These verses are also a forward look to the work of redemption accomplished by Jesus on the cross: ‘Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits — who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with loving-kindness and compassion…’ (Psalm 103:2-4)

7. The Healing Work of the Cross Foretold (Isaiah 53)

‘Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions,  He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.’ (Isaiah 53:4-5-NKJV)

The Hebrew word Choliy that has been translated ‘griefs’ also means sickness or disease. [4] This word ‘choliy’ has been translated sickness or disease in many other scriptures. (See 2 Ki 1:2, 2 Chr 16:12, Job 30:18, Dt 7:15, Ps 41:3, Eccl 5:17).

Later, Matthew quotes this scripture in the context of Jesus driving out spirits with a word and healing all who were sick: “This is to fulfil what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: ‘He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases.” (Matt 8: 17)

By His stripes we are healed.’ When Peter later quoted this verse—referring to the cross—he used the past tense: “by his wounds you have been healed.” (1 Peter 2:24) This was because atonement was accomplished once and for all by Jesus’ death on the cross. The Greek word used by Peter for healing was used in other scriptures for physical healing. [5]

8. Healing in His Wings

But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will arise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall…’ (Malachi 4:2)

The Old Testament closes with the same promise that the New Testament finishes with; that the time is coming when our healing will be forever complete and we will live in the light of God’s glorious presence in all eternity.

We see this prophecy also fulfilled in the first coming of our Lord Jesus. Zechariah, father of John the Baptist spoke these words: “…because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.” (Luke 1:78,79)

When Jesus came as light to our world, He did indeed come with healing in His wings. And He is the same, yesterday, today and forever. (Heb 13:8)


Notes:

[1] A fast-forward to the end: the book of Revelation assures us that there will once again come a day where there is no death, mourning crying or pain. (Rev 21:4)

[2] A wonderful picture of redemption can be seen in the Exodus of Israel. They are set free from bondage, made physically whole, carry with them the silver and gold of Egypt (effectively financial restitution for their years of unpaid labour) and released to worship and serve God.

[3] STRONG, J. Strongs Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. 1996. Ref 7495

[4] Strongs ref 2483.

[5] Strongs ref 2390. See Matt 8:13, Mark 5:29, Luke 6:19, Luke 22:51, Acts 28:8

Hayford states, ‘Peter’s intent in quoting Is 53:5 is to show that personal wholeness—mental psychological, physical and spiritual—flows from this conversion.’ HAYFORD, J W, Ed. The Spirit-Filled Life Bible.  1991.  Nashville: Thomas Nelson. P1910


More Articles on the topic of Healing:

Discover Your Unique Healing Gift

7 Reasons Why You Can Pray for Healing

3 Simple Ways to Pray for Healing


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© Helen Calder Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching

On team with David McCracken Ministries: Prophetic Ministry That Empowers The Church

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2 thoughts on “Faith-Building Glimpses of Healing In The Old Testament

  1. wildlittlefan

    It is important to see how the Bible teach about healing a nd we follow all the examples from it. I have just attended a healing seminar taught by Randy Clark and his ministry. It was such a good teaching and many wonderful miracles have appeared in the seminar as well. When I read more about Randy’s book , I aware of that it is essential to equip ourselves with a solid Biblical foundation and also learn with all the insight from the church history related to healing as well. Thank you for this article and it helped me to equip myself with another good foundation. god bless you.

    1. Helen Calder Post author

      That’s awesome, and thanks for the feedback.
      I have attended one of Randy Clark’s Healing Schools a couple of years ago and found it excellent. I would highly recommend them to anyone with a desire to be equipped in the area of healing ministry.
      Bless you – may those foundations continue to be strengthened. 🙂

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