Healing Our Land

By Rev. Rebekah Lawson

HEAL, HEALING To make well. The Old Testament provides the proper background for a Christian understanding of the concept of healing. In the Old Testament the basic point is made that God is the healer of his people. In Exodus 15:22-26, after God has delivered his people from Egypt, led them through the sea, and sweetened the water at Marah, he speaks of himself as their "healer." This refers primarily to physical sustenance, but it points to the more encompassing concept of God sustaining his people in an eternal relationship with himself. In a similar manner, Deuteronomy 32:39 speaks of God as the one who heals. The context in Deuteronomy implies that this healing power derives from the fact that God is God. This concept of God as the healer is echoed throughout the Old Testament by the psalmists (Pss 6:2; 41:4; 103:3) and prophets (Is 19:22; Jer 17:14; Hos 7:1; Zec 11:16).1

When you look at the words that were used in the Hebrew language the words used for healing means several different things and give us a wide understanding of what healing is. One of the words used means to Heal, Repair, Rebuild, Healer. Another means To sow together, to mend, to heal, to pardon.

Psalm 103:1-7 :

• A psalm Of David. 1Bless Yahweh, o my soul, and all within me, bless his holy name. 2Bless Yahweh, o my soul, and do not forget all his benefits: 3who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, 4who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with loyal love and mercies, who satisfies your life with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's. 6Yahweh does deeds of justice and judgments for all who are oppressed, 7-who made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the !people' of Israel.

The understanding that to be healed is also to be forgiven helps to not only heal the body but the soul. God heals us by forgiving us and allows us to learn how to heal ourselves as well as others by forgiving ourselves and others. What would that do for our country right now if healing could happen if forgiveness could happen? What would that do for our families if forgiveness could happen? We still have to clean up our messes and walk through the situations but if the anger is gone, if we see each other as part of ourselves than we can work together to heal.

tflT I1t : Another word means Healing, Restoration:

Jeremiah 33:1-9 : The Fortunes of Judah and Israel Will Be Restored

33 And the word of Yahweh came to Jeremiah a second time while he was still held back in the courtyard of the guard, [saying', 2 "Thus says Yahweh who made the earth, Yahweh who formed it to establish it, Yahweh is his name: 3 'Call to me, and I will answer you, and I will tell you peat things and inaccessible things that you have not known.' 4 For thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel, concerning the houses of this city and concerning the houses of the kings of Judah, that were torn down to make a defense against the siege ramps and against the sword: 5 'They are coming to fight against the Chaldeans, and to fill them with the corpses of the people whom I will strike in my anger and in my wrath, for whom I have hidden my face from this city because of all their wickedness. 6 Look, I am going to bring healing and health to it, and I will heal them, and I will reveal to them abundance of peace and reliability. 7 And I will restore the fortunes of Judah and the fortunes of Israel, and I will rebuild them as in the beginning. 3 And I will cleanse them from all their guilt that they sinned against me, and I will forgive all their iniquities that they sinned against me, and that they rebelled against me. 9 And it will be to me a name of jubilation, a praise, and a glory before all the nations of the earth, who will hear all the good that I will do for them, and they will fear, and they will tremble because of all the good, and because of all the prosperity that I will provide for it.'

When we face what we have done and deal with our generational learned sins than we start that healing process and restoration can happen, protection can happen. When we take responsibility for what we have done and see the intentions of our hearts we can start to rebuild our understandings so that we then do not pass down hate but love, and things can change. Jesus came and made the ultimate sacrifice so we could have healing, forgiveness and be saved from ourselves. No matter who wins this election after it is all said and done this country is going to need healing. We are going to have to look deep within ourselves and find the hate., the shame, the fear and let God shine a light on it so that we can start to change and to heal. We are going to have to look each other in the face and forgive those who have hurt us and ask for forgiveness from those we have hurt. We are going to have to think of others and sacrifice so that healing can happen. We are going to have to love instead of hate and condemn. It is time to heal our land. It is time to get on our knees and pray for healing. It is time to be the example of God's love so this world can see how love can cure all. It is time to be radical with our love and not settle for hate anymore.

One of the main Greek words for Healing is Therapeuo: To Heal, cure, Serve Matthew 4:23:

● "And he went around through all of Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming

the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and every sickness among the people. 3

1 Elwell, W. A., & Comfort, P. W. (2001). In Tyndale Bible dictionary (pp. 577-578). Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

2 Harris, W. H., HI, Ritzema, E., Brannan, R., Mangum, D., Dunham, J., Reimer, J. A., & Wierenga, M. (Eds ) (2012).

The Lexham English Bible (Je 33:1-9). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

3 Harris, W. H., III, Ritzema, E., Brannan, R., Mangum, D., Dunham J., Reimer, J. A., & Wierenga, M. (Eds.). (2012).

The Lexham English Bible (Mt 4:23). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.