To Live IS Christ (11). God’s Clearly Stated Will.

In previous posts I’ve tried to address what scripture says about God’s will regarding healing, to see what kind of foundation we have to believe that He wants His people in health.
So far I’ve given mostly New Testament references, however there are many in the Old Testament. Rather than address selections individually, I’ll provide links to several after this post.

However, I consider the quote I give below embraces and confirms everything else that could be said about God’s healing and the physical well-being of His people.

I tried to emphasise, as much as possible (uppercase, bold, italics), what I see as the they key phrase in the quote.

This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. NOW CHOOSE LIFE, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life… (Deut 30 19-20)

God starts this section by saying he has set before the people of Israel clear choices.

Life or death.
Blessings or curses.

However He doesn’t merely offer them the choice, then step aside to let them consider it. He continues with a command – HIs choice – HIs will for them.

HE tells them “NOW CHOOSE LIFE”.

Any other choice is NOT God’s will for them. HIS will is NOT the death of His people.

He continues with the reasons why they should choose life:

so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him.

He then makes a statement that I understand is echoed in Paul’s later words to the Philippians, that I have used as the theme for this series of posts. “To live is Christ”.

He says: “For the LORD is your life”

Now some might try to dismiss the Deuteronomy quote as being part of the Old Covenant and related to the law given through Moses to the people of Israel, and therefore try to deem it as now irrelevant, outdated or superseded.

But the writer to the Hebrews takes care of those objections when he writes of the superior ministry of both Jesus and the covenant over which He is mediator:

the new covenant is established on better promises.

The New Covenant does not come with lesser promises and assurances than the Old. *

The New Covenant does not deny us the choice of life that God offered (commanded): A life lived to love Him , listening to His voice, and holding fast to Him.

For He IS our life, and to live IS Christ.



*  Also see Romans 10 and compare to the wider context of Deuteronomy 30. This confirms the continuing relevance under the new covenant, through Jesus.

OT healing references.

NOTE:  The context for the following promises include conditions of obedience found in the full reference linked.

Exodus 15:26  “For I AM the LORD who heals you.”

Exodus 23: 25-26  “I will take away disease from among you…I will give you a full life span.”

Deuteronomy 7: 12-15 “The LORD will keep you free from every disease.”

Psalm 91: 14-16  “With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

Psalm 103: 1-3  “Praise the LORD… Who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases.”

Psalm 107: 17-21 “He sent out His word and healed them; He rescued them from the grave.”

Proverbs 4: 20-24  “My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body.”

Isaiah 53: 4-5  “Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. (refer also Matthew 8: 16-17 and 1 Peter 2:24 for confirmation of the continuing relevance of the Isaiah prophecy. Particularly note that Matthew makes it clear it refers to physical healing and not merely a spiritual application as some now insist.)

Psalm 119 has many references to God’s promises of health and life – as an outcome of obedience to His word. (“preserve my life according to your word”,  “Your promise preserves my life”, “give me understanding that I may live”.

11 thoughts on “To Live IS Christ (11). God’s Clearly Stated Will.

  1. Thanks Marleen

    A beautifully performed song – but not sure why they had to try to “improve” on the original lyrics towards the end by adding a word to “enhance” the meaning.

  2. Psalm 106 New International Version (NIV)

    1 Praise the Lord.[a]
    Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    his love endures forever.
    2 Who can proclaim the mighty acts of the Lord
    or fully declare his praise?
    3 Blessed are those who act justly,
    who always do what is right.
    4 Remember me, Lord, when you show favor to your people,
    come to my aid when you save them,
    5 that I may enjoy the prosperity of your chosen ones,
    that I may share in the joy of your nation
    and join your inheritance in giving praise.
    6 We have sinned, even as our ancestors did;
    we have done wrong and acted wickedly.
    7 When our ancestors were in Egypt,
    they gave no thought to your miracles;
    they did not remember your many kindnesses,
    and they rebelled by the sea, the Red Sea.[b]
    8 Yet he saved them for his name’s sake,
    to make his mighty power known.
    9 He rebuked the Red Sea, and it dried up;
    he led them through the depths as through a desert.
    10 He saved them from the hand of the foe;
    from the hand of the enemy he redeemed them.
    11 The waters covered their adversaries;
    not one of them survived.
    12 Then they believed his promises
    and sang his praise.
    13 But they soon forgot what he had done
    and did not wait for his plan to unfold.
    14 In the desert they gave in to their craving;
    in the wilderness they put God to the test.
    15 So he gave them what they asked for,
    but sent a wasting disease among them.
    16 In the camp they grew envious of Moses
    and of Aaron, who was consecrated to the Lord.
    17 The earth opened up and swallowed Dathan;
    it buried the company of Abiram.
    18 Fire blazed among their followers;
    a flame consumed the wicked.
    19 At Horeb they made a calf
    and worshiped an idol cast from metal.
    20 They exchanged their glorious God
    for an image of a bull, which eats grass.
    21 They forgot the God who saved them,
    who had done great things in Egypt,
    22 miracles in the land of Ham
    and awesome deeds by the Red Sea.
    23 So he said he would destroy them—
    had not Moses, his chosen one,
    stood in the breach before him
    to keep his wrath from destroying them.
    24 Then they despised the pleasant land;
    they did not believe his promise.
    25 They grumbled in their tents
    and did not obey the Lord.
    26 So he swore to them with uplifted hand
    that he would make them fall in the wilderness,
    27 make their descendants fall among the nations
    and scatter them throughout the lands.
    28 They yoked themselves to the Baal of Peor
    and ate sacrifices offered to lifeless gods;
    29 they aroused the Lord’s anger by their wicked deeds,
    and a plague broke out among them.
    30 But Phinehas stood up and intervened,
    and the plague was checked.
    31 This was credited to him as righteousness
    for endless generations to come.
    32 By the waters of Meribah they angered the Lord,
    and trouble came to Moses because of them;
    33 for they rebelled against the Spirit of God,
    and rash words came from Moses’ lips.[c]
    34 They did not destroy the peoples
    as the Lord had commanded them,
    35 but they mingled with the nations
    and adopted their customs.
    36 They worshiped their idols,
    which became a snare to them.
    37 They sacrificed their sons
    and their daughters to false gods.
    38 They shed innocent blood,
    the blood of their sons and daughters,
    whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan,
    and the land was desecrated by their blood.
    39 They defiled themselves by what they did;
    by their deeds they prostituted themselves.
    40 Therefore the Lord was angry with his people
    and abhorred his inheritance.
    41 He gave them into the hands of the nations,
    and their foes ruled over them.
    42 Their enemies oppressed them
    and subjected them to their power.
    43 Many times he delivered them,
    but they were bent on rebellion
    and they wasted away in their sin.
    44 Yet he took note of their distress
    when he heard their cry;
    45 for their sake he remembered his covenant
    and out of his great love he relented.
    46 He caused all who held them captive
    to show them mercy.
    47 Save us, Lord our God,
    and gather us from the nations,
    that we may give thanks to your holy name
    and glory in your praise.
    48 Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,
    from everlasting to everlasting.
    Let all the people say, “Amen!”
    Praise the Lord.

    Psalm 106:1 Hebrew Hallelu Yah; also in verse 48
    Psalm 106:7 Or the Sea of Reeds; also in verses 9 and 22
    Psalm 106:33 Or against his spirit, / and rash words came from his lips
    Psalm 107 New International Version (NIV)

    1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    his love endures forever.
    2 Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story—
    those he redeemed from the hand of the foe,
    3 those he gathered from the lands,
    from east and west, from north and south.[a]
    4 Some wandered in desert wastelands,
    finding no way to a city where they could settle.
    5 They were hungry and thirsty,
    and their lives ebbed away.
    6 Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
    and he delivered them from their distress.
    7 He led them by a straight way
    to a city where they could settle.
    8 Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
    and his wonderful deeds for mankind,
    9 for he satisfies the thirsty
    and fills the hungry with good things.
    10 Some sat in darkness, in utter darkness,
    prisoners suffering in iron chains,
    11 because they rebelled against God’s commands
    and despised the plans of the Most High.
    12 So he subjected them to bitter labor;
    they stumbled, and there was no one to help.
    13 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
    and he saved them from their distress.
    14 He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness,
    and broke away their chains.
    15 Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
    and his wonderful deeds for mankind,
    16 for he breaks down gates of bronze
    and cuts through bars of iron.
    17 Some became fools through their rebellious ways
    and suffered affliction because of their iniquities.
    18 They loathed all food
    and drew near the gates of death.
    19 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
    and he saved them from their distress.
    20 He sent out his word and healed them;
    he rescued them from the grave.
    21 Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
    and his wonderful deeds for mankind.
    22 Let them sacrifice thank offerings
    and tell of his works with songs of joy.
    23 Some went out on the sea in ships;
    they were merchants on the mighty waters.
    24 They saw the works of the Lord,
    his wonderful deeds in the deep.
    25 For he spoke and stirred up a tempest
    that lifted high the waves.
    26 They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths;
    in their peril their courage melted away.
    27 They reeled and staggered like drunkards;
    they were at their wits’ end.
    28 Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
    and he brought them out of their distress.
    29 He stilled the storm to a whisper;
    the waves of the sea[b] were hushed.
    30 They were glad when it grew calm,
    and he guided them to their desired haven.
    31 Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
    and his wonderful deeds for mankind.
    32 Let them exalt him in the assembly of the people
    and praise him in the council of the elders.
    33 He turned rivers into a desert,
    flowing springs into thirsty ground,
    34 and fruitful land into a salt waste,
    because of the wickedness of those who lived there.
    35 He turned the desert into pools of water
    and the parched ground into flowing springs;
    36 there he brought the hungry to live,
    and they founded a city where they could settle.
    37 They sowed fields and planted vineyards
    that yielded a fruitful harvest;
    38 he blessed them, and their numbers greatly increased,
    and he did not let their herds diminish.
    39 Then their numbers decreased, and they were humbled
    by oppression, calamity and sorrow;
    40 he who pours contempt on nobles
    made them wander in a trackless waste.
    41 But he lifted the needy out of their affliction
    and increased their families like flocks.
    42 The upright see and rejoice,
    but all the wicked shut their mouths.
    43 Let the one who is wise heed these things
    and ponder the loving deeds of the Lord.

    Psalm 107:3 Hebrew north and the sea
    Psalm 107:29 Dead Sea Scrolls; Masoretic Text / their waves

  3. I have to share something I am seeing emphasized:
    John 5

    By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.


    41 “I do not accept glory from human beings, 42 but I know you [powerful leaders]. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts. 43 I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him. 44 How can you believe since you accept glory from one another but do not seek the glory that comes from the Only One[d]?

    45 “But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set. 46 If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. 47 But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?”


    John 5:2 Some manuscripts Bethzatha; other manuscripts Bethsaida
    John 5:4 Some manuscripts include here, wholly or in part, paralyzed—and they waited for the moving of the waters. 4 From time to time an angel of the Lord would come down and stir up the waters. The first one into the pool after each such disturbance would be cured of whatever disease they had.
    John 5:39 Or 39 Study
    John 5:44 Some early manuscripts the Only One
    [ I, Marleen, have put this translation in instead of “only God” here. ]

    As I was reviewing some excerpts from Scripture that I have shared in the last month or two, a vision of one shepherd came to mind. Subsequently, the idea of the eye of the needle or fitting through came to mind. It is by getting the thread prepared sufficiently that it can push through and not just get more ragged or simply not get through and still be useless.

  4. Pingback: When To Live is NOT Christ (1) | Onesimus Files

  5. The Mathew 8:16,17 is a curiosity. It starts out with an emphasis on demon-possession. One of my sons, fairly recently, was joking with me about getting a Catholic exorcist… or if I would, if someone I knew was possessed. I said, “I would do it myself.”

    In other words, I would not contact a Catholic priest. Also, in other words, I didn’t take it as something to joke about. (I think he didn’t just say “someone” — but one of my sons.) If demon possession is so casually connected to ill-health…

  6. Demon possession is perhaps something we “sophisticated” westerners take too lightly.
    Would it really be far rarer here today than it was in Jesus’ day when so much of his ministry involved the casting out of demons?

  7. Pingback: Choose Life 2: To Live IS Christ (13) | Onesimus Files

  8. Pingback: What I’ve Learned This Year (so far) part 1 | Onesimus Files

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