Whenever we do not feel well or perhaps even succumb to sickness, we might visit with our physician, talk to our friendly pharmacist or even go on line to discover what is wrong. We may even rely on a homemade remedy to recover. But the Chosen People of ancient Israel turned to God who taught them He is the source of their healing. We readily discover the reality of this truistic assertion if we peruse Psalms 38, 39, 88, 102. They generally and collectively pray "Take away your scourge from me; at the blow of your hand I wasted away" Psalms 39: 11, because "I am a man without strength" Psalms 88: 5. The best source of medical advice, of course, for the believing Jews was the Law of Moses.
The Law of Moses kept the people healthy and helped prevent the spread of diseases. It was primarily preventative medicine regulating diet as well. Many of these laws can be found in the twelfth to eighteenth chapters of the Book of Leviticus and in some chapters of the Book of Numbers. Some conditions or diseases caused a person to be "unclean." This meant that the person was unable to participate in any religious or community activity until he was made "clean" once again. Isolating the disease was the purpose.
Generally speaking, houses with strange growths, spots or mildew on the walls had to be disinfected, cleaned, even repaired. They were torn down if the mold kept coming back. Clothing or blankets with mold and mildew had to be sanitized. If you could not get the mold out, you had to cut it out. If the mold grew or came back, you had to burn the cloth or leather (Leviticus 13: 47 - 59).
People with skin infections had to be quarantined outside the camp until they were fully cured. Priests were given the responsibility to examine the person to make sure of the cure (Leviticus 13: 46; 14: 2, 3).
Anyone who touched a dead body was unclean for seven days simply because of the deterioration of flesh and germ multiplication process which had to be avoided (Numbers 19: 11-13).
Clothing and uniforms of soldiers returning from battle had to be disinfected. Any equipment brought home had to be put through fire and not used for seven days afterwards (Numbers 31: 22 - 24).
In God's revelation to us in Scripture, sickness or a disability was sometimes described as something God does for reasons that people cannot yet in their earthly limitation understand. Some parts of the Bible question the belief that sickness is a punishment from God and instead point out that people cannot always understand God's reasons for permitting illness as we see from the Book of Job (Chapter 2), Ecclesiastes 18: 10 - 13; 9: 2; John 9: 1- 7).
In other instances illness is understood as the result of neglect and irresponsibility. Thus man in not thinking with self-respect invites disease into his own life.
In other instances sickness is understood as a punishment for discipline from the Creator. In Numbers 12, Miriam, the sister of Moses is struck with leprosy when she out of jealously she rebels against Moses and his God-given authority. In the Book of Deuteronomy (28: 21 - 23, 27), our God explains through Moses that those who disobeyed him would open themselves up to suffering diseases.
Sickness, diseases, illness are an example of what our God can do to demonstrate his unlimited power. The disciples of Jesus asked him about a man who was born blind. Had the man or his parents sinned to cause his blindness is what they wanted to understand. Our Lord very succinctly and quickly replies, Neither has sinned. His blindness is for the manifestation of God's glory In other words, it was so that Chris could work an astounding sign or miracle and use that man as an example of the limitless glory of God. (John 9: 3).
May our response to the illnesses, the limitations that befall us create in us the submission of soul, the faith of heart which serves to manifest the goodness, the glory and the blessings so richly bestowed by our God.