Friday, July 15, 2005

Why not all?

A little accountability: Why only some?

I was blog-surfing, and came upon this deep theological discussion. This is one of the major themes of my life, struggling with the question of Divine Healing and the Sovereignty of God.
Trinka writes:

Carol and I have been discussing the idea of God's healing people (physically), and it's given me some interesting food for thought.

Mark 1:
2 And at even, when the sun did set, they brought unto him all that were diseased, and them that were possessed with devils.
33 And all the city was gathered together at the door.
34 And he healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils; and suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew him.

In other places, it says the Lord healed "all". But here, and again in Mark 3, it says He healed "many". Why not all?

So, the age-old question, "Why not all?" Or, why are some people healed and others not? Is it an issue of faith, timing, perseverance, judgment (or punishment)?

Carol writes in her response to Trinka: "I cannot agree with the concept that living and suffering with sickness is a testimony nor is it something that glorifies God." I must ask, Why not?

Did not Jesus Himself explain that the man who was born blind had not sinned, nor his parents, "but that the works of God should be made manifest in him"? (John 9:3)

I think that asking "Why?" is somewhat dangerous, causing us to place blame and judgment on God and others. If we become like the chief priests and pharisees, (Luke 20:5, "and they reasoned with themselves,") we might just get a response from Jesus that sounds very much like what Jesus said to them, "Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things."

Suffering, in body or in spirit, for the glory of God IS a Biblical concept, all the way from Genesis through Revelation. Our Lord tells the church of Smyrna, "I know your afflictions (tribulation, suffering)...Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer." I do not think it would be an appropriate response to begin wailing and whining, "Why, God? Why us, why now, why not all the others; why must we suffer?"

In fact, we are told how to respond to suffering when it comes (and it WILL come!): "Be faithful unto --even to the point of--death, and I will give you a crown of life! (Rev. 2:10)

Perhaps that was Carol's intention to encourage faithfulness by "pressing in" as she says:for the power of God to touch their lives and meet their need. And so many of those times, Jesus would acknowledge their faith saying, "Be it done to you according to your faith," or "great is your faith."

Remember though, that those who are "suffering unto death" may not look like they have great faith. I exhort you not to hastily pass judgment on those who "stay sick". "If people aim their faith at staying sick, then be it done to them according to their faith." (Carol's comment)

Instead, let us pray for them as Mary, the mother of Jesus, submitted: "Be it unto me according to thy word," and according to His will. Then, God will truly be glorified, whether in sickness or in health.


  1. I am glad you stumbled into my friend's blog then wrote this. I too have questioned why this happens where some are healed and some are not. While I believe that it is important for us to have the faith to be healed, it is essential to our walk with the Lord to acknowledge that even the faith to believe Him at His word comes from Him!

    Definitely a deep theological discussion. Thank you for sharing your insights.


  2. thank you so much for coming by ... your blog is a blessing, and I've bookmarked it.

    There truly are treasures to be mined in the dark places, if we go through them with our hand in His. I've been reading a book on providence called "Not by Chance" that has been a tremendous encouragement to me in these things.

    I look forward to re-visiting your blog - it's not often that references to Isaiah 45:3 pop up ... yet it articulates a principle that is often ignored.

    May His light shine in the darkness today, illuminating the treasures He's placed there for you.


  3. I have to disagree about asking "why." Jesus said that if we ask we shall have the answer; if we seek, we shall find; and, if we knock, the door will be opened to us.

  4. to clarify: I do think we need to ask why, and expect an answer. I just don't think God will always give us the answer we expect or demand. Just like a loving Father, God knows our needs better than us.

    Diane, to what are we disagreeing? When I wrote: I think that asking "Why?" is somewhat dangerous... I did not mean to imply that we shouldn't ask; I should have worded it more clearly, that the danger is not in the asking, but in the demanding behind the asking, or in the response to the answer. The danger is AFTER we ask "why": if we don't hear the answer we want, it might lead to resentment, "causing us to place blame and judgment on God and others."

    How's that for a totally confusing attempt to clarify!?

  5. Have enjoyed reading your blog and have bookmarked it as well....wonderful insights into a question we all ask...