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Jehovah’s Witnesses

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AWAKE! APRIL 2013

 THE BIBLE’S VIEWPOINT

Health

Health

Does God care about how we treat our bodies?

“Do not come to be among heavy drinkers of wine, among those who are gluttonous eaters of flesh.”Proverbs 23:20.

WHY DOES IT MATTER?

The Bible is not a medical textbook; nor does it regulate every aspect of human behavior. Still, you can benefit from understanding God’s view of health as expressed in the Bible.

WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS

Numerous Bible passages shed light on how God feels about the way we treat our bodies. For instance, the Bible condemns harmful excesses, including drunkenness and gluttony. (Proverbs 23:20) God’s Law code given to ancient Israel included measures that would control and in some cases even prevent diseases. The Law also incorporated specific safety regulations for the prevention of injuries. (Deuteronomy 22:8) Clearly, the Bible encourages us to take care of our bodies and take reasonable measures to protect our health.

 According to the Bible, why do we get sick?

“Through one man sin entered into the world and death through sin.”Romans 5:12.

WHAT PEOPLE SAY

Many believe that sickness is simply a quirk of human evolution. Others think that mysterious forces, such as evil spirits, are the cause of our health problems.

WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS

According to the Bible, we get sick as a result of the first human rebellion against God. (Romans 5:12) Before their rebellion, our first parents, Adam and Eve, enjoyed perfect health. They knew that they would die if they withdrew from God’s loving care. (Genesis 2:16, 17) Still, they willfully severed their friendship with God and lost their perfection. *

The flawed nature of our rebellious first human parents has been passed on to us. Hence, despite all efforts to eliminate human maladies, we still get sick.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

The Bible teaches that if you become reconciled to God by obeying his wise principles, you will eventually enjoy perfect health in an earthly paradise. (Isaiah 33:24) God promises to eliminate pain, sickness, and death.Revelation 21:3, 4.

Does the Bible discourage medical treatment?

“Persons in health do not need a physician, but the ailing do.”Matthew 9:12.

WHAT PEOPLE SAY

Some promote spiritual healing (also known as faith healing) over medical treatment.

WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS

God allowed health-care practitioners to operate among his people in Bible times. (Genesis 38:28; Colossians 4:14) There is nothing in the Bible that would indicate that God was displeased with their use of medicinal plants, ointments, prescribed diets, and other health treatments. In fact, Jesus acknowledged that “persons in health do not need a physician, but the ailing do.”Matthew 9:12.

Yet, the Bible does not endorse the pursuit of health at all costs. For instance, the Bible does not endorse the modern-day practice of faith healing. And cures that involve spiritistic practices are not approved by God. (Galatians 5:19-21) Aside from practices that the Bible condemns, the sensible thing to do when faced with infirmities would be to seek appropriate health care promptly, if it is available.

^ par. 10 In this article, we use the words “perfect” and “perfection” to refer to the healthy state in which God created the first humans, unaffected by sickness, disease, and death.