The first place I see mention of healing in the Bible is in Genesis chapter 20. This actually caught me off guard. I figured the first healing would be early in Jesus’ ministry.
So in Genesis 20 Abraham prays to God and God heals King Abimelech, his wife, and his female servants. Before this, Abraham shows up and tells Abimelech that his wife Sarah is actually his sister. He does this because Sarah is very beautiful and Abraham is afraid that Abimelech will kill him to take Sarah for himself. Looking at the details of this story is a bit confusing.
Abraham lies. God shows up in a dream to Abimelech. Abimelech gives Sarah back to Abraham. Abraham prays for Abimelech and his family and they are healed. It doesn’t seem to fit into any type of box or resemble a situation in which the healing power of God would show up.
Key points I see:
- Abraham starts this whole thing off with a lie.
- God shows up in a dream to this unbelieving king to tell him the truth and that Abraham is going to pray for his family to be healed.
- Abraham wasn’t told by God to pray for Abimelech, but instead God tells Abimelech to have Abraham pray for him.
- In verse 17 it says that God healed Abimelech, his wife, and his female servants so they could have children.
- Verse 18 says, ‘For the Lord had caused all the women to be infertile because of what happened with Abraham’s wife, Sarah.’
Things this shows us:
- You don’t have to be perfect for God’s healing power to flow through you.
- Healing happened in the Old Testament.
Questions this brings:
- Why did God cause the women to be infertile? It seems the healing brought on by Abraham’s prayer was simply an undoing of the curse God had placed on the women.
If you have any insight to any of the points listed above, please share your thoughts!