What Healing, the Wilderness and Jesus' Atoning Death on the Cross Have to Do With Each Other

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A couple of years ago, I was grappling with what appears to be contradictory principles regarding healing. Scripture seems to indicate that we are healed through the atoning death of Jesus on the cross (Isa. 53), yet James instructs those who are sick to go to the elders of the church and that the prayer of faith will raise them up (James 5:15). If Jesus paid the price, then why is faith necessary?

The Scripture that enabled me to come to terms with this is found in our Walk Thru the Bible reading this week in Numbers 13. Most of us are familiar with the story of the 12 spies—one from each tribe—who were sent to investigate the land God had promised to give the Israelites.

Ten returned fearful of the walled cities and the large fearsome people. Two came back and affirmed all of that was true—but that God was with them, and He would deliver the land to His people as He had promised. Unfortunately, the people chose to listen to the 10, and as a result, never saw the goodness of the land.

The Israelites' land of promise can be seen as a type and shadow of our salvation as Christians. As we enter our salvation through Jesus (our Joshua), we have many wonderful promises and provisions awaiting us. We must step out in faith and go after—and sometimes battle for—what we know God has provided, and in doing so, we will see Him deliver us and bless us.

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The lesson from the Israelites' lack of faith is that they totally missed out on everything God had intended for them to have and enjoy. Because Joshua and Caleb had faith in God, they did eventually enter the land and take possession of God's promises. All it took was faith in God's ability to do what He had promised to do.

To hear more lessons from God's dealings with His people in the wilderness, tune in to this week's Out of Zion podcast on The Necessity of Faith. Walk Thru the Bible with me each week by downloading our Bible reading plan, and get started reading right away! Invite your friends and family to join us! I can't wait to Walk Thru the Bible with you!

Dr. Susan Michael is USA director of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem and host of Out of Zion on the Charisma Podcast Network.

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