Dramatic healings occurred often in the Old Testament. One time, for example, the Arameans attacked the city where Elisha was staying. The king of the Arameans wanted to capture him, because, “He tells the king of Israel everything you say, even what you whisper in your bedroom.” 2 Kings 6:12b (MSG). Aram was tired of this. They wanted to have the upper hand.
As a result, Elisha found himself surrounded by the enemy. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, he: “…prayed to GOD, ‘Strike these people blind!’ And GOD struck them blind, just as Elisha said.” 2 Kings 6:18 (MSG) The enemy lost their sight. They were completely blinded!
Elisha then led the entire blind army to Samaria: “As they entered the city, Elisha prayed, ‘O GOD, open their eyes so they can see where they are.’ GOD opened their eyes. They looked around-they were trapped in Samaria!” 2 Kings 6:20 (MSG) The army was blinded, and then God healed their sight. Wow! But why not? After all, our Heavenly Father is not the one who brings sickness.
Our Heavenly Father is always keen to heal. The Old Testament prophecies are full of healing messages. Take this one, for example: “Blind eyes will be opened, deaf ears unstopped, Lame men and women will leap like deer, the voiceless break into song. Springs of water will burst out in the wilderness, streams flow in the desert.” Isaiah 35:5-6 (MSG). And God is the same yesterday, today and forever. Consider this true story from the 4th century.
Macrina the Younger (ca. 328-379/380): Macrina was the sister of Basil, Bishop of Caesarea and Gregory Bishop of Nyssa. Gregory wrote a biography of his sister’s life, telling the story of how she was healed. He also shares the miracle which was given to him by a military man: “It happened that my wife and I were eager to visit the monastery of virtue (for that is what I think that place should be called) in which the blessed soul spent her life. There was with us our little girl who was suffering from an eye ailment resulting from an infectious sickness. It was a terrible and pitiful thing to see her as the membrane around the pupil was swollen and whitened by the disease.
“As we entered the monastery, we separated, my wife and I, for I went to the men’s quarters where your brother Peter was Superior, and she went to the women’s quarters to be with the holy one. After an interval of time, we thought it was the hour for us to go home. We were getting ready to leave, but a kindly remonstrance came to us from both quarters. Your brother urged me to remain and share the monastic table. The blessed one would not let my wife go, and she would not give up my daughter, whom she was holding in her arms, until she had given them a meal and offered them the wealth of philosophy.
“She kissed the child as one might expect and put her lips on her eyes and, when she noticed the diseased pupil, she said: ‘If you do me the favour of remaining for dinner, I will give you a return in keeping with this honour.’ When the child’s mother asked what it was, the great lady replied: ‘I have some medicine which is especially effective in curing eye diseases.’ When a message came to me from the women’s quarters about this promise, we gladly remained and disregarded the urgent necessity of starting on our way.
“When the feasting was over and grace said (the great Peter, having entertained and cheered us with special graciousness, and the great Macrina, having said goodbye to my wife with every courtesy), we started the journey home bright and happy. Each of us told his own story on the way. I spoke of everything I had seen and heard in the men’s quarters, and she told everything systematically, as in a history, and did not think it right to omit the smallest details. She was telling everything in order, as if going through a treatise, and when she came to the point at which the medicine was promised, interrupting the narrative she said: ‘What have we done? How did we forget the promise, the medicine for the eyes?’
“I was annoyed at our thoughtlessness, and quickly sent one of my men back to ask for the medicine, when the child, who happened to be in her nurse’s arms, looked at her mother, and the mother fixing her gaze on the child’s eyes, said: ‘Stop being upset by our carelessness.’ She said this in a loud voice, joyfully and fearfully. ‘Nothing of what was promised to us has been omitted, but the true medicine that heals diseases, the cure that comes from prayer, this she has given us, and it has already worked; nothing at all is left of the disease of the eyes.’ As she said this, she took our child and put her in my arms and I, also, then comprehended the miracles in the gospel which I had not believed before and I said: ‘What a great thing it is for sight to be restored to the blind by the hand of God, if now His handmaiden makes such cures and has done such a thing through faith in Him, a fact no less impressive than these miracles.'” (58:189-190).
Healings occurred in the Old Testament, as well as in the New Testament and even after the New Testament. It happens today as well, for God is the same yesterday, today and forever! Our Father cares for us!
Do we believe?
(To view the entire “Miracles From the Past” devotional series, please click here.)