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Friday, June 4, 1999

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Tobit 11:5-15
Psalm 146
Mark 12:35-37

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doctor's orders

"I am certain that his eyes will be opened. Smear the fish gall on them. This medicine will make the cataracts shrink and peel off from his eyes." —Tobit 11:7-8

Tobiah healed his father of blindness by applying fish gall to his eyes and peeling the cataracts off (Tb 11:12-13). Hezekiah was healed of a terminal illness when Isaiah applied a poultice of figs (Is 38:21). Paul gave Timothy medical advice to take some wine for a stomach ailment (1 Tm 5:23). The Bible approves of medicine (Wis 1:14) and commands us to hold the physician in honor (Sir 38:1).

At the same time, the Bible disapproves of putting doctors and medicine ahead of God. King Asa was condemned for seeking physicians rather than the Lord to treat his diseased feet (2 Chr 16:12). Mark points out: "There was a woman in the area who had been afflicted with a hemorrhage for a dozen years. She had received treatment at the hands of doctors of every sort and exhausted her savings in the process, yet she got no relief; on the contrary, she only grew worse" (Mk 5:25-26).

Doctors have their place, but it is fourth place, after we have first prayed, repented, and worshipped (Sir 38:9-11). Medical treatment should be our last resort, not our first resort. Making use of long-term doctor's care, hospitalization, or medication may mean we are depending too much on things meant to be only temporary means of God's healing and not major parts of our lives.

Prayer:  Father, may I not be brainwashed by society but value medical technology according to Your will.

Promise:  "The majority of the crowd heard this with delight." —Mk 12:37

Praise:  Jesus healed Ron of pancreatic cancer.

Reference:  (For related teaching, order our book, Healing: The Imitation of Christ.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, November 28, 1998

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 1, 1998