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Friday, December 25, 2009

MARKS OF A GREAT PHYSICIAN


The healthcare debate is still raging, with a vote expected to pass at least an expanded, tax-funded version of what we now have. To whatever extent tax subsidized abortion is part of the new plan, it is at odds with scripture.  God hates the shedding of innocent blood and any individual or nation that engages in what He calls abomination does so to their own ruin (cf. Prov. 6:17; 14:34).  The ancient Hippocratic Oath (usually dated around 400 B.C.), as quoted at PBS.org, includes these words from Hippocrates of Cos, ancient Greek physician, includes these words:  "I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy. In purity and holiness I will guard my life and my art."  While modern medical school graduates are not required to pledge to uphold the ancient version, the assumption made by all patients is that doctors and nurses work to save rather than destroy life.  We should pray but also take every peaceful, law-abiding action we can to oppose any dangerous, national step away from our Creator and Redeemer.

About 200 years prior to Hippocrates' work, the prophet Jeremiah wrote of the ultimate physician.  Jeremiah's peers seriously needed His intervention, but they steadfastly rejected it.  In Jeremiah 8:22, the weeping prophet implies three invaluable traits of a great physician.  


A great physician knows how to properly medicate.  Jeremiah implies that the "balm" was present. Exell shares an interesting insight about this substance.  He says,

     There (in the rocky region of Gilead, NP)
the fragrant, resinous gum,
possessed of such famous healing properties, was to be found--
found,
however, not by the casual,
unobservant traveller who happened to pass

    by that way, but by the man who clambered
up the rocks, scaled the heights, diligently
searched among the precious, storm-stunted
shrubs, yielding the healing gum" (Vol. 9, 219).


So, this was a physician who knew what would help and was willing to engage in the painstaking process of administering the cure.  God knows what is best for us, spiritually, and He provides the cure for the soul.  At Calvary, He provided the only answer to an eternally serious problem.  We can trust His diagnosis for our condition!

A great physician is present.  Jeremiah's rhetorical question, "Is there no physician there?," demands an affirmative answer.  Judah's problem was not lack of God's presence.  They refused to "go to the Doctor."  Mayo Clinic or M.D. Anderson have some of the best physicians in the country, but they cannot save the patients who do not come to them for help. One never has to wonder if the Great Physician is "in," for He always is (Heb. 7:25).

A great physician helps the patient recover.  Judah's failure to recover was not because God was incapable of effecting the cure.  Again, Jeremiah asks the rhetorical question of why there was no recovery of Judah's spiritual health.  It was the sin and shortcoming of the patient, not the physician.  So it is with us.  Whatever your spiritual ailment, He is able to save you!  However seemingly fatal, it is curable!  

Our hearts break at the 27-year practice of legalized abortion in this country.  Wherever medical ethics breach spiritual ethics, God will bring about consequences for such.  Yet, whenever and wherever we live, we must urgently get the word out about the Great Physician.  It is such great news that He is perfectly knowledgeable, ever-present, and limitlessly able.  He offers free check ups, if we will meet Him in scripture.
 
--Neal Pollard

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