Moses and Preventive Medicine -- By: Jay D. Fawver

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 147:587 (Jul 1990)
Article: Moses and Preventive Medicine
Author: Jay D. Fawver

Moses and Preventive Medicine

Jay D. Fawver

R. Larry Overstreet

Psychiatrist and Cofounder, Citadel Psychiatric Clinic
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Professor of Homiletics, Grace Theological Seminary
Winona Lake, Indiana

A result of the Fall is that God allowed man to be vulnerable to physical and psychological illnesses that lead to suffering and eventually death. At no time has man possessed all the answers to the ailments that afflict him.

However, researchers have made remarkable strides in understanding the human physical and psychological makeup. The biological knowledge they possess is repeatedly being revised, so that medical textbooks are being updated every three to five years. In a similar manner, psychiatric concepts continue to advance. In the 1980s, more knowledge has been gained concerning the brain and its chemical functioning than during any decade in recorded history. This knowledge is being acquired through devices such as the CAT scan, MRI, computerized EEG, PET scans, and others, as well as expanded study of patients and more precise means of measurement.

The Bible and ongoing experience show that God has determined to glorify Himself through the physical and psychological mending of this remarkable life capsule He has loaned to mankind. The Bible also demonstrates that God wants His people to survive particular diseases and epidemics. He knew that His world is filled with bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites, and He provided medical information that has withstood the test of time, continuing to be valid thousands of years after first being revealed. This article discusses selected areas of that medical information.

Preventive Medicine

Preventive medicine deals with the prevention of disease to the extent that is humanly possible. Certain of God’s commandments imply that He expects man to preserve his health to the best of his ability. So God expects people to feed, clothe, and house themselves and their children. Of course the use of preventive techniques does not guarantee that all disease will be avoided; it merely increases the possibility. Genetic predispositions and environmental factors markedly influence defenses against disease.

A case history from Dr. Fawver’s files illustrates this principle.

I was an intern working in an emergency room in Indianapolis. Late one night an 80-year-old man arrived complaining of mild indigestion which caused him to vomit while accompanying his family at a dinner party. Since the emergency room was busy, the nurse assigned him to one of the suture rooms, where people “who are not that sick” are assigned. Whe...

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