Exodus 23:25 says, “And you shall serve the LORD your God, and he shall bless your bread, and your water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of you.”
The Young’s Literal Translation says, “I have turned aside sickness from thine heart.”
He wasn’t speaking to Israel as a congregation, a church group, or a select chosen group of people, saying, “I’m going to take sickness out of the midst of the Israelites.” He was referring to humanity — to ALL mankind — and He was saying I will take sickness out of the midst of you. He said I have turned aside sickness from within your heart. Notice that He is associating sickness with the heart rather than with the body. We don’t do that. We usually associate sickness with the body. But this verse tells us that sickness originated in man’s heart, not in the biology of man. The heart in biblical Hebraic understanding is the place where we feel feelings and think thoughts. So, what does it mean to turn aside sickness from our heart? To me, that says that there was a root sickness in men’s hearts (in their thoughts and feelings) that told them that their behavior was associated with their wholeness or lack of health.
So, sickness originated in the heart — in the thoughts and feelings of mankind. This is something the serpent sowed into the heart of Adam from the beginning. When God came looking for Adam, he was hiding. He hid because when he heard God, he was afraid because he was naked (or lacking). So, right here, we see a connection between his behavior and his relationship with God in Adam’s mind. This sickness in men’s hearts (in their thoughts and feelings) told them that their behaviors were associated with their wholeness or the lack of it. And that’s been perpetuated in the church down through the ages. And continues to persist in the hearts (in the thoughts and feelings) of many believers. We continue to believe that our wellness or our lack of health has to do with what we DO… good or bad.
Colossians 1:21 says, “And you, that were sometimes alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled.” Notice the words in your mind! This isn’t God’s perspective of men — it was in their minds! They thought they were alienated from God. That’s what Adam thought when he hid. What does it mean by wicked works? It says, by your wicked works or because of evil deeds. It doesn’t mean that God turned away from them because of their wicked works! It is saying that because of their wicked works, they thought that they were alienated from and enemies with God. All of us have experienced that! We were taught we were alienated from God because of “sin,” by our wrong behavior, or our wicked works. But here in Colossians, we see that the root sickness in man’s heart (in their thoughts and feelings) was the mindset that their behavior was somehow or other related to their experience with God… good or bad. And here, in Exodus with the Israelites, we see that they believed that their good or bad behavior determined their wellness or lack of it.
Exodus 23:25 (Young’s Literal Translation) says, “And ye have served Jehovah your God, and He hath blessed thy bread and thy water, and I have turned aside sickness from thine heart.” This is reminiscent of Genesis 1:28, God blessed them and said be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it. The prophet Balaam said, what God has blessed He cannot reverse. God cannot reverse what He has blessed. It’s impossible! He said in Genesis 1:28, “I have blessed.” That is UNCONDITIONAL and UNCHANGING. Here in Exodus 23:25, He’s simply stating His position from the beginning. It’s not just since Egypt that He has blessed the bread and the water and taken sickness away from their heart (from their thoughts and feelings). God is saying to them, “There has never been a relationship between Me and your behaviors that would hinder you from being well — from being whole. From the very beginning, I have blessed your bread and your water and turned away sickness from your hearts (from your thoughts and feelings). It is the idea that exists in your heart (in your thoughts and feelings) that tells you that your behaviors have anything to do with your access to healing and health — experiencing and enjoying wholeness in every area of your life.”
This is a powerful truth! He’s communicating spiritual law — He’s communicating absolute certainty. He’s saying, “I AM the Authority; I AM the LORD! I AM the One who decided since before the foundation of the earth that your behaviors, what you do or don’t do, have nothing to do with accessing health and wholeness. It’s always been yours.” Mankind’s health and wholeness were never conditional and never a someday truth to look forward to. It is ETERNAL truth and woven into the very fabric of our identity. It’s who we have always been whole and complete IN Christ.