7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
8 It will be healing to your body
And refreshment to your bones.
What an exciting promise . . . an easy path to perfect health!
I don’t think I’m too wise . . . . I fear the Lord . . . I don’t do evil stuff. So wait, I should never get sick! But I do get sick. And why is the church filled with really sick people? God seems to be falling down on this one.
I guess we could consider this a principle rather than promise, but I personally don’t think so. I think it is a promise for improved health and sense of well-being, not a guarantee of perfect health.
Lots of things improve our health, but don’t assure complete lack of sickness. Exercise is good for health . . . healing to the body and refreshing to bones . . . but exercise doesn’t cure or prevent all types of cancer, for example. It lowers the risk of some, and a person with cancer might benefit from exercise, but that’s far from a “no sickness” guarantee.
But let’s move on to the conditions. We can’t claim promises just by reading them, after all.
What does it mean to be wise in your own eyes? What if I am wise? I can’t acknowledge that? Should I think I am dumb? That seems a little extreme.
I suspect this has more to do with arrogance, or being too impressed with myself . . . or the opposite of fearing the Lord. It would be impossible to have a proper respect and honor for God while marveling at my own wisdom.
“God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” James 4:6b
So, how do I keep from being overly awed with myself?
Focus on God – who He is and all He has done – neutralizes self-adoration. Moses, Isaiah, and Job all saw God, which gave them a crystal-clear view of themselves.
And what about turning away from evil? I don’t consider myself an evil person, so I tend to think this is already handled. But looking again at those who physically looked on the face of God, they weren’t what I would call evil guys. I’m nowhere near the league of Moses, Isaiah, and Job! Yet they all had an intense awareness of their uncleanliness in the presence of God’s perfect holiness.
So, when contemplating God’s greatness, I naturally become more aware of my shortcomings. And I should respond by correcting my behavior – not justifying things I consider harmless and don’t want to give up.
And I do believe (in my opinion anyway) that humility, fear of the Lord, and turning from evil are good for your health.