Receiving Medical Treatment is Not Distrusting God

This post first appeared on Kineti and is authored by Judah Gabriel Himango, one of Tabernacle of David’s teachers.

“Pray for guidance, but steer clear of the rocks.”

Today, I received my final immunization against COVID-19.

When I posted about it on social media, some believers in Yeshua had harsh words for me:

A person saying I am not trusting God by receiving medical treatment

Because I chose vaccination, this same person felt the need to pray for my soul:

How bad is the vaccine? Bad enough that we should pray for every soul who gets vaccinated!

Others told me,

“You got the vaccine? You’re as good as dead.”

Another told me,

“You chose slavery. You’ll soon find out that you belong to THEM!”

Another told me,

“Hashem is no longer your G-d.”

Still some people from my old congregation told me,

“You are taking the mark of the beast!”

Yikes. A lot of fear and doubt being spread by disciples of Yeshua. Are they right?

The problem with this thinking is it’s terribly short-sighted and quickly leads to absurd arguments:

  • Do you wear glasses or contacts? Why not just go with the vision God gave you? Why trust glass instead of God?
  • Do you take Advil or any other medication? Why not just trust God and your own God-given immune system?
  • Do you wear a seatbelt? Why are you trusting a piece of fabric instead of God?!
  • Have you visited a hospital? Why trust doctors and not God?
  • Have you ever had surgery? Why not trust the body God gave you?
  • Do you use a refrigerator to preserve food? You’re not trusting God to provide for you each day.
  • Do you have a home? Why not rely on God to give you provision?
  • Do you have a car? Why not use the feet God gave you?
  • Do you have a job? Why not rely on God to provide for your needs?
  • Do you wear clothes? Why trust Big Cotton over the Lord?

Do you see the problem here?

Any technological or medical innovation to make life better can be thrown out because we “should just trust God.”

We might as well become Amish or Haredi, where all technological innovation beyond the 17th century is evil. Why not go back further, all the way back to caveman days! Then we’ll really be trusting in God! 🙄

This is rigid, fundamentalist thinking endemic to the modern Messianic movement.

Why is it wrong?

God gave us dominion over the earth, commanding us to subdue nature. Subduing viruses and bacteria to prevent suffering and death is a divine command from God.

Yeshua the Messiah commanded us to care for the sick. Reducing suffering by preventing and treating disease is a divine command from God.

God didn’t tell us to do nothing and just sit back and let nature take its course.

God commands us to take action, to work, to provide for ourselves and our families, to clothe ourselves, to subdue nature, to care for the sick, advance God’s reign, to preach the good news, to be an active participant in this world for good.

Sitting around and doing nothing is not trusting God. It is forfeiting our divine responsibility to be caretakers of this world until the Master returns. We are to be the servant who invested the coins the master gave him, not the lazy servant who buried the coins in the ground. 

Yes, we trust God, but yes, we take action. Prayer and action. Faith and works. Pray for guidance, but steer clear of the rocks.