By Pr Ay Nee Ng
Let us read a woman’s struggle for 12 years to get well in Luke 8:43-48.
And a woman who had a hemorrhage for twelve years, and could not be healed by anyone, came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His cloak, and immediately her hemorrhage stopped. And Jesus said, “Who is the one who touched Me?” And while they were all denying it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing in on You.” But Jesus said, “Someone did touch Me, for I was aware that power had gone out of Me.” When the woman saw that she had not escaped notice, she came trembling and fell down before Him, and declared in the presence of all the people the reason why she had touched Him, and how she had been immediately healed. And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.”
Church, healing power came out from Jesus when she touched the fringes of his garment (Luke 8:46). Church, there is healing in His wings. Whenever you hear God’s Word, reach out and touch the hem of Jesus’ garments. Claim His Word for yourself. Let us discover further from His Word in Malachi 4:1-3 (NIV) – Judgment and Covenant Renewal.
“Surely the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble, and the day that is coming will set them on fire,” says the Lord Almighty. “Not a root or a branch will be left to them. But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings (rays). And you will go out and frolic like well-fed calves. Then you will trample on the wicked; they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day when I act,” says the Lord Almighty.
“But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall” (Mal 4:2; ESV).
Have you ever wonder what Malachi was talking about in Malachi 4:2, “healing in His wings”? In the midst of judgment and destruction for the wicked in v. 1, the prophet Malachi promises healing, joy and deliverance for those who revere God’s character and His name. That is, those who don’t blaspheme, curse His name or ridicule His character.
We want to understand how this “sun” and not “son” of righteousness has “healing in its wings” and how on earth do wings heal? The context of the passage in Malachi helps us understand the sun metaphor and two other passages, Isaiah 6:1 and Luke 8:43-47 (The woman with the issue of blood for 12 years), and explain the connection of wings and healing.
What are the “sun” and “wing” to which Malachi refers?
• We can deduce it is a metaphorical sun, a personification, because it has “righteousness”, a quality of character not capable of possession by inanimate objects. Whoever heard of a sincere couch or a fickle rock?
• The sun and its element, fire, are a mixed blessing to humanity. The sun (SC# 8121) is about radiance and brightness, and like fire, it burns and brings warmth. God Himself uses this metaphor in describing His appearance to Israel.
“Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple, the messenger of the covenant… But who can endure the day of His coming? Who can stand when He appears? For He will be like a refiner’s fire…” (Mal. 3:1b-2). The fire metaphor resumes in Chapter 4. “Surely the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble and that day that is coming will set them on fire” (v. 1). In these passages, God refers to Himself as fire.
The contrast to consuming fire and judgment—a benign sun and healing—then appear in Malachi 4:2: “But for you who revere my name the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in his wings.” Thus, Malachi 2:17 through 4:6 form a unit promising destruction for the arrogant, prideful and evildoers, and deliverance and healing for those who reverence His name when the Lord Himself (the metaphorical Sun) appears in His temple.
If Malachi does refer to the Messiah, what about those “wings”? Maybe this alternative translation will help: “But the sun of righteousness shall arise with healing in the fringes (of his robes or garment)”. Does this make sense that somehow the woman who struggle with the issue of blood for twelve years understood this prophesy? Let us see how we come to this conclusion.
The Hebrew word used in Malachi 4:2, “kanaph“, is often translated as “wings”, but Strong’s concordance recognizes a broader meaning.
Noun Feminine, Strong #: 3671
Wing, extremity, edge, winged, border, corner (of garment), shirt
Thus, Malachi 4:2, standing alone and in the fuller context of Malachi 3-4, is best translated: “But for you who fear my name the sun of righteousness will arise with healing in the fringes of His robe (wings).”
Church, at this point we too can reach out and touch the fringes of His robes! How I know this is because we have an example in the Bible. The lady with the issue of blood of 12 years heard of what everyone had been talking about–this Jesus that heals. Those days being female and having your period, you were deemed unclean and unable to touch anyone till you finished your cycle, but she was kept unclean and bleeding for 12 years. Do you think that 12 years sick is a long time for anyone to do something drastic? Yes! Like her, we will all try to get healing, or else we will end up in very bad shape, hopeless and dead before long! Church, healing power emanated from Jesus when she touched the fringes of His garment (Luke 8:46).
When a paper napkin touches water, it draws the liquid into itself. In much the same way, this woman, thirsty for God’s healing flow, absorbed “living water” when she touched the fringes of His cloak. In her desperation, I think this woman recognized or had some familiarity with Malachi’s messianic prophecy because she had enough faith and pure desperation to recognize Jesus as the Healer and to push through the crowd and touch the fringes of His robe.
Church, will you push through the crowd and reach out to God today? The Sun of Righteousness is coming with healing in His wings, but first, let’s repent of our pride, arrogance and things that hold us back and come to Jesus.
Isaiah also encountered Yahweh Rapha (the God who heals). “In the year of King Uzziah’s death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, and the hem of His garment filled the temple” (Isa. 6:1). The Lord that Isaiah beheld was either so large, perhaps 500 ft. tall, that just the fringes of His robe filled the temple, or the Lord was human-sized with the hem or tassels (tzitzit) magnificently outsized. In either event, the picture this text paints is that the Lord is exalted, holy, and majestic.
Isaiah realizes he is in big trouble! “Woe is me. I am ruined for I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips….” (v. 5) Isaiah had good reason to fear. Uzziah had been a good and powerful king, ruling Israel for 52 years; yet, when he became prideful and offered incense on the altar of the temple (only the priests were allowed to do so), the Lord put leprosy on him. Yet, Isaiah’s attitude differed from Uzziah’s. Isaiah was humble and repentant. God’s response was loving; a seraph takes a burning coal, perhaps from the same altar Uzziah had desecrated, and imparted atonement to Isaiah by touching his lips with it (vv. 6-7). Thus, unclean Isaiah, like the unclean woman, is made clean by a touch from God or by touching Him.
How do we use these passages to receive healing or impart it? Here are six healing principles from these texts:
1. Revere, fear and worship the character of God; He is holy and exalted.
2. Know that healing–God’s ability and desire to heal us–is a part of His character that we worship.
3. Recognize, confess and turn from our uncleanness/sinfulness both in our actions and nature (Woe is us!) in the personal, family, church and national levels.
4. Let our desperation become faith with singularity of purpose–only God can heal and save; health and salvation are from Him.
5. Let the Holy Spirit soften our hearts and break our pride.
6. Visualize the Lord exalted and let Him touch you, or as the Lord passes by, reach out and touch Him.
Let us read Isaiah 6:1-7.
In the year of King Uzziah’s death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called out to another and said, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory.” And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, while the temple was filling with smoke. Then I said, “Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I live among a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.” Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal in his hand, which he had taken from the altar with tongs. He touched my mouth with it and said, “Behold, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away and your sin is forgiven.”
Church, the Lord wants us to reach out to Him, not just to the signs or miracles He can do, for He is the Bread of Life. He said: “And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well” (Mark 16:17-18). So reach out and receive Him into your life.
Let’s now hear the song “On the Wings of a Dove” and draw near to God.