Reading through the Bible together

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

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Does Proverbs 17:22 have any connection to Natural Killer cells? I can hear you asking, “What are Natural Killer cells?

To make a complex system easier to understand, let me simplify the meaning and say that Natural Killer cells are a critically important part of our body’s defense system against cells that are damaged or those that don’t belong in our bodies. Natural Killer (NK) cells are a type of white blood cells that attack and kill bad cells that have been infected by a virus, show signs of turning into tumor, or those that have been stressed and damaged in some other ways.

So what do these NK cells have to do with Proverbs 17:22? “A merry heart . . .” is such a famous proverb that we can all complete the sentence, “. . . doeth good like a medicine.” Ten years ago researchers at a university reported in an article that laughter reduced stress and strengthened Natural Killer cells. And another researcher also found that laughter changed genes and cells. These researchers didn’t have enough information to link those gene and cell changes to anything good or bad. But with their information they concluded that it was the laughter, the “merry heart” if you will, that caused the changes.

It has been years ago since Norman Cousins published his book “Anatomy of an Illness” in which he pointed out that humor, laughter, and positive emotions as important factors in health and healing. And since then the amount of research on laughter therapy has increased showing that it works. It works so well that such therapy is standard practice in many health centers.

Just think, less than 10 words in the Holy Bible are shown to be true and accurate by years of research and hundreds of books and journal articles. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

“Dear Lord, help me to be more positive and joyous when I think of what You have done to save me and the hope that I have through Your love and sacrifice for me.  Amen.”

David A. Steen
Professor Emeritus
Andrews University