When discussing mental illness in general terms, such as "Insanity," "craziness," or "madness," "psychopathology" is considered the preferred term. It covers a spectrum of behaviors characterized by certain abnormal mental or behavioral patterns that are illogical and counter-productive. Insanity may manifest as violations of societal norms, including becoming a danger to themselves and others.
Many modern theologians believe that demon possession in the Bible was actually a manifestation of mental illness. However, their view cannot explain the "insanity" leaving two men "possessed with devils" from the country of the Gergesenes, and entering into the swine (Matt. 8:28-34). King Saul was another example of having fits of rage attributed to an evil spirit from God (1 Sam. 18:10-11). Matthew's Gospel says, "...Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all...possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick...and He healed them" (Matt. 4:23-25).
"Madness," oftentimes attributed to the work of Satan's minions, can be seen from John 10:20, which says, "And many of them said, He hath a devil, and is mad; why hear ye Him?" Another example of madness, albeit faked, is found in 1 Samuel 21:12-15. However, there are also several verses that speak of "madness" being the work of the Lord:
*"The LORD shall smite thee with madness, and blindness, and astonishment of heart" (Deut. 28:28).
*"And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever He will" (Dan. 4:3).
*"The days of visitation are come, the days of recompence are come; Israel shall know it: the prophet is a fool, the spiritual man is mad, for the multitude of thine iniquity, and the great hatred" (Hos. 9:7).
*"In that day, saith the LORD, I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness..." (Zech. 12:4)
*"And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad. But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness" (Acts 26:24-25).
To be continued, Lord willing.