11/04/2018: The Names of God | “Jehovah Rapha” | Colleen Stringer
Today our focus is on yet another name for God – Jehovah Rapha, “The Lord Who Heals” (Exodus 15:26) – “I am Jehovah who heals you” both in body and soul. In body; by preserving from and curing diseases, and in soul, by pardoning iniquities.
After wandering in the wilderness for three days, and having no water to drink, the people turn on Moses at a place called Marah. Ruth 1:20.
“What are we to drink?” Someone has said that anger is a magnet in search of metal, and the closest metal was Moses.
Ex15:26 “If you listen carefully to the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, who heals you.” (Boundaries) In the midst of their bitterness and hurt, God reveals Himself as their healer.
The word Rapha is used some sixty times in the Old Testament and means, “to restore, to heal, or to cure” physically, emotionally and spiritually. In 1 Kings 18:30, we get a picture of what Rapha means when we read that Elijah “repaired” (Rapha) the altar of Jehovah. In 2 Kings 2:21, God “heals” (Rapha) the water when Elisha throws salt in the spring. The word has the idea of restoring something to its original state.
Sometimes we are in need of healing in all three areas at the same time like David was in Psalm 6:2-3:
Emotional: “Be merciful to me, LORD, for I am faint…” Psalm 147:3:
Physical: “O LORD, heal me, for my bones are in agony…”2 Kings 20:5-6
Spiritual: “My soul is in anguish. How long, O LORD, how long?” Jeremiah 17:9
Isaiah 53: 4-5 NKJV (Sin Sickness Scripture) 1 Peter 2:24
- Trials and troubles can get us back on track. Psalm 119:67, 71: “Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word…It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.” When we’re hurting, we must run to Jehovah Rapha and resist the urge to fill our emptiness with things that will not satisfy.
- Sometimes our pain is related to personal sin. When you’re hurting physically or emotionally, it’s good to do a quick inventory to see if you have any unconfessed sin in your life. In Psalm 32:3-4: Psalm 38:3, 17-18: “Because of your wrath there is no health in my body; my bones have no soundness because of my sin…For I am about to fall, and my pain is ever with me. I confess my iniquity; I am troubled by my sin.” Check it out!
- Not all illness is directly linked to personal sin. His disciples wanted to know whether the man had sinned or his parents. Jesus answered in John 9:3: “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.”
- It’s wise to go to professionals but go to the Great Physician first. God often works His healing through doctors, other trained professionals, and through medicine. Remember that the bitter waters at Marah became better only when something was added to them. Asa” described in 2 Chronicles 16:12: “Though his disease was severe, even in his illness he did not seek help from the LORD, but only from the physicians.” Don’t bypass the Great Physician on the way to the doctor’s office.
- We need our family community of faith. James 5:14-16 describes what we should do when we are sick. First of all, call for the Elders of the church and ask for prayer. Second, confess your sins to others. Third, pray for each other. These steps are only possible if you’re plugged into a community of faith.
- Faith is a force in healing. Joni Eareckson Tada “He sovereignly reserves the right to heal or not heal as He sees fit” Tim Hansel writes: “I have prayed hundreds, if not thousands of times for the Lord to heal me…and He finally healed me of the need to be healed.”Mark 6:5-6. James 4:2
- Sometimes healing takes place in unusual ways. said, “He wasn’t cured, but he was healed.”
- The Cross of Christ is the source of healing. The Jehovah who heals in the Old Testament is the Jesus who heals in the New.
Let’s go back to Exodus 15 for a moment. After God made the sour waters sweet, He then led the Israelites to a place called Elim. We read in verse 27 that Elim had twelve springs and seventy palm trees. God led them to a place of plenty. Even if we’re not cured we can be healed by Jesus. He is both the wood and the living water as He said in John 7:37: “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.” The only way to go from Marah to Elim is to turn to Jesus, who is Jehovah Rapha. Amen and Amen!