Posted by: missionventureministries | January 13, 2014

Jehovah Rapha – The Lord Who Heals – Exodus 15:26

Exodus 15 vs 26

Moses is faced with a difficult situation in the desert and instead of protesting, he prays. That is what we should also do. When we are in pain, we must pray. God answers Moses by showing him a simple piece of wood. Moses takes the wood and whips it into the water and the water immediately becomes sweet. God then initiates a test and tells them in verse 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.” Here we see the LORD revealed as Jehovah Rapha. 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.

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…”
Physical: “O LORD, heal me, for my bones are in agony…”

Spiritual: “My soul is in anguish. How long, O LORD, how long?”

God reveals Himself as Jehovah Rapha when we are in need of… 

  • Emotional Healing: The LORD heals emotional hurts and broken hearts. Psalm 147:3: “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Whatever pain we are carrying around, we need to hand it to the Healer. 
  • Physical Healing: Some of us are experiencing a tough time right now as we are trying to process the pain and discouragement that comes from physical difficulties. Maybe it is personal pain or maybe we are devastated by the news about a family member or a friend. At times like this, we need to ask Jehovah Rapha to do His healing work in our lives. The Bible is filled with examples of God’s healing touch. In 2 Kings 20:5-6 we read that Hezekiah became very ill and was about to die. As a result of intense intercession, he was healed and his life was even extended. This is really an amazing story: “This is what the LORD, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you…I will add fifteen years to your life.” In the Gospels we see that Jesus spent a surprising amount of time healing people.
  • Spiritual Healing: This is by far the most important of the three realms of healing. The Lord sees that we are spiritually sick and He provides healing and wholeness through the shed blood of Jesus on the cross. Our diagnosis is bad and our prognosis is terminal. Jeremiah 17:9 records the incurable condition of the human heart: “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” We are sinners who have been inflicted with the disease of death and destruction and we are in desperate need of a new heart.

Early in His ministry, Jesus got up in the synagogue one day and quoted from the Book of Isaiah: “He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed” (Luke 4:18). Once we are set free spiritually, Jesus can break every other bondage we are under, including addictions and deep-seated sin patterns. While it is certainly true that Jesus healed a lot of people physically, He is always more interested in curing our sin problem. Do you remember what Jesus said to John the Baptist when he wanted to know if He was really the Messiah? Here are the words from Matthew 11:5:“The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.”

The pervasiveness of sin in our souls is pictured very vividly in Isaiah 1:5-6: “Why do you persist in rebellion? Your whole head is injured, your whole heart afflicted. From the sole of your foot to the top of your head there is no soundness — only wounds and welts and open sores, not cleansed or bandaged or soothed with oil.” Our depravity is total, affecting every part of our lives. However, verse 18 provides the good news, showing the cleansing power of forgiveness: “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”

At times, we need to pass the test, since trials and troubles can get us back on track. “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.” Psalm 119:67, 71

We need to understand that not all illness is directly linked to personal sin. We can certainly say that all illness ultimately is a result of Adam and Eve’s sin, but we must be careful to not link every problem we have to some sin in our lives. This was the mistake that Job’s friends made when they kept accusing him of wrongdoing. In their minds, Job was suffering because he had somehow sinned. Let’s be careful here. Some of us blame ourselves mercilessly for our own pain. Others need to back off and stop giving their perspective on why someone else is suffering. Jesus addressed this prevalent mindset when he was asked to explain why a certain man was blind. 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.”

We need to remember that it is OK to consult with professionals but we need to go to the Great Physician first. While there are some people who refuse to get any help because they want to trust God alone for their healing, it’s my understanding that God often works His healing through doctors, and other trained health professionals. Remember that the bitter waters at Marah became better only when something was added to them. God could have made them sweet apart from any other means, but he chose to use the wood. Likewise God can heal with just a word from His mouth, but He uses other instruments as well. 
 

On the other hand, what Asa did in the Old Testament is a warning to us. When he was sick, he didn’t pray to God first but instead went right to the doctor. This is 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.” Think about this; don’t bypass the Great Physician on the way to the doctor’s office.

We also need the 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. When you are hurting, you need the help of other strong faithful believers. Faith somehow unleashes the healing power of God. James 4:2 says, “You do not have, because you do not ask God.”

The Cross of Christ is the source of healing. Jehovah Rapha who heals in the Old Testament is the LORD Jesus who heals in the New. Don’t miss the significance behind the wood from a tree providing sweetness to the bitter water. All of our problems began at a tree in the Garden of Eden and our sin problem is resolved because another piece of wood was used to hold up our Sin Substitute on the cross. Isaiah 53:5 says that “the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.” 1 Peter 2:24 picks up on this prophecy: “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.” Only Jesus can sweeten the bitterness of life. He is the bondage breaker as Leviticus 26:13 says: “I broke the bars of your yoke and enabled you to walk with heads held high.”

Whether you’re hurting emotionally, physically or spiritually, turn to the Lord who Heals right now. 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 our Jehovah Rapha.

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Responses

  1. Jehovah Rapha, I pray and beg, for the healing of your servant, Louis Robert Whitehead, in the name, of Jesus!

    • Also praying for you.
      But He was wounded for our transgressions,
      He was bruised for our iniquities;
      The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
      And by His stripes we are healed.
      Isaiah 53:5

  2. O Jehovah please grant onto those who call you in good faith what they need.

  3. beautiful.. God bless

    • Thank you Anna, it is all for the glory and honor of our heavenly Father. Blessings


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