Throughout the Bible, God presents Himself with different names. Each name reveals something important about God. One of the names of God is Jehovah Rapha. “The Lord who heals.”
In the Old Testament times, a name was not only an identity but many times a special meaning was attached to the name. In the Old Testament, Jehovah – Rapha – The Lord that heals is used 1st time in Exodus 15:26.
Now let’s see what this specific Name of God – Jehovah Rapha means and what it signifies about the character of God in the finished work of Christ.
Jehovah Rapha – The Lord who heals –which means ‘I am Jehovah who heals you both in body and soul.
In the body by preserving from and curing diseases. And in soul, by pardoning iniquities.
Isaiah 53:4-5 points to Jesus who came to heal us from the wounds of sin, restoring us to our true identity as sons and daughters in Christ.
How many of you know that “sin is a disease?”
Let’s go to Psalms 103:3 – It shows the characteristic of God to pardon sin.
It is the 1st of the “benefits” which is received from God or the 1st thing in importance among God’s acts or His dealings with His people which calls for praise unto God.
This verse portrays God’s character as a “forgiving” God, as a “merciful” God – that has declared His willingness to pardon sin.
So verse 3 of Psalms 103 says: “Who forgives all your iniquities” – that is one side of the coin – the other side being “Who heals all your diseases”.
And this depicts God’s goodness, that He has the power of healing disease.
- Forgiveness & healing are men’s greatest needs.
- Forgiveness & healing are received from God which means He only has the right to forgive and heal.
- Forgiveness & healing are inseparably connected. When God forgives, He heals.
When you and I lay hold off or possess forgiveness and healing, it results and inspires the deepest gratitude to God.
Jesus appeared as the Messiah fulfilling the hopes of the Hebrews. He healed the broken hearted, bound-up wounds and gave sight to the blind (Luke 4:18)
Jesus Christ showed not only that He was the Healer but manifested His love and compassion as a forgiving God and willingness to restore the diseased body, mind and soul.
How many of you know that God also heals today? It is part of His character. God is a Healer. When Christ came to the earth, He healed the sick, the blind, the lame and even more than that, He healed the hearts of people.
People who were separated from God and under His wrath, when they repented, Jesus healed them. He healed the terminated sickness of our souls and drew us back to God. Thank God that Jesus is a Healer and that He still heals today.
Remember sickness and disease are illegal to the believer.
You need to know this – you have the right to walk in divine health, because Jesus went to the cross – spirit, soul and body – to redeem us spirit, soul and body. Amen!
Galatians 3:13 tells us “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law having become curse for us for it is written “cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”. Hang where? On a tree.
It is a finished work. 1 Peter 2:24 tells us “Who Himself bore our sins in His own body”. Where? On the tree. “That we having died to sins, might live for righteousness by whose stripes you were healed – were – past tense – it is already a done thing.
In both these verses the word “tree” is mentioned (keep this in mind).
Now let’s come back and understand under what circumstances the name of God – Jehovah Rapha was revealed.
This name of God – Jehovah Rapha is proclaimed to the children of Israel by God through Moses at Marah.
If we read Exodus 15:22-26, we find that Israelites after they cross the Red Sea, they were in the wilderness for about 3 days and were thirsty in need of water and when they came to Marah, they found the water to be bitter water to drink.
In what became second nature to them, they began complaining, grumbling, murmuring about it to Moses, whining about the scarcity of drinkable water.
Moses called to the Lord and asked for help. God intervened, working through Moses, and He showed him a tree. So a piece of wood was provided.
And Moses threw it into the water as per instructions from God. And the bitter water became sweet refreshing water for the people.
It is at this point that the Lord suddenly begins to talk to the Israelites about the diseases and plagues that He brought upon the Egyptians because of the afflictions of the Hebrews.
So God is concerned at this point about the Hebrew people, regarding the actions that they must take to prevent the same kind of diseases and plagues from visiting them.
So He demands obedience from them, lest the diseases and plagues come upon them for disobedience.
And if they will be obedient to Him, none of those diseases would come upon them. So the reason for no sickness upon the obedient was because God is the Healer of His people. Here He reveals Himself as “Jehovah Rapha” – Jehovah the Healer or Jehovah your Physician that heals you. To prove to them that He not only could heal, but that He was also willing to do so and thus fulfil His promises and covenants unto them.
God promised to make everyone, without exception, immune from all diseases in the future upon meeting conditions such as suggested in Exodus 15:26 and that is –
(1) Diligently hear His voice
(2) Live righteous lives in His sight
(3) Give ear to His commandments and
(4) Keep all His statutes.
I believe the bitter water at Marah was symbolic of what was taking place in the hearts of the Hebrews. Actually, when the Hebrews left Egypt, and crossed the Red Sea, they were very happy to leave the bondage that Pharaoh had inflicted upon them.
However, when they realized that their freedom from bondage was not so easy, that they had to rely on God completely for everything, and that the circumstances for them were not what they desired, namely the bitter waters, their hearts began to be filled with the diseases of bitterness and resentfulness.
God knew their need for healing from bitterness. And He longed to bring that healing to them. So it is here He reveals Himself as “Jehovah Rapha” – “The Lord Who Heals”. For He longed to heal them of their resentfulness, bitterness and pride. So the healing of the waters of Marah was a demonstration of God’s power to the Israelites to overcome any impurity, contamination or corruption. This power was going to work on behalf of the Israelites, God’s chosen people, all the way while they journeyed to the Promised Land.
It was also the demonstration of God’s promise to them to make every one of them without exception, immune from all diseases which He brought upon the Egyptians, if they met the conditions He placed in verse 26 of Exodus 15.
Now let’s see what lessons we can learn from Exodus 15:26.
Do we face any difficult situations in a desert or wilderness experience in our lives? Most certainly! And instead of protesting against it, like Moses we need to pray and ask God for help. We need to remember God always answers our prayer.
When Moses prayed about the situation – bitter waters – God gave him the solution – showed him a tree – a piece of wood to be thrown into the waters, and the bitter waters became sweet.
In verse 26 of Exodus 15, God initiates a test to His people. I would say He challenged them to obey Him completely, wholeheartedly – and if they did so – no diseases would come upon them. In fact, in the midst of their bitterness and hurt, God reveals Himself to them as their Healer.
We too grumble, complain, murmur, etc. We too can be healed but 1st we must repent of the same. So like the Israelites, we too are in need of healing in all 3 areas – physical, emotional and spiritual.
So in emotional healing, the Lord heals emotional hurts and broken hearts. Psalms 147:3 says: “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds”. Whatever pain you are carrying around, you need to hand it to the Healer.
In physical healing – some of us are experiencing a tough time right now. The pain and discouragement that comes from Physical difficulties e.g. back pain, leg pain, joint pain, neck pain, toothache, headache, frozen shoulder, stones in the bladder, etc., etc. We must ask Jehovah Rapha to do His healing work in our lives. In the gospels, there are so many instances mentioned where Jesus spent lot of time healing people of their physical ailments.
The spiritual healing is by far the most important of the 3 realms of healing. For the spiritually sick, He provides healing and wholeness through the shed blood of Jesus on the cross.
Luke 4:18 says talking about Jesus. “He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted to preach deliverance to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed”.
You might be saying to God “Oh God please take away this sickness from me”. That may not change anything. Or you might say, but God says “I will take sickness away from among you”. The good news is that He already did that in Jesus Christ. So in God’s eyes, you are already perfect, even though you might be going through trials, pain and difficulties. He sees you the way He sees Jesus. In His sight, there’s nothing wrong with you. And if there is, Jehovah Rapha – the God Who heals – He has already healed you. By His wounds you were already healed. So live in this consciousness – that you are healed! For healing is your birthright! Only Jesus can sweeten the bitterness of life. He is the bondage breaker. Alleluia!
So I end with this –
- All our problems began at a tree in the garden of Eden – the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
- All our sin problem is resolved because another piece of wood – which is a tree – Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree – was used to hold our sin substitute on the cross.
The significance behind the wood from a tree is providing sweetness to the bitter water.
Whether you are hurting emotionally, physically or spiritually, right now turn to the Lord Who heals – Jehovah Rapha. Amen!
– Pastor Lynette Mathias
Co-founder of Eagle Vision School of Prophets International (EVSOPI)
Senior Pastor – Kingdom Seekers International, Church (KSI)