This is the third post in the series "Who Is God?'
Exodus 3:15 (ASV)15 And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, Jehovah, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name forever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.
My proper name is Donald, but I’m also called dad, father, grandpa, son, uncle, brother, nephew, and pastor along with others. Each of these is a name for me which describes certain attributes. God’s proper name is Jehovah, but as with you and me His is known by other names that describe Him.
Exodus 15:22-26 (NKJV)22 So Moses brought Israel from the Red Sea; then they went out into the Wilderness of Shur. And they went three days in the wilderness and found no water.23 Now when they came to Marah, they could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter. Therefore the name of it was called Marah.24 And the people complained against Moses, saying, "What shall we drink?"25 So he cried out to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a tree. When he cast it into the waters, the waters were made sweet. There He made a statute and an ordinance for them. And there He tested them,26 and said, "If you diligently heed the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the LORD who heals you." (Bold mine)
After the miraculous deliverance of Israel through the Red Sea the people complained about the water at Marah. After the issue with the bitterness of the water was taken care of Jehovah told the people that if they obeyed Him He would not allow the diseases that He brought on the Egyptians to happen to them. However there was a condition. The condition was that they be obedient. His words were that they “give ear to His commandment and keep all His statutes”. For us that would mean that we take heed to His Word, the Bible.
Psalm 119:11 (NKJV)11 Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You!
Meaning and Derivation: Jehovah is translated as "The Existing One" or "Lord." The chief meaning of Jehovah is derived from the Hebrew word Havah meaning "to be" or "to exist." It also suggests "to become" or specifically "to become known" - this denotes a God who reveals Himself unceasingly. Rapha(râpâ') means "to restore", "to heal" or "to make healthful" in Hebrew. When the two words are combined - Jehovah Rapha - it can be translated as "Jehovah Who Heals."
Jeremiah 30:17 (ASV)17 For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith Jehovah; because they have called thee an outcast, saying, It is Zion, whom no man seeketh after.
Jeremiah 3:22 (ASV)22 Return, ye backsliding children, I will heal your backslidings. Behold, we are come unto thee; for thou art Jehovah our God.
Psalm 103:3 (ASV) Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; Who healeth all thy diseases;
Jehovah is the Great Physician who heals the physical and emotional needs of His people. The world rapha occurs 67 times in 62 verses in the Hebrew concordance of the KJV - From Blue Letter Bible, The Names of God in the Old Testament
Rapha conveys the idea of restoring something to its intended state.
2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV)14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (Bold mine)
In this instance Jehovah will hear the prayer of a repentant people and heal and restore their land.
2 Chronicles 30:18-20 (NKJV)18 For a multitude of the people, many from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, yet they ate the Passover contrary to what was written. But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, "May the good LORD provide atonement for everyone19 who prepares his heart to seek God, the LORD God of his fathers, though he is not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary."20 And the LORD listened to Hezekiah and healed the people. (Bold mine)
Hezekiah prayed and Jehovah healed the people who had not followed the required regulations in celebrating the Passover Festival. The context of both instances was Jehovah’s spiritual healing.
The name Jehovah-Rapha reveals God as one who not only heals and restores physical needs but spiritual and emotional ones too.
We see this Truth echoed in the New Testament every time Jesus says to a person, "Be made whole."
John 5:6, 8, 14 (ASV)6 When Jesus saw him lying, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wouldest thou be made whole? 8 Jesus saith unto him, Arise, take up thy bed, and walk. 14 Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing befall thee.
Physical healing at Jesus' hands may be supposed to include forgiveness of sins - The Wycliffe Bible Commentary.
Luke 17:19 (ASV) And he said unto him, Arise, and go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.
This is what Jesus said to the one leper, who returned to thank and praise Jesus, out of the 10 who were healed, He had to be talking about more than just his physical healing. He now received his spiritual healing. This former leper was a restored to his intended purpose, which was his salvation.
Jehovah-Rapha is the only one who can heal us of sin and restore our relationship with Him.
Isaiah 53:5 (NKJV)5 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.
1 Peter 2:24 (NKJV)24 who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness--by whose stripes you were healed.
God does not promise to heal us only in an isolated instance of illness or need. By calling Himself Jehovah-Rapha, He is saying, "Healing is what I am."
The Old Testament recounts many instances of God providing healing and restoration. And, of course, the New Testament is filled with accounts of people being healed by Jesus, and later through the apostles. What Jehovah did at Marah, what Jesus did throughout the New Testament, he will do today for those who trust and obey him.
He is Jehovah-Rapha the Lord who heals.
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Donald Jacobs is an ordained minister with the spiritual gift of teaching. He is the Associate Pastor of a non-denominational church in Los Angeles, CA.