“The Names of God – Jehovah-Rapha” – June 26, 2022 – Pastor Marvin Engle
One of the most precious, most personal and most meaningful names of God is the name Jehovah, appearing in all capitals as LORD OR GOD. Jehovah is the name of God that reveals that the God of the Bible desires a personal relationship with the being He created in His own image; that being who has been endowed with personality is man.
God came to Adam in the Garden of Eden and spoke with him and walked with him. Our Creator-God loves man, speaks to him, and provides a way of salvation for him after man had sinned and disobeyed the command of God. Jehovah desires man to believe in Him, trust in Him, accept His way of salvation, love Him, worship Him and serve Him in his earthly life.
One of the most amazing things we learned, when we studied the name, Jehovah, is that Jehovah of the Old Testament is the same Person as Jesus Christ in the New Testament. The proof was given from Scripture in the message preached on May 8, 2022.
As we saw for the first time last week and in many places in the Old Testament, Jehovah is combined with a title to reveal a different aspect of Jehovah’s personal relationship to His own people. These compound names are called the “Jehovah Titles.” Each of the “Jehovah Titles” is used first in the Scriptures in a special setting that reveals the meaning of the name and illustrates it. Pay close attention to “the law of first mention.”
For example, last week we studied the name of God, Jehovah-Jireh, and learned that it means “the LORD will provide.” It was revealed at a time when Abraham was ready to slay his “only son” Isaac as a burnt offering sacrifice in obedience to God’s command, because he loved God more than any earthly treasure God had given him.
As we saw last week in Genesis 22:10-14, as Abraham raised the knife to slay his son, God provided a ram to die as Isaac’s substitute – 10 And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and TOOK THE KNIFE TO SLAY HIS SON. 11 And the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. 12 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou anything unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me. 13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and TOOK THE RAM, and OFFERED HIM up for a burnt offering IN THE STEAD OF HIS SON .14 And Abraham called the name of that place JEHOVAH-JIREH: (“The Lord Will Provide”) as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen.
We learned from that account that God the Father would one day take His only Son, His beloved Son and slay Him on the Cross of Calvary, in our place, as the substitute for sinners who deserve the penalty of death, and provide salvation and eternal life to all who would believe and trust His Son as the One who died for their sins on the Cross. John 3:16. God has provided a way of salvation for you! Have you trusted Jesus Christ as your Savior?
The name of God we are studying today appears first in Exodus 15:22-26 at a time when the children of Israel had just been redeemed from Egyptian bondage by the blood of the Passover Lamb; they had seen God miraculously cause the Red Sea to divide; His people victoriously crossed the Red Sea (Exodus 14:21-22), and now begin their journey through the Wilderness on their way to the Promised Land (Exodus 15:22-23).
THE HISTORICAL SETTING: Exodus 15:22-27
“Wilderness Experiences”- Deuteronomy 8:2-3
2 And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether you would keep his commandments, or not. 3 And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which you did not know, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that procedes from the mouth of the Lord doth man live.
The children of Israel may have expected to see the Promised Land in a very few days. It seems they expected an easy journey with a minimum of problems. There was a shorter way to the Promised Land which would have taken just days, but they were no way ready to fight the enemies that lived in those lands. It is important to remember that they are being led by the Lord on this journey (Exodus 13:21-22), and His purpose is first to lead them to Mt. Sinai where He will meet with them, propose a covenant with them and give His Law to them. This necessitated a journey over the desert wilderness to get there.
The Wilderness experiences of Israel were designed by the sovereignty and providence of God to humble them and teach them to trust in Him and to obey His Word. Remember, they have been living in Egypt for 400 years and sometime after the death of Joseph, they have been enslaved by the Egyptians. There was a lot of “Egypt” in them, even as there is a lot of the “World” in us when we are saved. They had to learn and know the ways of their God, and be prepared for life and warfare in the land to which God was leading them.
The Wilderness Experiences of Israel are meant to teach all believers that trials of our faith are a necessary part of the Christian life as we journey through the wilderness of this earthly life. I Peter 1:6-7 NKJV – 6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, IF NEED BE, you have been [a]grieved/DISTRESSED BY VARIOUS TRIALS, 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, James 1:2-4 – 2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces [a]patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be [b]perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
Exodus 15:22-24 – They rejoiced that they were no longer slaves and have a new-found freedom, but now they are experiencing their first trial. They find a set of circumstances that are not to their liking. God is testing them as to whether they will trust Jehovah-Jireh to meet their need of water. Would you turn to Him first???? This was a serious problem. They wanted water; they needed water; they thirsted for water, and all they found was an oasis of bitter water. Their songs of joy and praise to the Lord quickly turned to murmuring and complaining. How long does the joy of a Sunday morning worship service last for you? How soon are words of murmuring and complaining coming from our lips?
I would remind you Moses is leading 2-3 million people on this journey, so a water shortage is a serious problem. As the leading group spotted an oasis on the horizon, they ran to the water and fell on their knees to drink, but the waters were bitter. Very quickly, they became as bitter as the waters and voiced their bitterness and complained to Moses. In many ways bitter water is worse than no water. Their expectations became bitter disappointment.
THE TRIAL OF BITTER WATER: Exodus 15:23-24
First, I want to remind you that God led them to this place. It was no accident or bad luck that brought them to Marah (23). Marah was definitely on the map as far as God was concerned. It was located 33 miles north of the Red Sea. God had a lesson to teach His people and He would not let them pass this place of trial. God was testing them to see if they would turn to Him for the supply of this need and trust Him. Did they call a prayer meeting?
The Israelites were bitter because they expected differently from God. They felt they had left their troubles behind in Egypt, and they imagined they would have a smooth path through the desert to the Promised Land. They did not anticipate the trials and tribulations of the wilderness; they were bitterly disappointed and discouraged when there was no water and then the water was bitter. Psalm 62:5-8 – 5 My soul, wait thou only upon God; for MY EXPECTATION IS FROM HIM. 6 He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved. 7 In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. 8 TRUST IN HIM AT ALL TIMES; ye people, POUR OUT YOUR HEART BEFORE HIM: God is a refuge for us. Selah. (CAN YOU PLACE ALL YOUR EXPECTATIONS ON THE LORD?) GO TO HIM!
The Israelites murmured because their eyes were not on the Lord, but on Moses (24). They spoke as if Moses was responsible for their plight. We often blame men for the bitter waters God allows us to taste when He sends trials in life to humble us and test us. God’s intention is that we turn to Him. “The KEY ISSUE of life is NOT WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME…”
MOSES TURNED TO GOD IN PRAYER: Exodus 15:25
When Moses went to prayer, God answered and showed him the solution for the bitter waters; he was to cast a tree into the waters. God’s solution was the healing of the waters by means of a tree. I want you to understand that this tree is a type and a picture of the Cross, tree of Calvary where Christ died for you and me – I Peter 2:24 – 24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the TREE, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were HEALED.
You will understand this far better when we get to the applications of this message.
JEHOVAH REVEALS HIMSELF AS JEHOVAH-RAPHA – “THE LORD THAT HEALETH THEE”: Exodus 15:26-27
The Hebrew word, rophe, is used 60-70 times in the Old Testament and always means “to restore, to heal, to cure,” not only in the sense of physical healing, but in moral or spiritual healing as well. Mankind needs spiritual healing of sin more than physical healing!!
Out of Israel’s experience in the Wilderness, there is revealed a new and comforting name of God, Jehovah-Rapha; the God who heals. He pledged Himself to heal them and protect them from physical illness on the condition that His people would be obedient to Him. This was a covenant with His earthly people and not a promise to the Church!
Mankind will always be plagued with physical disease and illnesses, but has a far greater need than the healing of his physical body. Men focus on the needs of the body and neglect their soul – Luke 12:4-5 – 4 And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.5 But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into HELL; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF JEHOVAH-RAPHA:
Jehovah-Rapha is the Healer of all our diseases, according to His will and good pleasure – Psalm 103:3 – 3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; God has put healing properties in many kinds of plants and herbs. He has given man the capacity to learn secrets from nature to advance the art of healing of physical bodies.
Jesus Christ proved He is Jehovah-Rapha during His ministry here on earth by His healing of physical diseases. Jesus healed every person who came to Him and asked for physical healing – Matthew 8:14-17 – 14 And when Jesus was come into Peter’s house, he saw his wife’s mother laid, and sick of a fever. 15 And he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them. 16 When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick: 17 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.
Jehovah-Rapha loves to be our physical Healer, but remember, everyone healed of physical disease in the Old Testament and in the New Testament later died. The most important sickness God has to deal with is a spiritual sickness, not a physical one.
Mankind has a far greater problem than the healing of his body. Since Adam sinned and passed on the sin nature to all men, man has a disease of his soul, the fatal disease of sin, that threatens his soul with eternal death. Mark 8:36 – 36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? (in Hell)
The only remedy for the disease of sin is the death of the Lord Jesus Christ, as our Substitute and Savior on the TREE of Calvary – I Peter 2:24 – 24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. THIS REFERS TO SPIRITUAL HEALING, NOT PHYSICAL HEALING. Sin is at the root of all of mankind’s problems – physical, social, psychological, spiritual…
Jesus Christ died on the Cross for our spiritual healing from the disease of sin – Isaiah 53:5-6 – 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for (our guilt and) iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes (the stripes that wounded Him) we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. (AMP in parenthesis)
Jesus Christ can sweeten the bitterness of human experience caused by sin by His forgiveness of sin and the remedy for sin provided by His sacrifice on the Cross. Life for many is not sweetness, but the bitter experience of sin and its devastating consequences. This is true of the unsaved, but it is also true of a backsliding believer – Jeremiah 2:13 – 19 Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the Lord thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the Lord God of hosts.
Where are you living at this moment? Are you living in a state of unhappiness and bitterness because of your experiences in life? Is God allowing you to experience some bitter circumstances – in your life?… in your marriage?… in your home toward your children? Are you disappointed with your Christian life? Have you become bitter or resentful toward God for something He allowed in your life? Are you bitter about some illness or death?
IMPORTANT APPLICATIONS OF JEHOVAH-RAPHA: Exodus 15
Sooner or later in our earthly pilgrimage through the wilderness of this world, we will come to our Marah experiences, not unlike the trials of Naomi – Ruth 1:20-21 – 20 And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me MARAH: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me. 21 I went out full and the Lord hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the Lord hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me?
There will be times in our wilderness journey that we will go through trials that humble us, discourage us, potentially cause us bitterness and prove to us what is really in our hearts. How will we respond to these divinely-ordained circumstances of life? Will we become bitter? Will we cry out to God for His comfort and for His solution to our problems?
Perhaps we have backslidden and chosen a path outside the will of God for our lives… Perhaps we have disobeyed God’s Word and He is chastising us… Perhaps we are becoming bitter toward God or toward someone else!
The difference between whether these experiences of life make us bitter or make us better Christians will be whether we have chosen to seek His will and cast into that bitter experience the healing tree of the Cross, and ask God to show us what to do and take these burdens to the Lord, and surrender to His will.
Our happiness or bitterness does not depend on the circumstances of the providence of God in our lives; it will depend on our relationship to Christ and our willingness to filter the experience through His work on the Cross, including our willingness to surrender to Him the circumstance to be used for His purposes. He can change the bitter waters and make them sweet! He is Jehovah-Rapha, the Healer of our souls and the Healer of our problems, complaints and difficult circumstances.
Jehovah-Rapha could heal our nation, if America would only turn from her sins and turn back to God for forgiveness and healing. There is much bitterness in our nation today.
2 Chronicles 7:14 – 14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
Psalm 147:3 – 3 He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.
Psalm 41:3-4 – 3 The Lord will strengthen him upon the bed: thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness. 4 I said, Lord, be merciful unto me: heal my soul; for I have sinned against thee.
Luke 5:31-32 – 31 And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. 32 I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.