Saturday, July 21, 2007

Jehovah-rapha

I hope all of you are enjoying this little study half as much as I am. I am learning so much from looking into these names of God. This week's name for me turned out to be especially instructive and interesting. I didn't want to get caught at the last minute like I did this last weekend, so I started reading and studying and meditating on the verse last night (Monday May 28th). I may be done maybe today or tomorrow. We will see. . . .

Jehovah-rapha

Exodus 15:26

And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for am the LORD that healeth thee. (KJV)

and He saith, `If thou dost really hearken to the voice of Jehovah thy God, and dost that which is right in His eyes, and hast hearkened to His commands, and kept all His statutes: none of the sickness which I laid on the Egyptians do I lay on thee, for I, Jehovah, am healing thee. (YLT)


He said, "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." (NIV)


I think everyone recognizes God as a healer. We have so many wonderful testimonies all around us. Gilbert Quick's neck cancer gone!!! Remember a few years ago, the little Boy that Sister Ruby had us pray for? The one the doctors said would never walk due to his malformed hips. The one who was running around the house a week or so after we prayed for him. We can go on and on, virtually every family has a member whose fever broke right after prayer, a tumor that could no longer be found, etc. etc. etc.

This verse immediately follows another passage where God healed water from it's poison:

Exodus 15:22-25
And Moses causeth Israel to journey from the Red Sea, and they go out unto the wilderness of Shur, and they go three days in the wilderness, and have not found water, 23 and they come in to Marah, and have not been able to drink the waters of Marah, for they are bitter; therefore hath one called its name Marah. 24 And the people murmur against Moses, saying, `What do we drink?' 25 and he crieth unto Jehovah, and Jehovah sheweth him a tree, and he casteth unto the waters, and the waters become sweet. There He hath made for them a statute, and an ordinance, and there He hath tried them,

But the healing of verse 26 is a different kind of healing. Here God is not saying that he will heal a cancer when you get it or restore vision after you are blind, rather to paraphrase, He says, "If you follow my laws, the illnesses of Egypt will not afflict you." What are the illnesses of Egypt? Egypt can be seen as a symbol of the world in the Bible. What are the diseases of the world?

When I started thinking about it, it really is a very wide ranging list. Just some examples: If you drink alcohol or do drugs: HIV, cirrhosis of the liver, hepatitis, & all kinds of cancer. Engage in sexual immorality: Gonorrhea, syphilis, HIV, venereal warts, & cervical cancer. Carry anger and unforgiveness: High blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, hardening of the arteries, even arthritis is associated with unreleased anger and on and on. . . we surely could keep going, gluttony, violence in our lives all result in diseases of Egypt. I'm sure that I'm just touching on all the various diseases of the world that could be listed.

Notice though what the verse says. It does not say that God will act after the fact. He isn't going to give us a magical piece of wood to throw into the bitter waters of our ill health to make them sweet again. He, through His Commandments, through his Laws, is giving us a map to the cool sweet waters of lasting good health. If we look to Him ahead of time we can avoid Marah and not need the miracle after the fact. . . Which is the greater blessing? To be healed after you've gotten sick? or to be shown the way not to get ill in the first place?

He wants to be our healer. . . . He wants to be our Jehovah-rapha. . . . But, it is our choice. . . . He has given us the most wondrous and powerful medicine of His word to ensure our emotional, our spiritual and yes even our physical health. . . .

Thank you God. I call on you to be my Jehovah-rapha. I will eat of your wondrous Word for the health of my mind, my body and my soul . . .

Dave Stokely

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