Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Getting to Know God: Jehovah Rapha
Typically, when people think of healing, they immediately think of physical healing, but healing goes so far beyond the physical. In fact, when God introduced Himself as the God of healing, the situation was not one of a physical nature, at least, not entirely.
Moses had just led the children of Israel away from the land of Egypt. They had crossed the Red Sea and were on their way to the Promised Land. Unfortunately, they were tired and weary, which means they were grouchy. Can't you hear the complaints? We're tired. We're hungry. Our feet hurt. And the biggest complaint of all. . .We're thirsty! (Sounds like a long car trip with young children, doesn't it?) When they finally found some water, you can imagine their horror at discovering that it was bitter. And so, the complaints increased.
Thirst is a physical need, no doubt about it. But that was not the only ailment the Israelites were suffering from. They were also dealing with bitter hearts and sour spirits. They were resentful. They were discontent. They were fussy. They needed more than just physical healing. They needed a healing that touched their very cores, and what better way to illustrate such healing than God's healing (restoring) of the bitter waters?
And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink? And he cried unto the Lord; and the Lord shewed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them, 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 I am the Lord that healeth thee. - Exodus 15:24-26
Jehovah Rapha tells us, "If you have a problem, I am the answer!" If we need physical healing, God can heal us. Notice, I said that He can, not that He will. Whether or not He answers our requests for physical healing is up to Him and His perfect will. I do not believe in "health and wealth" Christianity that proclaims if we are saved and have enough faith, we will always be healthy and wealthy. This teaching is not supported in the Bible. Paul himself asked God to remove a thorn in his life, and while we don't know exactly what that thorn was, it's very likely that it was a physical handicap of some sort. God did not grant Paul the healing that he requested but instead reminded the apostle that His strength was sufficient. God can heal, but it's up to Him whether or not He will heal in any given situation.
But as we've seen, not only can God heal us physically, but He can also heal us spiritually. Jesus is the remedy for the disease of sinsickness. By accepting Him, we can receive the ultimate healing of our souls, and unlike physical healing, this healing is guaranteed. The Bible makes it clear that if we'll ask for spiritual healing, God will grant our request. He wants us to come to Him. He wants us to be saved.
Jehovah Rapha also possesses the ability to heal our hearts, our minds and our emotions. He can heal the situations in our lives that are broken. The term "heal" literally means "to restore; to set back in proper condition". No matter what's out of joint in our lives, God can set things right. Just remember, He'll set things right according to His plan, not necessarily ours. The "proper condition" is what's best for us, not what we think is best for us. Sometimes it's easy to blur the two.
How are you feeling today? Are you dealing with a physical condition that has you discouraged and defeated? Do you feel the need for a spiritual healing? Are you harboring disease-like attitudes such as bitterness or resentment? Does life have you feeling out of sorts? Whatever you're facing, whatever you need, go to the Great Physician, Jehovah Rapha. He is the ultimate handyman. I guarantee you He can fix anything that's broken. Just ask Him!