Week Eight, Day One
The Hebrew word rophe means "heal, "cure," "restore," or "make whole." Shortly after his people left Egypt for the Promised Land, God revealed himself as Yahweh Rophe, "the LORD who heals." The Hebrew Scriptures indicate that God is the source of all healing. As you pray to Yahweh Rophe, ask him to search your heart. Take time to let him show you what it contains. If he uncovers any sin, ask for his forgiveness and then pray for healing. The New Testament reveals Jesus as the Great Physician, the healer of body and soul, whose miracles point to the kingdom of God.
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 statues, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the LORD who heals you. (Exodus 15:26 NKJV)
GOD REVEALS HIS NAME
Then Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took the timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances. And Miriam answered them:
"Sing to the LORD,
For He has triumphed gloriously!
The Horse and its rider
He has thrown into the sea!"
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. 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 [meaning bitter]. And the people complained against Moses, saying, "What shall we drink?" 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, 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." (Exodus 15:20-27 NKJV)
Yahweh Rophe, I bow before you today to acknowledge that you are not only my Creator but the Lord who heals me. Please heal me today, body and soul, and do the same for my loved ones. I pray that you will heal whatever is bitter in our lives, transforming us in ways that glorify you. Amen.
Understanding the Name
The verb from which Rophe is derived occurs sixty-seven times in the Old Testament. Though it often refers to physical healing, it usually has a larger meaning as well, involving the entire person.
Rather than merely healing the body, Yahweh Rophe (yah-WEH ro-FEH) heals the mind and soul as well. This Hebrew verb is also used in other ways—for example, God "heals" water, land, and nations, and he "repairs" an altar. Significantly, God also heals sin and apostasy. The Hebrew Scriptures, in fact, link sickness and sin by presenting sin as the cause of illness just as it is the cause of death. In the New Testament, the corresponding Greek word is iaomai and it can refer to deliverance from death, demons, sickness, and sin.
Jesus, the great healer, clearly indicated that sickness is not necessarily caused by sin on the part of the person who is ill. Rather, it can result from living in a sinful, fallen world.
Studying the Name
- In Exodus 15, how did circumstances influence the people's attitude toward God? Describe times in your own life when your circumstances have caused your attitude toward God to fluctuate.
- How did Moses react to the circumstances? What does his example teach about how we should respond to difficult circumstances?
- God tested the Israelites with adverse circumstances, thus uncovering what was in their hearts. Describe ways in which you have experienced God testing you. How did you respond?
- What does this passage say about God's control over sickness and health?
For more from Ann Spangler, visit her blogspot on Christianity.com. Be sure to check out Ann's newest book, Praying the Attributes of God: A Daily Guide to Experiencing His Greatness.