Week Eight, Day Four
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)
PRAYING THE NAME
As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him.
"Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"
"Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus,"but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.While I am in the world, I am the light of the world."
Having said this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man's eyes."Go," he told him,"wash in the Pool of Siloam." . . . So the man went and washed, and came home seeing. ( John 9:1-7)
Reflect On: John 9
Praise God: Because his Son Jesus is the light of the world.
Offer Thanks: For the way God has brought you out of darkness and into the light of his presence.
Confess: Any tendency to rely merely on your own judgment rather than asking God to help you see clearly through the power of his Spirit.
Ask God: To uncover areas of spiritual blindness in your life and in the life of the church.
One of Jesus' favorite miracles, it seems, was healing blind people, often in the presence of the spiritually blind. In the case of the man born blind, it wasn't simply a matter of clearing up a problem of blurred vision. The man had never once seen the pale summer sky, the shape of his own footprint, or the features of a single human face. Imagine this same man washing in the Pool of Siloam as Jesus had told him to do, splashing the water on his face and rubbing the mud away, unable to suppress the wild hope that this strange remedy might somehow work.
The light would have come on strong at first, like a sudden assault. Then gradually his eyes would have imposed order on a chaotic mix of sensations, separating light from dark, earth from sky—distinguishing shapes, movement, landscapes, people. Perceiving color and texture for the first time, he might have thought the world newly created, just for him.
When this walking miracle of a man returned home, a wonderment to his neighbors, he allowed them to lead him straight to the Pharisees who praised God and threw a party to celebrate his healing! Right? No, incredibly, they challenged him and scolded him and then threw him out of the synagogue! They had liked him better as a blind man and beggar. He had been so little trouble then. Now that he was able to see, he spoke of Jesus as a godly man, a wonder worker, a man whose claims had to be taken seriously. But the Pharisees, the religious experts of their day, would not. Jesus had violated their rules and offended their sensibilities by mixing saliva with mud and then rubbing it on the man's eyes, thus breaking the Sabbath rest. Refusing the evidence of their own eyes, the Pharisees chose to become blind to the compassionate work of God.
When Jesus heard what had happened to the man, he found him and confronted him with this question: "Do you believe in the Son of Man?"
The man replied, saying, "Lord, I believe," and then worshiped him. Having received physical sight, he now had spiritual vision as well.
The healing Jesus offers us today is not merely physical and therefore temporary. His miracles are far more penetrating, like his word, "dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12). Today, as you pray for healing, for yourself or someone you love, listen to the question Jesus is asking: "Do you believe?"
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.