Treasures New and Old
Elkmont Baptist Church
Beloved: Grace and Peace
Calling on the Name of the Lord: Jehovah-Rapha
God's name is very important. His name is holy, pure, and represents His character and love towards us. Yet I often hear prayers end in "amen" without mentioning even the phrase "in His name I pray", or "in name of Jesus I pray", or something similar. The Scripture is full of examples of men calling on the name of God in their prayers. Here are a few examples:
May God bless you all!
Abraham called on the
of the Lord (Genesis 12:8; 13:4).
The Lord proclaimed His own
before Moses (Exodus 33:19; 34:5).
Isreal was warned against profaning the
of the Lord
of the Lord was not to be taken in vain (Exodus 20:7;
The priests of Isreal were to minister in the
of the Lord
of God is called "wonderful" in Isaiah 9:6.
To call on the
of the Lord was to worship Him as God
(Leviticus 18:21; 22:2, 32).
(Deuteronomy 18:5; 21:5).
(Genesis 21:33; 26:25).
Until He returns:
So - what is His Name?
In this series of articles, I want to explore the various names of the Lord. When we pray and call upon His name, it is good to know on whom we are calling. Does that mean that there are many gods? NO! It does mean that He has many names, and that each has been given to us so that we can pray more specifically and use one of the many characteristics that is embodied in our God. Let's look back at the Old Testament this month:
Jehovah-Rapha: The Lord Who Heals
Let's look at its first use:
So Moses brought Isreal from the Red sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water. And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they
bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah. And the people murmured against Moses, saying What shall we drink? And he cried unto the LORD; and the LORD showed him a tree,
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
the LORD that healeth thee. And they came to
twelve wells of water, and threescore and ten palm trees: and they
- Exodus 15:22-27
) is a derived name used for God by Israel while
they were in the wilderness. While journeying, they encountered bitter water at a place called
which they could not drink. Typical of Israel at the time, they complained
that there was no water to drink - after only three days without water - can you imagine? However, God told Moses to throw a tree into the waters, and as the tree entered the water, it healed the water and turned it sweet.
The English spelling of the transliterated Hebrew words are: Jehovah (or
, which means "Jehovah Your Healer" (Gilbrant,
The Complete Biblical
Library Interlinear Bible
Look at the last part of verse 26: He said, "I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I
the LORD that healeth thee." A
literal transliteration directly from Hebrew would be: "All the diseases which I put on the Egyptians I will not put on you because I Jehovah your healer" (Gilbrant). Now look at the conditions surrounding this healing promise: "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." Remember the fiery serpent put on a pole after so many in the camp were bitten by the snakes? All they had to do was exercise the faith to crawl out of their tent and look upon the serpent, and they were healed. They sinned and God sent fiery serpents into the camp to punish their sin. But He also gave them relief after their leaders repented in the form of the serpent upon the high pole - if they would only look.
P.S. I find it interesting that God had first led them to the bitter waters of
that revealed their bitterness toward God for having gone three days in the wilderness without water.
References to healing in the Old Testament occur 65 times. Of those, roughly half relate to God healing while most of the others refer to prayers to heal. Exodus 15:26 is the only place where God says, "I am the Lord that healeth thee." However, many verses comprising of God promising to heal inspired the Israelites to conceive the name
. Here are just a few verses provided, for example, where God's name
is not used (but clearly implied), and the word
(or one of its forms) is used:
Genesis 20:17: ". . . and God healed Abimelech . . ."
Deuteronomy 32:39: ". . . I wound and I heal . . ."
2 Kings 20:5: ". . . I will heal thee . . ."
Psalm 103:3: ". . . who healeth all thy diseases,"
Psalm 107:20: "He sent his word and healed them . . ."
Isaiah 57:19: ". . . and I will heal him."
Jeremiah 33:6: ". . . and I will cure them . . ." (same Hebrew word)
Hosea 11:3: ". . . they knew not that I healed them."
God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. So we are not suprised that Jesus did so many healings while on the earth. Healing is a major part of His character; whether it's our bodies, our souls (emotional) or our spirits (dare I say our hearts?).
Further, He has bestowed that same privilege to the body of Christ, Jesus' bride. Look at the miracles of healings which the Apostles did in Acts.
Now let's finish with an actual procedure that he gave to the church for the healing of others:
Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalm. Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
Note that the procedure reminds us of unconfessed sin and sometimes consequences - sickness. Confess our sins, God will heal both the body, and the soul, and the spirit as He forgives our sins. I will also note that the one who is sick needs to do the calling for the elders, not the elders come and announce they are praying for a person (unless that person cannot call for the elders, and in such cases, I believe God would want a loved one or a family member to do so).
Sum it up:
God is a healer - it is a major part of His character
God both afflicts and heals; afflicts when sin warrants it, and it is unconfessed; heals when we confess and receive forgiveness (or anytime His purposes warrant it)
God has healed in the Old Testament, in the Gospels, and has passed the torch to the church.
Our God is a healer. He is
, the God who heals us.
encamped there by the waters.