Jehovah Rapha | I am the Lord who heals you
'He said, “If you will listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in his sight, obeying his commands and keeping all his decrees, then I will not make you suffer any of the diseases I sent on the Egyptians; for I am the Lord who heals you.” Exodus 15:26
Typically when God revealed a new name to the Children of Israel, He was revealing something new about himself that they hadn’t previously known and that He thought they should. Each individual name of God, tells us something about Him and what He’s like. The first mention of these names is important.
If you read through Exodus 15, you will pick up on where exactly God’s chosen people are in their Great Escape from Egypt. They have literally just crossed the red sea, fleeing from the chase of the Egyptian army hot on their heels. They have just been witnesses to God’s rescue, but in that rescue He really did display His Power, Might and love for them by sending plagues, diseases, and death. They had just seen that entire army drown in the sea they had just walked through. That is definitely enough for anyone to know not to mess with God. If they had the chance to name God in that moment, I wonder what they would have called Him?
I think there is something profound in God naming himself. In biblical times, names carried weight. It wasn’t a baby name search on google, double checking that the meaning isn't too horrific - you know what I’m talking about. Names spoke life, promise, destiny and told your story so to speak. We know there is something significant with names in the bible, as God steps in and changes some people’s names - it has to mean something more. He adds His view and changes stories, I love that.
So God naming Himself. It’s like He’s telling His people who He really is before they get to decide who He is based on what’s just happened. This is super important for us as we journey with Him. We don’t get to decide what He’s like based on our experience. He is God - He has revealed who He is and His characteristics are laid out for us to know, learn and experience.
Our biggest faith moments will always involve us believing that God is who He is says He is, when we don’t see it play out. Faith has eyes, and believes that the unseen is more real than the seen.
So God is screaming to His children in this Exodus snippet - you have just seen sickness, disease and death. But for you, my people, my chosen ones, the attention of my affection - I am the God who heals you, restores and makes you whole, both physically and emotionally.
My biggest challenge to date has been lifting this name of God up high over an unexpected disease called cystic fibrosis that landed into our world with our first born daughter. I know the agony, frustration and disappointment of knowing one thing but seeing something different. Our 11 year journey has been incredible. We have known God and been lead by Him in the most incredible way, and our confidence is placed in His unchanging character and nature. When sickness screams loud and is up in my face, I get to chose where I fix my eyes. If all I see is cystic fibrosis, I’m not going to lie, it’s depressing. When I turn my gaze to heaven, my whole view changes - I see something different. I see God, I hear Him speak something different over sickness and I am so thankful for the work of the cross, and Jesus who obediently took our place and provided through His grace a way for us to experience this wholeness God has to offer.
His name is genuinely over every other name. His name meets a need and is enough.
His name is I am…. not I was, not I’m going to be, but I AM - in the very present second of our now needs, there He is.
As my firstborn Lily, whose name reminds me not to worry (ironic I know) leaves the house for school, close behind her is Josie Rafya: God will add His healing.
I had this thought this morning as I sat down to put words on a page. Every time I call them, I’m speaking out a prayer, a need, a promise - “Don’t worry, God will add His healing”.
I want to encourage you today as you ponder these thoughts. This name of God, Jehovah Rapha carries with it a promise and a great assurance, that He sees you, He knows you and He’s provided a way through Jesus for you to experience wholeness TODAY!! Keep calling out to Him - by name.
HE IS THE GOD WHO HEALS YOU