Over the past several weeks we have been looking at the various ways that God has revealed Himself to us in Scripture indicated by His names. Each name that God uses for Himself reveals to us an aspect of His character that helps us to know Him better.
This evening we come to second of the many compound names of Jehovah: Jehovah-Rophe. As we saw last week, most of the compound names of God come from some historic Biblical event and teach that Jehovah is able to meet our needs by some aspect of His character.
In 1 Co. 10:11, Paul reminds us that everything that happened to Israel in the Old Testament is for our admonition. The name Jehovah-Rophe comes from a memorable event that took place with the nation of Israel as they were coming out of Egypt. Jehovah-Rophe means Jehovah heals. In this name God is revealing Himself to us as the One who is able to heal the bitter waters of life.
Read: Exodus 15:22-26
I. Man Needs A Healer
A. Physical healing
1. Such was the case before us.
2. The waters were bitter and needed to be healed.
3. God instructs Moses to cast a tree into the waters.
4. Immediately the waters were made sweet, and the people were able to drink.
5. Often the physical is a type of the spiritual, and I believe this is the case here.
6. There was a greater problem with the nation of Israel than just their physical thirst.
7. Note v26
B. Spiritual Healing
1. This is our greatest need.
2. Man is sinful and must have a healer for his sin.
a. Just as Israel was helpless and completely unable to change the waters.
b. So man is incapable of changing the circumstances of his life.
c. But God is Jehovah-Rophe…He is the One who will heal.
(Psalms 103:2-5) Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.
3. Here again we find a beautiful picture of Christ.
a. Christ is the tree that will remove the bitterness of life's waters.
b. He is the One who will bring spiritual healing to our souls.
c. The tree was nearby…it was available, but no healing until it was applied!
II. Jehovah-Rophe Healed In The OT
A. Abraham prayed and God healed Abimelech and his family. (Ge 20:17)
B. Moses prayed and Jehovah healed Miriam. (Nu 12:1-13)
C. David recognized God's healing power. (Ps 103:2-3)
D. While He certainly healed physically, Jehovah- Rophe was primarily concerned with spiritual healing.
E. Jehovah is willing and able to heal.
1. The only obstacle in His way is man himself.
2. He will not come to God for healing.
(2 Chronicles 36:16) But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy.
3. That continues to be the problem today, not that God cannot heal…but that we will not come to Him.
(John 5:40) And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.
4. The root of sorrow, suffering, and sickness in this world is sin! But Healing is nearby!
III. Jesus Was The Jehovah-Rophe Of The NT
A. Jesus' ministry began with quoting Isaiah 61:1.
(Isaiah 61:1) The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
B. Jesus' miracles of healing serve as proof that He was the Messiah, the Jehovah Testament.
(Matthew 4:23) And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.
(John 5:36) But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.
C. Physical healing was only incidental to the main work of Christ which was spiritual healing.
(Luke 19:10) For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
(1 Peter 2:24) Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
IV. Does Jehovah-Rophe Heal Today?
1. Was there healing in the atonement?
(Isaiah 53:4-5) Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
(Matthew 8:16-17) When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.
2. But that does not mean that it is always God's will to heal or that God always wants His children healthy all the time.
3. Although a person is saved, they are still in the flesh…and the flesh is weak.
4. One day, this body will be redeemed…we will be changed…this corruption shall put on incorruption.
5. But until that time…we will deal with physical limitations of this body.
B. Clearly, it is not always God's will to heal.
1. One great example is seen in the life and experience of the apostle Paul.
2. Paul had a physical problem…he prayed and asked God to remove it.
3. God's answer to him, NO.
(2 Corinthians 12:9) And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
4. Paul instructed Timothy to ease his stomach and infirmities with a little wine.
(1 Timothy 5:23) Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities.
NOTE: This verse often used to promote drinking of alcohol. That is a gross misinterpretation of what Paul was talking about. He was speaking of how to treat Timothy's infirmities!
5. At times, sickness and affliction is a result of un-confessed sin, and James addresses this situation.
(James 5:13-15) Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. 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 him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
Let me recap my thoughts tonight. Mankind is sick, both physically and spiritually. Jehovah-Rophe is the answer. It is the Lord that heals. Not some traveling side-show, and not even our faith! It is the Jehovah-Rophe that is the One who heals.
Specifically, in the account where God reveals Himself to us as the One who heals we see Him as the One who will remove the bitterness of this life. This is for the believer and the non-believer alike.
Do you know His healing power tonight? If not, I invite you to come this evening. Let the Healer touch your life and transform bitterness into sweetness.