Jehovah Rapha, the Lord who heals
I remember the pressure Marcy and I felt when it came to naming our first child. How we landed on Moses is a story for another time, but there is meaning behind a name. A name says something about the person it belongs to. As the Scriptures seek to teach us about God, there are many different names for God given to us. These names are meant to help us know God better. In the coming weeks, we are going to look at six of the many different names for God we find in the Bible. Our hope is that through studying the names of God we would grow in our knowledge of the character of God. And a greater understanding of the character of God leads us to grow in our trust and our worship of God.
The first name we are going to look at is Jehovah Rapha, (yeh-ho-vaw raw-faw). Jehovah comes from the Hebrew word “Havah” meaning “to be” or “to exist.” I like to think of it as a way of saying, “our God is real!” But it is in the second word in this name that gives more description to this real God. Rapha means “to restore,” “to heal,” or “to make healthful.” When those two words are combined, Jehovah Rapha, it can be translated, “The Lord who heals.”
The Lord is the Great Physician who brings healing. We see this in Jesus who came to heal the sick, the lame, and even raise the dead. The character of God is one of healing. This is great news, especially during a global pandemic. We believe that God still heals people today. But our physical health is not the point. The point is the glory of God—sometimes God is given glory through healing, sometimes through suffering, and sometimes God is given glory through dying. Believers are not promised to never get sick or to always be healed. Even the people Christ raised from the dead eventually died again. The point is, our God is stronger than any sickness or disease. COVID-19 is no match for God. He reigns over germs, sickness, and disease. That doesn’t mean Christians are immune to it, but that God is sovereign over it. And the most important thing is not our health, but God’s glory. How awesome is our God who can both bring plagues and healing? Who is this that even germs obey his commands?
We must be captivated by our God! Jehovah Rapha, The Lord who heals. The healing power Jesus displayed over sickness pointed to a greater power, a greater healing, a greater need beyond physical health. Our real sickness is not a result of germs or viruses but a result of sin. And everyone is infected. Sin has corrupted our hearts, twisted our desires, and has led to spiritual death and separation from God. BUT our God is the Lord who heals. Through Jesus Christ we are healed spiritually, born again, made new, restored back to our Father. All praise to Jehovah Rapha!
I hope the character of our God, the Lord who heals, brings you comfort today. Know that, through Jesus, sickness and death do not win. And may the power of our God, who sickness must obey, increase your worship of our great God. And through this global pandemic may your focus not only be on people’s healing, but on God’s glory.
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