As we continue our journey studying the names of God, we will visit Exodus 15:22-26 to discover the suffix of God’s name “Rapha.” Jehovah Rapha means “the LORD who Heals.”
The Bible records the departure of the children of Israel from slavery in Egypt and from the wicked Egyptian Pharaoh by the Mighty Hand of God. Their journey took them straight to the Red Sea, but that didn’t stop Almighty God! He told Moses to “hold out the rod in your hand toward the sea.” When Moses did, the LORD sent a strong east wind that parted the Red Sea. Moses then lead the children of Israel through the sea on dry ground away from their enemy the Egyptians. They then traveled three days into the wilderness and came to the waters of Marah. Marah means bitter: therefore, the waters of Marah were impure and they couldn’t drink the water without becoming ill. When the people murmured against Moses for lack of water, Moses in turn cried out to the LORD for a solution.
The LORD showed Moses a “tree” and told him to cast the “tree” into the waters. When the “tree” touched the waters, the waters became sweet. The LORD then made a Statute and an Ordinance, and He proved them at the waters of Marah. Verse 26 reads “…If you will diligently hearken to the Voice of the LORD your God, and will do that which is right in His Sight, and will give ear to His Commandments, and keep all His Statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon you, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD Who heals you.” Through these scriptures we learn a “spiritual” application from something occurring in the natural. Now let’s review these scriptures for the “spiritual” message Holy Spirit wants the reader to discover:
Traveling through the wilderness: When traveling through any wilderness one should expect challenges or struggles. The children of Israel had just been freed from several hundred years of hard bondage in Egypt. Bondage that left many of them wounded in their soul with much bitterness. Similarly, when Believers of today come into the Kingdom of God, we bring with us many years of bondage from the world, leaving us bitter in our souls. Believers young and old will have wilderness experiences in their lives, such as financial problems, sickness, emotional problems, verbal or physical abuse, bad habits, etc., non are exempt.
The waters were bitter: Afterthree long days of traveling in the wilderness, the children of Israel arrive at the waters of Marah only to find it filled with impurities making the waters bitter. The children of Israel, now free from slavery, had many years of impurities in their minds and hearts that needed healing. We too have many years of impurities in our minds and hearts that healing. The waters were undrinkable and if used they would become defiled with sickness! When we stay bound in our impurities we defile others; Hebrews 12:15 states “looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled!” We are to pursue peace and holiness and not allow bitterness to slip into our hearts causing resentment, discontentment or grudges against others.
The Waters were used as a lesson: The LORD allowed the waters to be bitter, forVerse 25 says the LORD proved them (tested them). The children of Israel, just three days prior to arriving at the waters of Marah witness the LORD parting the Red Sea and crossing over the sea on dry ground. They then sang a song of victory! We now find them murmuring to Moses. The LORD, at the waters of Marah, made for them a Statute and an Ordinance to listen to His Voice and to obey His commandments. How often do we forgot the goodness God has done in our lives, and how often do we forget His commandments?
The LORD is Our Healer: The “tree” Moses cast into the waters of Marah was a “type of Christ” representing what Jesus Christ would do at the Cross bringing healing to whosoever comes to Him. The spiritual lesson we learn here is the result of obedience is healing and healing comes by the way of the LORD!
The LORD revealed to the children of Israel He can heal them of all the years of impurities in their hearts and minds. He can heal their wounded bodies from the burden of slavery, heal their emotional scars, heal relationships, heal them from the impurity of idol worship, and heal any circumstances in their lives just as He healed the waters of Marah from bitterness to sweet. The LORD can turn our pain into “praise and a sweet oasis!”
Friends, the spiritual lesson here is that the healing of the bitter waters was the LORD’s way of making a visible statement to the children of Israel and to the Church – “I Am the LORD that Heals,” i.e., Jehovah Rapha.
When faced with wilderness experiences whether physical, emotional or mental, the key for “victory” is obedience to the Word of God. We are to look to the LORD for healing not the world – for the LORD God only can turn our pain into “praise and a sweet oasis!”
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