Jehovah-Rapha (the God who heals)
by: Benjie Bensing
God’s revelation is not limited to any particular condition. There are no pre-existing requirements before He makes Himself known. Rather, He gives the revelation to whomever He chooses. In Exodus 15:22-26, according to the New Living Translation, we find that God revealed to the sons of Israel His divine attribute and power: He is the God who heals them.
“Then Moses led the people of Israel away from the Red Sea, and they moved out into the desert of Shur. They traveled in this desert for three days without finding any water. When they came to the oasis of Marah, the water was too bitter to drink. So they called the place Marah (which means “bitter”). Then the people complained and turned against Moses. “What are we going to drink?” they demanded. So Moses cried out to the LORD for help, and the LORD showed him a piece of wood. Moses threw it into the water, and this made the water good to drink. It was there at Marah that the LORD set before them the following decree as a standard to test their faithfulness to him. 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 15:22-26 NLT
Earlier, the sons of Israel has just crossed the Red Sea over a dry land – a feat that can only be considered a miracle. God displayed His power and might to the Egyptians in such a magnificent fashion; and such a redemptive action by God through Moses reflects the underlying but repetitive leitmotif in the history of God’s people. Crossing the Red Sea is a miraculous event that can be attributed as hypernaturalism. Hypernaturalism, according to Mr. Daniel Dyke and Dr. Hugh Henry in their paper, “Hypernaturalism: Integrating the Bible and Science”, is defined as the extraordinary use of natural law by the God of the Bible. When God created the universe out of nothing, He also created the laws of nature. Since God created the laws of nature, he is able to control and use them. When God performs a miracle hypernaturally, He employs natural law and natural phenomena with extraordinary timing, location, and/or magnitude to effect His will.
After that roller coaster ride in crossing the Red Sea, amidst insurmountable odds, the sons of Israel were confronted with an ugly truth: they are in the middle of nowhere, without any drinking water left. They are thirsty and they are tired; they searched and searched for water for three days but could not find any. Finally, they came to an oasis and their hearts revived! Just how precious water is in the middle of the desert – well, only the sons of Israel can tell. But as realization started to clear their senses, they realized that the water is bitter – in fact, too bitter to drink. So they call that place Marah (Marah means bitter).
Have we experienced the “bitter waters” of Marah in our lives? If so, how did we endure it? How do you respond to tough situations that seems cruel for you? How do you deal with difficult or stressful situations in your life?
Sometimes, the solution to the difficulties we face is not on what we thought (our ways); most of the time the solution comes from God Himself in the form of a revelation (His ways).
The solution to the bitter waters of Marah was a piece of wood (verse 25). It was there, but Moses and the sons of Israel did not know about it; that wood made all the difference between bitter and sweet, between abundance and scarcity, between privation and provision.
Many times in my life it happened that the answers to the very pressing questions are right before my eyes; I was just too blind to see it because my idea of a solution is different from God’s divine provision.
When you consider all you have been through, the punches of life that you have endured, what piece of wood has made all the difference? When your spiritual life was drifting aimlessly and your hope for redemption is ebbing away, what piece of wood did you hold on to?
Did the cross of Christ – that wood where His blood flowed so freely, made a difference in your life from being condemned to being justified? Did it made the difference from being scorned to being glorified?
God reveals His name to His people. For the most part, He initiates the action. He says so Himself in the last part of verse 26, “for I am the LORD who heals you”. In other words, He is Jehovah-Rapha, the LORD who makes bitter things sweet, the God who heals.
God wants to heal you: that bitterness, that pain, that difficulty. He is willing to welcome you if you come to Him, and give you rest when you are tired. He sees what you need in every areas of your life: your family, your health, your job, your finances, and He sees to it that those needs are going to be met. Just believe – and get ready to be amazed.
 Mr. Daniel Dyke and Dr. Hugh Henry, Hypernaturalism: Integrating the Bible and Science – ReasonToBelieve.org