“The Lord Who Heals:” what a glorious name! God gave it to Himself after leading the Jews out of Egypt (Exodus 15:26). The word translated “heal,” ‘rophe’ in the Hebrew, has the idea of “restore, make whole, repair.” It is used 65 times in the Old Testament, always with the idea of restoring something to its rightful state. It is used of restoring people (Psalm 6:2), bad water (2 Kings 2:22), salt water to fresh (Ezekiel 47:8), broken pottery (Jeremiah 51:8-9), the nation Israel (Hosea 6:1) or other nations (Jeremiah 51:8-9). While it often refers to physical healing, it usually has a larger meaning and includes healing of mind, soul and spirit as well.
God established a provision in His covenant with Israel in the Old Testament that He would use physical illness as a warning of spiritual illness. When the people were spiritually right with God He would heal their diseases, but if they turned from Him then He would allow the sicknesses to come to show them their need of Him (Deuteronomy 7:12-15; Jeremiah 30:15)). When David sinned by taking a census the consequence was a plague which killed many (1 Chronicles 21:10-14). God promised Israel abundant physical blessings if they would obey Him but afflictions if they disobeyed. A parent disciplines an unruly child but rewards an obedience one.
These miracles in the Old Testament weren’t evenly spread through the whole time but came in the times of Moses and Joshua, Elijah and Elisha, Jesus and the apostles, and the coming Tribulation. In each of these time periods there was a new challenge to God’s people, so God sent a special messenger to speak to the people. In order for the people to know the messenger came from God, He validated their words by works of power. That is clearly seen in the ministry of Jesus (Matthew 9:6).
During the church age, when we live by grace and now law, when Israel has temporarily been set aside and the church, the Bride of Christ, is now God’s means to reveal Himself to the church, God’s covenant to heal His people when they obey Him is no longer in operation. We see people like Epaphroditus (Philippians 2:225-27) and even Paul (thorn in the flesh, 2 Corinthians 12:7) not healed. Trophimus is left sick at Miletus (2 Timothy 4:20) and Timothy has stomach problems (1 Timothy 5:23). Miracles and healing were no longer necessary as a sign of God’s power for the gospel had been active for many years and people could look at the changed lives of the men of God to see God’s power at work.
God is still a God who heals. He doesn’t give anyone the ability to heal but does it directly. There is no one who can heal everyone from everything, but God Himself is our great healer. He heals not just bodies, which will soon get sick again and die, better yet He heals souls which live forever with Him. Has He healed yours?
Thank God for all He has healed/restored you from in life: physically, spiritually, emotionally, in all ways. Thank Him for all the illness and sickness you have not gotten. Thank Him for providing chemicals with healing powers and allowing men to discover those resources to bring health-giving medicines to us today. Thank Him especially for healing your soul.
BIBLE STUDY ASSIGNMENT
Jehovah Rophe, the God who heals, is a common Old Testament theme. In the blank before each verse write who the verse refers to, who is being healed. You may have to look some of them up in the Bible and look at the verses before this one to see who it is talking about.
_____________________ Exodus 15:26 He said, “If you listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you.”
_____________________ Exodus 23:25 Worship the Lord your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you,
_____________________ 2 Kings 20:5 “Go back and tell Hezekiah, the leader of my people, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to the temple of the Lord.
_____________________ Job 5:18 For he wounds, but he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal.
_____________________ Psalms 41:3-4 The Lord will sustain him on his sickbed and restore him from his bed of illness. I said, “O Lord, have mercy on me; heal me, for I have sinned against you.”
_____________________ Psalms 103:3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,
_____________________ Psalms 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
_____________________ Isaiah 57:18 I have seen his ways, but I will heal him; I will guide him and restore comfort to him,
_____________________ Jeremiah 8:22 Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is there no healing for the wound of my people?
_____________________ Jeremiah 33:6 “‘Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security.
_____________________ Hosea 6:1 “Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds.
_____________________ James 5:11-16 Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. 14 Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
(If I can answer questions or offer personal counsel, or if you would like a free copy of my Spiritual Warfare Handbook, email me at Jerry@ChristianTrainingOrganization.org or download it from http://sw.christiantrainingonline.org/. My next book, Spiritual Warfare in the Bible, which is a more advanced treatment of spiritual warfare, is also available there for free.)