'The healer God'

Monday Reflection

23rd November 2020

'if you pay attention to his commands'

26 He said,

  "If you listen carefully
   to 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 15:26

One of the many
'Names of God'
(the names God calls himself)
given in the Old Testament
is Yahweh Rapha,
which means
'Jehovah the Healer'.

We often think of the God
of the Old Testament
as a rather strict
and wrathful character,
but God is God
and has never changed
(although his relationship
with humanity has).

He has always been merciful
and a God who heals those
who have faith in him.

The first use of Rapha
in the Old Testament
is a physical healing
in Genesis 20:17.

'Abraham prayed to God,
 and God healed (rapha)
 Abimelech and his wife
 and his maids,
 so that they bore children.'

But the word is used
for other types of healing
as well as the physical;
and if we think about it,
we will realise that
God is the source
of all healing.

Wise physicians will say,
  'I do not heal people,
   I treat them;
   only God can heal them.'

if we need to be healed emotionally,
spiritually or even physically,
we should turn to God
first and foremost.
This is also the Rapha God
David calls out to in Psalm 41,

'O Lord, be gracious to me.
 Heal (rapha) my soul,
 for I have sinned against you.

While Jesus was on earth,
a major part of his
ministry was healing,
the gospel of Matthew records:

When evening came,
they brought to Him many
who were demon-possessed;
and He cast out the spirits
with a word,
and healed all who were ill.


"Jesus went through all
 the towns and villages,
 teaching in their synagogues,
 proclaiming the good news
 of the kingdom
 and healing every
 disease and sickness."


And large crowds came to Him,
bringing with them
those who were lame,
crippled, blind, mute,
and many others,
and they laid them down
at His feet;
and He healed them.


Jesus wants us to live life
in all its fullness
but we cannot do this
if we are weighed down
by the cares of the world;
he said:

"Come to me,
 all you who are weary
 and burdened,
 and I will give you rest.
 Take my yoke upon you
 and learn from me,
 for I am gentle
 and humble in heart,
 and you will find rest
 for your souls.
 For my yoke is easy
 and my burden is light."


Our souls can become
as sick as our bodies,
and the effect
can be
even more devastating
in the long run.
It is God,
and God alone,
who can truly heal our soul.
I believe people know
when their soul
is suffering
because they feel sick.

We all have sins
hanging around that need
to be addressed.
Whatever is bringing you down
today, try working on it,
praying about it,
bringing it to God
and see how you feel.

You may find
something missing -
the pain,
perhaps pain you have become
so accustomed to
that you didn't realise
it hurt.

Try it and see.