Jehovah the Healer
“If you will diligently listen to the voice of the Lord your God, and do that which is right in his eyes, and give ear to his commandments and keep all his statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you that I put on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, your healer.”
~ Exodus 15:26
One of the many “Names of God” — that is, the names by which God calls Himself — given in the Old Testament is Yahweh Rapha, which means “Jehovah the Healer”. We often think of the Old Testament God as a rather strict and wrathful figure, 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 also used for other kinds of healing, as well as the physical; and in fact, if you reflect for a second, you will probably conclude 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”. Thus, if we need to be healed emotionally or spiritually, we should turn to God, first and foremost. This is also the Rapha God; David calls out in Psalm 41, “O Lord, be gracious to me. Heal (rapha) my soul, for I have sinned against You.”
Our souls can become as sick as our bodies, and the effect is even more devastating in the long run. And it is God, and God alone, who can truly heal our soul. I believe people know it when their soul is suffering because they feel sick. Our soul is connected to our body and our emotions while we are alive on earth. If we eat poison, our body gets sick. If we listen to poisonous people, our emotions get sick. And if we allow ourselves to ingest spiritual poison, without repentance and a prayer for forgiveness, our very soul will become sick.
Feel this for yourself — and please, in a positive way! Don't go out and take poison just to see if you get sick, but let God heal some part of your soul and see how it makes you feel, physically and emotionally, as well as spiritually.
We all have little sins hanging around that we could be doing a better job with. Just try working on it, praying on it, and avoiding it for one day, and see how you feel. You will find something missing — pain, perhaps pain that you have become so accustomed to that you didn't even realize it hurt. Try it and see.
Lord, help me to avoid this sin for a day, and cleanse me from it, that I might feel your mighty healing power. Amen.
~ Mason Barge
Editor, Daily Prayer