The meaning of the name Jehovah Rapha or Yahweh Rophe is a title for God which comes from two ancient Hebrew words. Yahweh was the personal, covenant name of God, the name by which He wanted to be known by His people. It is the name that expresses His character as dependable, faithful, and trustworthy and the name that is linked to His redeeming acts in Israel’s history. Whereas, Rapha or Rophe means heal, cure, restore, or to make whole. When you put both names together as Jehovah Rapha, or Yahweh Rophe, you have the personal name of the faithful, redeeming God who heals and restores.
Jehovah Rapha or Yahweh Rophe
“And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” Moreover God said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: “The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations.”Exodus 3:14-15
Yahweh was the sacred personal name for God, only spoken aloud by the priests worshiping in Jerusalem’s temple. After the destruction of the temple in AD70 the name was not pronounced at all. The people feared misusing the Lord’s name. Adonay was substituted for Yahweh in the scriptural text and the correct pronunciation was lost. English translations of the Bible usually translate Adonay as ‘Lord’ and Yahweh as ‘LORD.’
Where in the Bible is Yahweh Rophe first used?
God revealed himself as Yahweh-Rophe after the exodus out of Egypt and at the beginning of the people’s journey through the wilderness. Three days after leaving Egypt and wandering in the desert, the Israelites were desperate for water. They arrived at Marah, a place where there was a well, a supply of water but, to their great disappointment, the water was bitter.
What to do when you arrive at Marah explores how failed expectations are difficult to deal with and can often leave us struggling with our emotions. It was there at Marah that God revealed Himself as Jehovah Rapha as He ‘healed’ or ‘cured’ the water to provide for His people.
“For I am the LORD who heals you.”Exodus 15:26
What does Jehovah Rapha mean to us today?
God’s healing power in Scripture is manifested in many ways. He heals water, land, nations, and brings healing to the individual. God is able to heal physical illness and emotional and spiritual suffering.
“He heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds.”Psalm 147:3
When the Israelites arrived at Marah, God wanted them to trust in His faithfulness. He wanted them to know that His presence was with them on their journey. He was and is the God that is able to provide all that we need, we can place our trust in Him.
We can arrive slowly or suddenly at our own ‘Marah’, that place of failed expectations – when things have not turned out the way we thought they would. It could be the loss of a job, a sudden bereavement, rebellious children, or loss of health as illness strikes. We come to a place where we never expected to be and our security, our confidence, and maybe even our faith is shaken!
“Some say we show our real selves when under pressure. When God squeezes us from the outside, what is on the inside surfaces.”Broken Vessels: Ken Barnes
Does God heal today?
All healing is from God. The natural way the body recovers and repairs itself, and the development of medical skills and medicines are gifts from our Heavenly Father. Around us we can see pain, sickness, and suffering. And we need to be able to resolve our faith with our life experience – otherwise we have confusion.
There are accounts of physical healing in the Old Testament Scriptures. And the New Testament is full of accounts of Jesus praying for the sick, and the sick being healed. The miracles of Jesus were to point people to who He was – the Messiah, the Son of God.
But the reality is that today, when we pray for physical healing, not everyone is healed – sometimes God says wait.
One day everyone will be healed, restored, and made anew. When Jesus returns there will be no more sickness or pain. Right now we are in the waiting time between God’s kingdom, His sphere of influence, being near and fully complete. We can have a foretaste now, and miraculous physical healing is a view of what is to come!
We need to be sensitive that our words and prayers build up and strengthen those who will hear. If we don’t pray, no-one is healed. If we pray, many are strengthened and encouraged, and some by the grace of God are healed.
Scriptures to pray in the waiting.
We pray for physical healing, but also for God’s grace and sufficiency.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
“For when I am weak, then I am strong.”2 Corinthians 12:9&10
We pray for physical healing, but also for comfort and strength for the day.
“The bolts of your gates will be iron and bronze, and your strength will equal your days.”
“The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.”Deuteronomy 33:25&27
We pray for physical healing, but also for rest and hope in the waiting.
“Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait I say on the Lord!”Psalm 27:14
“Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from Him. Truly He is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress I will not be shaken.”Psalm 62:5-6
God Restores the Broken
Spiritual and Emotional Healing
God desires to make us whole. He calls us into the fullness of who He created us to be, emotionally and spiritually. For us to live and move in the freedom of the knowledge of His love, as a reality in our lives. Jesus warns us not to be surprised when we encounter trouble in this world – but often we are!
When our faith is shaken by problems and difficulties, we need to come to a place of trusting and accepting God’s Sovereignty.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”Romans 8:28
That, much quoted verse, does not say that all things are good, but that God works all things together for our good. We live in a fallen world, and are subject to the time that we live in, but we are being beautifully woven by God for eternity. Somethings may seem so wrong to us now, but God is always working for our higher good, for the spiritual grace that He is developing in our hearts.
We live in a fallen world, and are subject to the time that we live in, but we are being beautifully woven by God for eternity.Tweet
When we take our eyes off our own problems and start to trust in the sovereignty of God, a transformation occurs. From recognising our own weakness, and that we have no strength of our own, a new dependence on God develops. Then He can start to shape and bring forth something new and beautiful.
“Though the original circumstances might indicate the opposite, God works to restore and remold us. The new vessel is not maintained by our self-effort or self-sufficiency, but by desperately clinging to God’s mercy and grace. We are never stronger than when we have learned we are weak. Like the patriarchs of old, we are frail and flawed earthen pots, but God in his sovereign majesty gets the highest glory out of broken vessels like us.”Broken Vessels: God’s glory through flawed humanity by ken barnes.
Book Review: Broken Vessels, Ken Barnes
An autobiographical account of the author’s journey of healing and restoration. There is a real honesty and humility in this reflection, and an openness regarding past mistakes and God’s chastening. Our own personal experiences may be different but there can be many similarities in our life lessons.
“God causes or allows challenging and even painful circumstances to happen to us – out of His mercy and grace, that He is big enough to make good out of painful life experiences.”
In sharing his story the author brings valuable insight, understanding, and hope for the future in the compassion and faithfulness of God.