He said, “If you will carefully obey the Lord your God, do what is right in his sight, pay attention to his commands, and keep all his statutes, I will not inflict any illnesses on you that I inflicted on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you." Exodus 15:26 CSB
Hey guys! Welcome back to the PSALMS to God podcast. If you're wondering why I sound different today, it's because last weekend I talked way too much and I lost my voice. I haven't really fully recovered it yet—bless you Bubbles, sorry Bubbles is sneezy. She's still recovering, too. And this is all very very fitting because when I was sitting around last week trying to plan what episode I wanted to do as like a short episode—what verse I wanted to read—I wanted to go back to the names of God. And the name of God that I had chosen to talk about is Jehovah Rapha, which is really YHWH Rapha, and the meaning of that name is "the Lord who heals you." When I made that decision, or when I thought I was making that decision, pretty sure God was smiling like, "yeah 'cause you going to need some healing when you record that episode." I don't know, I don't know. It's a funny way things work out, but I'm okay, and I'm happy, because I love, love, love the idea of God as a Healer. And I understand that name better than any of the other names.
So before I actually go into why and how I feel about this, I want to go back to the verse. So in the verse Exodus 15:26, this is the only place in the Bible where God identifies himself as Jehovah Rapha, and He is promising the Israelites that if they keep the covenant, if they follow His commands, and they follow him as God, that he will not inflict the same diseases on them that were inflicted upon the Egyptians as He was bringing the Israelites out of Egypt. It makes sense because the entirety of illnesses whether they be mental illnesses or physical illnesses or emotional illnesses, however you want to define the illness, they all go back to the spiritual illness that is sin. Not to say that you are sick or that you have this issue because you sinned but the fact that sin is in the world has caused sickness to be in the world as well, and you know that was never God's intention. So it makes sense that as we surrender to God and as we do that which He asks, he's bringing us back to that state—back into the Garden of Eden before sin, where we would not be sick.
Personal Experience with YHWH Rapha (00:04:06)
That is, of course, the biblical standpoint of that name, and it doesn't really come up more often. And I personally believe that the reason it only comes up there and in that promise is because the Bible was written by men. Yep I said it, I went there. The reason that I believe this is because as a woman I am comforted and have to realize that God is a healer once a month. Now there are going to be some women out here who will not relate to this, but there are going to be a lot that do. And once a month there is a lot of pain and a lot of healing that I need from God. I personally have what is called dysmenorrhea; it is a fancy medical term that means pain so severe I can't function. So growing up I used to have to miss school pretty much on a monthly basis like clockwork. I would pass out; I've lost my peripheral vision; I would throw up—the whole nine yards. I was basically—I'm basically—incapacitated. It's gotten better as I've gotten older, but I have definitely, definitely feared for my life at times. Of course, instinctually you just want to go to the doctor; you think that the doctor can make it better. So my mom would take me to the doctor; I would go. I've been to, I don't know how many, doctors who have tried to treat me, or tried to give me something to make it more manageable. And y'all, don't none of that stuff work. I've tried every type of over the counter medication; I've tried prescription medication; I've tried birth control; and once a month, I was still on the floor begging God not to kill me. You know I'm just like "oh, I'm dying, please I'm not ready to die yet."
What I found is that some of the prescriptions that I've been given, or even the over-the-counter drugs that I have been given, in other cases—even for the same types of pains, maybe I have a headache that's not related to that time of the month, or you know I hurt my arm, or I slept wrong and my neck is hurting, whatever the case may be—I can take those same medications and they work just fine. But during that time of the month, I will take those same medications for that same headache or whatever and they don't work. Just like right now—I have a headache; I've had a headache for two days and you take medication, you still got a headache, because the only way, during that time, I found that the pain goes away when I pray. So, for the ladies out there who have experienced this pain and have not tried praying, I highly recommended—it works and you will be glad you did it.
So I feel like if women were writing the Bible, they will be shouting out God as the Lord who heals, because I have a feeling many of our sisters in the Bible have experienced the same thing; and of course, when you're reminded of this on a monthly basis you cannot forget that it is God who heals us.
Beyond Physical Pain (00:07:48)
That being said, I think that "the Lord who heals," that the name, the title, Jehovah Rapha, is so much deeper than that physical healing. I think, you know, for me personally, I'm kind of a wuss when it comes to physical pain particularly that physical pain, and so it stands out in my mind the largest. I'm always ready to get rid of that pain, but I think more importantly, there is emotional and mental pains that we carry, and God is also a healer in those types of pains and situations, as well.
What I found is that those types of pain carry into our physical pain. If you're unfamiliar with what I'm trying to say, what I mean is that when you're stressed out or when you're depressed or whatever the case maybe, it takes a toll on your body, physically—because that's when you can't, your body can't, fight the way it should. It can't fight sicknesses that are attacking it, and it's vulnerable. You know, one of the symptoms of depression is, you know, being lethargic, not wanting to do anything, so you may not be exercising correctly, you may not be eating properly, and all of these things, in turn, are hurting you physically, right? So, in order for us to be the best we can be and live our best lives, and you know represent God the best way, we need all of these things to be in in harmony and to be healthy. So I know that we have trouble admitting when we have mental needs or emotional needs; some of us don't like to say that we have that problem, but I just want to remind you that you know God is a Healer not just physically but emotionally, spiritually, mentally; all of those things can be taken to God, as well. And so do not hesitate to call on him for whatever reason, because we need some healing—not just in my house, but in this United States, in this world... There's a lot of healing that needs to happen, so let's call on Jehovah Rapha, the Lord who heals you.
Wrap Up (00:10:24)
Thank you guys for tuning in. You can find the transcripts for this episode at www.psalmsgod.com/jehovahrapha. Don't forget to subscribe so you can get the latest content, and I will see you on Monday.
References and Footnotes
- "What Are Menstrual Cramps?". WebMD; visited January 2019
- For the astute, yes I am admitting that over the course of those 2 days I did not pray for healing. I prayed for other things and forgot to pray about my headache. I ended up praying for the headache to go away as I prayed to begin the podcast. It was gone by the end of the podcast, so there's that.