Jehovah Rophe – The Lord our Healer4 min read
Background (Read Exodus 15:22-26)
The first twenty one verses of Exodus fifteen records the oldest song: the song of Moses. It was a song of praise to the Lord for His provision at the Red Sea, and it was in this song that Moses proclaimed “I will sing unto the Lord, for He has triumphed gloriously. The horse and the rider has He thrown into the sea.” The people of Israel had seen one of the greatest miracles of the Old Testament, and their faith was temporarily strengthened.
But then came the waters of Marah (which means “bitter”). With millions of people and no water (obviously something essential in a wilderness), the people of Israel were in a crisis. Or were they? After all, they had the Lord with them Who had just proven Himself. At the last second at the Red Sea, the Lord divided the waters; of course He could bring water to Israel.
And that is exactly what He did; He provided a way to cleanse the waters through a tree. The Lord pointed Moses to a branch, Moses took the branch, threw it in the waters, and the waters were made clean. He once again proved Himself to Israel for them to remember that He truly cares and is willing to provide for His people.
Finally, He gave a promise: “If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.” When His people turn to Him, He provides; He heals.
When our hearts were bitter with sin, the Lord Jesus provided and stepped down to heal. It was through the Lord on a tree as He drank the bitter cup of God’s wrath that our healing has come. And now all are free to come to the righteous Branch by Whom flows living water abundantly and freely from of His pierced side and His work on Calvary. Because of our Lord’s stripes – that one large outpouring of God’s wrath – we are healed. The Father is now our Jehovah-Rophe.
From this we see that the Lord will prove us, and He will show us the true Source of all power. Our hearts are so full of pride that God, as a loving father, will remind us of our place before Him. We have no power, we have no strength, and it is in these times of testing that we are brought closer to the One who does. Instead of despising what God allows and crying out “Why me?!,” we must take care to learn our lesson and realize that it is only by His grace that we don’t experience worse because of our sin. Instead of crying out in anger, we must respond in humility; for it is when we are humble that we draw nearer to God. This is the Lord’s desire: to bring us closer to God.
And thankfully, He does, because He is the Lord our Healer. Whenever hearts are broken, He not only repairs it, but He makes it stronger than ever before. Perhaps there may be scars, but it is still no longer broken. And after the Lord brings us through His test, we can look back on those scars and proclaim, “Jehovah-Rophe – Our Lord has healed!” And we can look back knowing that we were brought closer to our precious Saviour Who through His sorrow made it possible for us to be healed.
These times of bitterness are precious, and we should thank God that it is His desire to draw us nearer to Himself and point us constantly to the Saviour. Romans 8:16-18 “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. 18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” When we feel the need of healing, let’s look to the Lord – He is our Healer.