Tag Archives: Jehovah Rapha

M8B The Destroyer vs. The Healer

THE DESTROYER

One thing is for sure; we will never understand who the Healer is without knowing who the destroyer is. The Lord very graphically demonstrated this to the children of Israel, and therefore, to us. Numbers 21:5 records a different time than the Deuteronomy account when the people complained against Moses saying, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the desert? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!”

Because of their sin in complaining against God’s servant, God sent venomous snakes among them. The snakes bit them and many died. “The people came to Moses and said, ‘We sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take the snakes away from us.’ So Moses prayed for the people” (Num. 21:7).

To LOOK at the Bronze-Serpent  Destroyer Was the Same as LOOKing to Jesus Who Heals

The Bronze Serpent Destroyer

The Lord told Moses to make a snake and put it on a pole so that anyone who was bitten could look at it and live. We know that the “. . . ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, [who] leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him” (Rev. 12:9). All the children of Israel had to do for healing was to look at the bronze serpent Moses made, and they were healed. Jesus himself told us, “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life” (John 3:14-15).

With eternal life, or salvation, comes healing of soul and body. Jesus, the bronze serpent, overcame what the ancient serpent brought into the world—sin and disease. “He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed” (Isa. 53:5). In our looking back, He paid the price for us, just as He paid the price for those who were healed in the desert, as they looked forward.

A few years ago, a certain woman found herself viewing all the poverty and suffering in the world and was overcome by it. She asked the Lord, “Why has all this happened?”

She immediately saw herself, in her mind’s eye, in the Garden of Eden. The Lord spoke to her heart, “This was my plan.”

She realized that is why Jesus had to come, to overturn the deceiving, rebellious, spirit of satan and sin on mankind. (His name is not worth capitalizing.) She remembered what the Bible said about satan, that he was a created angel of God, and that he rebelled against God; He thought he was as good as God and should be God:

How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, “I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” But you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit.—Isaiah 14:12-15

Satan was cast out of heaven, and a third of the angels followed him (see Rev. 12:4-9). He is called the “god of this age” (2 Cor. 4:4) and the “. . . ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient” (Eph. 2:2). He and his demons, or evil spirits, blind the eyes of unbelievers so they cannot see the light of the gospel. Therefore, we are caught in the middle of an ever-growing spiritual battle between God and satan, until satan will be eventually hurled into the bottomless pit at the end of the age:

And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore . . . .—Revelation 20:1-3

Caught Between the One Who Heals and the Destroyer

Destroyer vs Healer

So, where does all this leave us? Caught in the middle, for a season, that is us. That means suffering, and putting up with adversity. It means fighting; it means choosing sides, whether we know we are choosing or not. Those who choose God and His ways will go to heaven to be with Jesus and his angels. Those who turn away from God and His ways are choosing satan’s ways, and will go to hell to be with him and his demons. This is true reality. Many try to rationalize away the reality of hell, even some pastors, but it is a very real place. Because hell is real, heaven is real; heaven cannot be real if hell is not real!

The Bible warns of hell repeatedly. The KJV mentions hell fifty-four times, thirty-one times in the O.T. and twenty-three times in the N.T. The NASB and NIV do not use the word hell, in the O.T., but Sheol, or the grave, as in Psalm 86:13, “Thou hast delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol” (NASB). Sheol is mentioned nine times in the book of Job alone.

Very simply, Sheol is a Hebrew word meaning the “place of the dead.”[1] “The Hebrew Scriptures do not focus too much emphasis on the condition or destiny of the souls of men until the resurrection. The development of that theme is left for the N.T. and the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.”[2]

In fifteen of the twenty-three times in the N.T. hell is mentioned, Jesus himself forewarns of this reality. He says things, such as: “I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him” (Luke 12:5). Satan is taking as many as he can deceive with him, for truly he comes only to steal, to kill, and to destroy. “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God” (Ps. 9:17 KJV).

All satan’s tactics accuse the saints before God both day and night (see Rev. 12:10) and cause eventual suffering, even though he presents himself as an angel of light (see 2 Cor. 11:14). Many books are written about the dilemma of being caught in the middle—each trying to explain the purpose of suffering, and why bad things happen to good people, when the bottom line is that satan is just doing his thing. We are going directly to God’s Word for insight to this dilemma, in a book of the O.T. to find what God told Job, who suffered probably more than any man of all time. He asked the same question we do:


[1] Spiros Zodiates, Th.D., Executive Editor, The Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible, (AMG Publishers, Chattanooga, TN, 1990) p. 1778.

[2] Zodiates, Key Word Study Bible, p. 1779

M8A Born with Half a Liver: Jehovah Rapha Heals

“If you listen carefully to the voice of 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

prayer heals

Janice was seventeen years old when she gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. There was just one major problem. “Young Lady, I’m afraid you will never be able to take your baby home. She has only half a liver and will live only a couple days,” the doctor told her.

That evening, Janice went into the hallway to search for a telephone. Suddenly, a very large black woman appeared at her side. “Are you the mother of that precious little baby girl in the nursery?”

“Yes, I am.”

“What are you doing?”

“I’m calling my sister to pray with me about my baby.”

With her sister listening on the other end, the woman began to pray as Janice held the phone. As the lady prayed, a warm feeling came over Janice and she knew in her heart her baby was healed. When the prayer ended, Janice said good-bye to her sister and hung up the phone. When she turned around, the lady was gone.

The next morning, Janice picked up the little clothes she had brought to the hospital, and walked into the nursery to dress her baby to take her home. The doctor was very ugly with her and refused to let her touch her own baby. Janice marvels today that, as a teenager, she had the foresight to insist on having another X-ray taken. The doctor consented to do so only after much persuasion, but called in another doctor to order it.

The second, a female doctor, returned shortly, and with tears in her eyes said, “Your little girl is totally healed! You may take your baby home.”

“There was a big, black lady in the hallway last night who prayed for my baby. I want to thank her. Do you know who she was? She looked like a nurse,” Janice replied.

“No, we have no one working here by that description.”

Today, that little baby girl, Geanene, is married and has two children of her own.

Jehovah Rapha, God who heals

Three days after the children of Israel crossed the Red Sea they had no water. They came to a stream where the water was bitter. The Lord showed Moses a tree. He threw it into the water, which made it sweet. They called this place “Marah,” meaning bitter, for here Scripture says they were “tested,” the same root Hebrew word used when Abraham was tested with Isaac.

It was at Marah the Lord gave Moses and the people a statute: “If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the Lord your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I, the Lord, am your healer” (Exod. 15:26 NASB).

This is where we get the Hebrew word for God as healer—Jehovah-Rapha. He lays down this very basic regulation, or formal decree, that obedience goes hand in hand with health and healing, and that He is the healer. This verse says the same thing as Deuteronomy 28:1-14, that if we will obey God, we will be blessed; and verses15-68 say if we do not honor God with our lives, calamities of all types will come upon us. In other words, sin opens the door for the enemy to bring real problems.

His Ways Are Higher Than Our Ways

Jehovah Rapha Heals Ways are higher

However, not very far into the Christian life, we find things are not always this simple. Sin is not always the reason for troubles or lack of health. We discover early that there are no simple answers to complex situations, and that we cannot put God in a box and find out why He does certain things —why He deals with us and other people as He does. He is God and He alone. There is no faith-method to make Him do what we want Him to do when we want Him to do it. He can heal whomever, whenever and however He desires, and at times, no matter the faith involved, healing seems to evade. His ways are higher than our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts (see Isa. 55:9). He sees the beautiful top-side pattern and design of the quilt, whereas we see only the knotted, frayed underneath side.

The story of the healing of Janice’s daughter had nothing to do with Janice’s obedience, for she was not even a Christian. She had been raised in a very strict rule-oriented “religious” environment, but she never saw any love in it. She learned her mother was a Christian only after her mother died; her mother’s life consisted in surviving with an alcoholic husband. Unfortunately and understandably, Janice allowed immature Christians, who were unable to love, to keep her from being readily able to accept the love of God.

Jehovah Rapha, the Lord who heals, gives a basic statute to give heed to his voice and obey Him. Janice's baby girl was given a death sentence at birth.

After the birth of her baby, and with God’s guidance, Janice was able to free herself from her husband who had tried to drown her shortly before. One child was already at home. A number of years later, she met David who conveyed love to her and adopted her children. They bought a mobile home together in which they both became Christians. Would Janice have given her heart to the Lord if He had not stepped in to perform this miracle? Only God knows.

Years later, a co-worker gave Janice a black angel holding a baby up high in her arms. Janice put it on her desk and told her story to every one who asked about the angel, and many did, because Janice was not black. Did God heal baby Geanene so He could get the glory from it when Janice told the story? God knows.

Maybe, He wanted to show that He is the Healer. Did He heal Geanene because He had a special plan for her life, as He does for each one He created? Geanene knows. At every opportunity she says, “I am a miracle!”

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