The Names of God: Jehovah Rapha

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, April 5, 2019 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

Jehovah Rapha: The Lord who heals

Many skeptics laugh at the idea of praying to God for healing. A common question is: “If you were sick, which would you expect results from: an actual doctor, or an invisible sky daddy?” There have been numerous cases of religious couples who would not let their child see a doctor because of their convictions and the child died as a result. Skeptics love to cite these as examples of “prayer not working.” They also try to cite statistics in that in only 50% of cases do people praying actually get better. Let me set the record straight here. This is not what we are called to do to pray for healing, and that is not what prayer is; it’s not a magic formula that can be scientifically examined.

In 2 Chronicles, Asa was the first good king after Solomon. He walked in the ways of the Lord and tore down the high places. Yet at the end of his reign, he stopped seeking the Lord, namely in his last two years. He got a foot disease and instead of turning to the Lord, he turned to his physicians. Now the prophets in those days were not doctors, however they had access to the Master Physician who knew the whole story. Asa died of his disease because he would not seek the Lord.

Later in 2 Kings, Hezekiah got sick and was dying. He sought the word from the Lord through Isaiah and was told he would die. Hezekiah prayed and sought the Lord and his life was extended for 15 years. It could be argued if this was a good thing or not because Hezekiah’s sins as king were done in those 15 years, however the point was made. He sought the Lord first.

There is nothing wrong with going to see the doctors. God gave us medicine and plants to heal all sorts of things, and He gave us knowledge and wisdom to discover those uses. He gives doctors wisdom in how to treat patients. However, He wants us to seek Him first. Who knows more about our bodies and what we are facing – an educated doctor, or our Creator? God may have us go see the doctor. The stories I have heard of Christians getting cancer so that we can be a testimony of Him to those doctors and nurses are numerous.

There is a woman at my church battling her third round of cancer in the last few years right now. While the skeptics may say, “Obviously that prayer didn’t work,” what we are saying at my church to that cancer is, “Three strikes and you’re out.” To this day, not a single person who has come to our church has died of cancer in 16½ years. And while we have a small church body, we don’t have a small sample space of cancer patients who beat it. How do they continually beat it? We know the Master Physician: Jehovah Rapha, the Lord who heals.

I am a personal story of God showing up when the medical field could not deliver. When I was 4 months old, I got sick and was dying, and the doctors had no explanation. They said to pray and my parents and my church at that time prayed. The next day we found dead bacteria in my spine and I was healed. God allowed that to happen because that incident provided, through insurance, for the 9+ years of physical and tactical therapy I would need growing up.

So why do people who pray die? Why does He take the mother of a child who begged God to let her live? That was the backstory to Professor Radisson played by Kevin Sorbo in the movie God’s Not Dead. The truth is, we don’t know why God does what He does and why He doesn’t do certain things. Sometimes, it is simply a result of the curse due to general sin. Sometimes it is due to personal sin. Sometimes it is mercy from something we could not see in the future. Sometimes it is because God needs to work in the people around that person. What I do know is that God is in control and He understands precisely why He does what He does. We don’t, except when He gives us a glimpse of the bigger picture.

A skeptic may say, “You’re just giving God an excuse.” Am I? The same skeptic will give the experts they trust the benefit of the doubt. Why would I not be allowed to give God the same? My response to those who want to blame God for those issues would to take it up with Him. God never backs away from an honest skeptic. Just ask Job. God let all these things happen to him simply because Satan accused God of bribing Job to worship Him with blessings and protection. Yet Job got frustrated with his whole life being stripped away from him. His children slain in one go, his entire financial status gone, his physical health gone, and his closest friends and wife put the blame on him and on God. Job refused to curse God to His face, but he challenged God to find out why it all happened. God’s answer showed up in Job 38-41 and in those four chapters, God put Job into his place and reminded him that God is God and we are not. Job had the correct response in saying, “I know nothing and spoke that which I knew not.” Let us keep that mindset when we go through things in which we don’t understand what is happening.

God is Jehovah Rapha, the one who heals. God may not heal us immediately in this life, but He will heal us ultimately in the next. We are all going to die at some point, by sickness or by age or by other means. But if we put our trust in the Great Physician, He will one day grant us bodies that will not wear out, nor decay, nor experience death. And in all cases, let us turn to Him first before we turn anywhere else. When we have a word from God, we’ll know how to approach our doctors with confidence that we will beat it or that we will go out in glory. I cannot tell you how many doctors get hope when they get to treat a patient who knows their God. It gives them hope that their job is worth it. Trust in Jehovah Rapha and He will preserve us until our time has come.

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