The Name Jehovah-Rapha is first used in Exodus 15:26 by God as He identifies Himself as the healer of His people. The word rapha means heal, cure, restore, or make whole.
So Moses brought Israel from the Red Sea; then they went out into the Wilderness of Shur. And they went three days in the wilderness and found no water. Now when they came to Marah, they could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter. Therefore the name of it was called Marah. And the people complained against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” So he cried out to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a tree. When he cast it into the waters, the waters were made sweet.
There He made a statute and an ordinance for them, and there He tested them, and said, “If you diligently heed the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the LORD who heals you.” Exodus 15:22-26 (emphasis mine)
The word Marah literally means bitter. I found it interesting that it was only three days after experiencing the incredible miracle of God's parting the Red Sea, that the Israelites were bitter in spirit and complaining against Moses who was following God's direction. There is a connection made between this account and what Jesus did for us on the cross. The word bitter used to describe the water is an indication that the water didn't just taste bad but was likely in an unhealthy state which is why the people couldn't drink it. In the same manner our souls are in an unhealthy state in need of purifying before we are followers of Christ. The tree that God instructed Moses to cast into the water is symbolic of the tree that Jesus was nailed to. In His death, Jesus overpowered the bitterness of sin, and in being made alive again, He became sweet, living water for all who seek Him. This is the spiritual healing that is associated with the Name Jehovah-Rapha.
Whether physical, emotional, or spiritual healing is needed we should always seek healing from Jehovah-Rapha first. Whether for an individual or for a nation, healing comes from Jehovah-Rapha.
In the latter part of these verses, just before God identifies Himself as Jehovah-Rapha, He states the responsibility of His people that will bring the blessing or promise associated with this Name. There is a connection between obedience to God and healing. The nation of Israel was to trust God for their healing as they walked in obedience to His word.
Just as we have rules for our children, God gives us commands to protect us. We can look at many of the laws God gave the Israelites and see that He as instructing them as a physician would to prevent and heal illnesses. Many laws for cleansing and quarantines were put in place by God for their physical health.
Anyone the man with a discharge touches without rinsing his hands with water must wash his clothes and bathe with water, and he will be unclean till evening. Leviticus 15:11
If the spot on his skin is white but does not appear to be more than skin deep and the hair in it has not turned white, the priest is to put the infected person in isolation for seven days. Leviticus 13:4
During Christ's life on earth He healed many people of physical illness and disease, but his Healing did not stop at the physical. When He healed His purpose was always to bring healing to the soul as well as the body.
Some men brought to him a paralytic, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven." Matthew 9:2
Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, “See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.” John 5:14
This does not mean that all disease is a result of sin, as pointed out in the case of the blind man in John 9, but it does show there is a connection that God wants us to be aware of.
What is one way the Name Jehovah-Rapha speaks to my heart?
There is far too much for me to go into all the ways this Name speaks to me but one of the ways is in the way I as an individual have an impact on the health of the nation. If Jehovah-Rapha promises to heal His People of disease when we walk in obedience to Him, then when our nation is full of moral filth and evil, diseases of the spirit, I have to look at me, His People and sincerely ask Him to search my heart, show me my sins, and help me to turn away from them.
What is one way the Name Jehovah-Rapha speaks to your heart?
"A girl needs to be so lost in God, that the guy is going to have to seek HIM to find her!" ...Maya Angelou