The beyond-my-finite-mind’s-comprehension God, the patient, just, righteous, gracious Lover of my soul is concerned about wholeness. Having created everything perfect and endowed upon us the power to choose, He watched as we chose to mar perfection by choosing to reply to His entreaties with a fierce, “No. I don’t love you.” We chose to age, get sick, and die. We chose to be less than whole. Less than perfect. Broken.
Our brokenness is what leads us to Yahweh-Rophe.
What Does Yahweh-Rophe Mean?
This is a compound name of God. Both meanings go together to form the whole.
Yahweh: God’s Personal Name
This is God’s most sacred name. It is His personal name in Scripture. You can read more about it here: Yahweh: God’s Personal Name . The name Yahweh is rich and deep, carrying with it the history of God’s covenant-keeping, holy and just, redemption-bent relationship with His image-bearers. He is the eternal, unchangeable One who is and was and is to come. The One who reveals Himself to His people, whose holiness reveals their need of Him, and who personally makes it possible for them to come to Him.
Rophe: To Heal
Throughout the Old Testament, Rophe is uses sixty to seventy times to mean heal, cure, or restore. It also means physician. It carries the idea of to mend, to repair thoroughly, to make whole. It encompasses more than just the physical, extending to emotional (healing of distresses), moral, and spiritual healing as well.
Yahweh-Rophe or Jehovah-Rophe?
This is pretty simple, really, Jehovah was an older translation of the sacred name for God not spoken for many generations. Scholars believe a more reliable translation is Yahweh. Read more here: Yahweh or Jehovah?
Where Yahweh-Rophe Used in the Bible?
God revealed this name out of a bitter experience His children endured after a great victory. Often, bitter and difficult can quickly emerge just after a success in life. This was the case for the Israelite’s after the amazing victory of God parting the Red Sea for His children to go through, but the Egyptians to be washed away in their pursuit of them. Scripture records their song of praise for His deliverance, and then we see this story.
As they pass through the desert, an entire day goes by with no water. Parched and thirsty, they pass through another day. The third day, as desperation sinks in, they spot a well and are dismayed to find the water is bitter. In anguish, their parched mouths open to erupt in complaints as bitter as the water that reflected their dejected faces.
Moses cried out to Yahweh there, and He showed Moses a piece of wood to throw into the water to make it fit to drink. They all drank and were refreshed, and there God revealed to them His name of Healer. He made clear that if they would obey Him, He would always be their Healer:
“If you listen carefully to the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keepall 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
As you walk the corridors of the Old and New Testaments, gazing at the images painted there along the walls, you can clearly see image after image of God healing people physically, and even raising the dead.
We also see Him as healer of moral and spiritual illness. This is perhaps the only comfort to many of His servants who all about them see souls bleeding out and covered with infected, dripping wounds in this spiritual sense. This is what the addict clings to in their moment-by-moment battle to keep clean- mind, body, and soul.
This sense is what Jeremiah speaks of:
"But I will restore you to health
and heal your wounds,’
declares the Lord"
“Return, faithless people;
I will cure you of backsliding.”
And it is what Isaiah speaks of as He predicts the coming of the Messiah, Jesus
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners
How Can I Recognize When Yahweh-Rophe is Used in the Bible?
This word referencing healing is used 67 times in the Bible. You can search out below how many of those times it is used as God’s name.
The Strong’s Reference for rapha’ is H7495
To see the use of this name in the Bible, click here.
Reflect on Yahweh-Rophe
As you spend time with God this week, consider the reality that He:
- Longs to heal you- mind, body, and soul
- Provided a way for your soul to be healed of sin and guilt
- Has the power to heal in every sense
- Longs to make you whole
- Will make everyone who trusts in Him for salvation entirely whole in heaven
Search through where this is found in the Bible, and consider the depth of this name in the context of the verse.
Surprised by Yahweh-Rophe
I’ll tell you a story of a time when I was surprised by Yahweh-Rophe. It was the summer of 2000, and some of my dearest friends on this globe and I were waking with the Eastern European dawn to greet our Ukrainian friends with the familiar reality that we were all “oostala”- tired. We greeted the dawn with praise and prayer and dispersed to the groups of orphans that were our children for the summer.
The Ukrainians led the Bible times, and the Americans led the craft times and skits. The children and leaders alike had been up an down all summer with what we all thought was likely food poisoning. One evening, I lay on a bench with peeling blue paint beneath the tower trees of the Ukrainian forest. During those late high school years, I had strep throat about 5 times a year, so the feeling that engulfed me with ache and tired and burned my throat was quite familiar. If it wasn’t strep- it sure was a bad virus.
We were preparing to deliver a skit that came straight out of the amazing imagination of our “Captain” Mary Millikan- my best friend’s mom and the leader of the American segment of our team. This wasn’t just any skit. It was the entire history of the United States of America. From Native Americans to bomber planes to the industrial revolution, we played all the parts. I was dizzy, unable to remember history, let alone all the parts of it I needed to play and how and when.
I was dismissed with another sick dear friend to rest for a few minutes in our cots before the elaborate production was to take place. I lay there wondering how on earth I would survive it. Worse- we were both fighting a terrible attitude. Why did we have to even do this elaborate production when we are so sick we can barely move? Finally, we decided to pray. We didn’t pray for healing physically. We simply prayed for a good attitude.
We said, Amen and I swallowed a few times before I turned to my friend in shock. I didn’t want to jinx myself by saying out loud what had surprised me so. But, after a few more swallows, I dared open my mouth. Mary, my strep throat is gone! I felt completely better. And I hadn’t even asked for that. Why hadn’t I asked Yahweh-Rophe to heal me?
I don’t remember anything about the skit- except that it was hilarious. I just remember that shock of being healed. I’d asked for a healed attitude, but got so much more.
The Question Why
Why some are healed in this life of physical ailments and others are not is beyond the scope of this blog entry. It is clear that if we don’t come to Him- to know Him as Savior and LORD- if we do not seek Him and all His truth in Scripture, then there truly is no chance of healing
yet you refuse to come to me to have life.John 5:40b
Yet, I have witnessed many honest souls, relying entirely on Him- those that love Him wholly and stand for Him with no regrets- who have ebbed away due to disease and left this earth for heaven. I’ve seen God take away the desire for addictions for some- and watched others battle the intense longing for them moment by moment, day by day, their entire lives.
The mystery for us on this earth as to why some go and some remain, why some are healed and some aren’t, is that- a mystery. A somber, difficult, sometimes divisive mystery. God is never afraid of our honest why?’s. He is big enough to handle them. And He is worthy of our trust no matter how bitter the road we are walking.
Pray to and Praise Yahweh-Rophe
Take some time to reflect on what you need healing for the most. In what way are you not whole? Can you pinpoint any distress for which you need God’s healing? Perhaps it is physical. Or perhaps it is emotional. Maybe it is moral or spiritual. Ask God for healing, trusting His perfect will this side of heaven and complete healing in heaven.
You see each broken, bleeding, wounded, diseased, and distressed part of me. You are well-acquainted with when and how these wounds came to be. You know how I feel about them and just how much strength I need to face them. Please go to the root of each one and heal me.
Thank you for sending your Son to provide the greatest need for healing that I have. Thank you for making a way for me to be forgiven of my sin and cleansed of a guilty conscience. You made it possible to restore the relationship with You that was broken by my sin. Thank you.
Please heal me- mind, body and soul. Where I have let my morals sink well below the standard set out in your holy Word, please help me raise them. Where my spirit longs for your salvation from sin, please save and sanctify me. Where I am bound by addiction to habits and things that are destroying me, please set me free. Where I am clinging to unforgiveness, selfishness, or pride, please show me and help me. I know that You are able to make me whole. Please show me what I cannot see about myself. Show me how to be healed, and help me obey you every step of the way.
Please heal me of the physical concerns I have. Thank you that You have the power to heal in every way and to make me completely whole.
Thank You that your will is best this side of heaven. Please use every weakness I have to display your glory. Thank you for the wholeness I will taste in every sense when I see you face to face.
In Jesus Name,
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