1. Ms. Smith was assigned to be a monitor on the playground and caught little Johnny making ugly faces and scaring other kids.
2. Smiling sweetly, she said, “Johnny, when I was a child I was told that if I made ugly faces, it would freeze and I would stay like that.”
3. Johnny looked up and replied, “Well, Ms. Smith, you can’t say you weren’t warned!”
22 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. 23 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. 24 And the people complained against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” 25 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, 26 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.” NKJV
1. We’re looking tonight at one of the most important passages in Scripture for it is the fountainhead revelation of one of the greatest aspects of God’s nature.
2. Let’s look at what happened to the Israelites and how God used it to give a new revelation to the people of God about who He is.
3. The title of this message is “Jehovah Rapha.”
I. CHRISTIANS WILL HAVE PROBLEMS
A. A GLORIOUS DELIVERANCE
1. They had just come out of Egypt (representing salvation) and passed through the Red Sea (representing baptism, 1 Cor. 10:2).
2. They then traveled for three long, hot days without a drop of water to quench the thirst of approximately 2 1/2 million people! They needed a Lake Conroe just to give everybody enough to drink!
3. When they finally came to a place that had some water, the waters were bitter, brackish (salty) water. It couldn’t be drunk. They would soon die without water.
4. Their throats were dry and parched already. Fear gripped them. “The people murmured against Moses.” “Pastor Moses messed up! He’s led us the wrong direction!”
5. 3 days before, they’d seen the Lord deliver them from generations of slavery, make an impossible escape for them through an ocean, and then utterly defeat their enemies. They’d sung and danced with Miriam on the beach.
6. They wondered – “Can it get any better than this? Glory to God!” But three days later in the wilderness, without water, they were wondering what had happened!
7. When we get saved, we think everyone around us will be as excited as we are about it. But things often turn out different than we think they will.
8. HUMOR: EXERCISE CLASS
a. Like the 65 year-old lady who decided to join an exercise class, and told her daughter Lisa.
b. Lisa said, "That was brave of you, mom! So how did it go?" asks Lisa.
c. "Well, for THIRTY MINUTES I sweated by bending, twisting, pulling, pushing and hopping up and down. But then -- by the time I got my leotards on -- the class was
B. CHRISTIANS TOO HAVE DRY PLACES
1. There are some of you that are at that dry place; no water. "I thought being a Christian meant I’d always be happy."
2. But God showed Moses a Tree, that when thrown into those dry places -- those bitter places, the things hard for the natural mind to endure -- they are made sweet!
3. That Tree is a type of the Cross of Jesus Christ. When the cross is the central focus of our lives, our trials and tests are made sweet.
4. Christians have always found that God’s presence WITH us and His grace IN us can turn our wildernesses into paradises. “In His presence is fullness of joy; at His right hand are pleasures forevermore!” Ps. 16:11.
II. HERE GOD REVEALS HIS HEART
A. GOG IS A GOD OF LOVE.
1. God is a God of love. He is on our side. He longs to restore us to our pre-sin status. He does not wish to harm us but rather to bless us if we will submit to Him.
2. In light of this, questions like, “Does God really want to heal us?” Is it God’s will to heal me?” “Will God heal me?” almost answer themselves.
3. The general rule is that God wants us to be healed. This healing comes through faith just like salvation does.
4. God may make an exception occasionally in order to chasten someone, keep them from pride, etc., but the normal course will be to heal.
B. GOD IS A PHYSICIAN!
1. In Ex. 15:26 the word used for “healeth” (58X in the O.T.) is also translated “physician” (Gen. 50:2; 2 Chron. 16:2; Job 13:4; Jer. 8:22). So to say “I am the Lord your Physician” is a trustworthy translation.
2. Why would God be a physician by nature if He didn’t intend on healing us? Absolutely, that IS His intention!
C. SALVATION IS FOR THE WHOLE MAN.
1. God wants to “save” not just our spirits but our bodies as well. Jesus often told people being physically healed, “Thy faith hath saved thee” (Lk. 18:42), or “made thee whole.” 2. Nineteen times in the N.T. the Greek word for “save” (sozo) is used of physical healing. This highlights the fact that Christ’s atonement is for the ‘whole’ man.
3. Jesus died to save us from sickness as well as sin. Just as sin affected all of man, Christ’s atonement avails for all of man.
4. Matt. 14:36 says that Christ’s healing made them “perfectly whole.” The Greek word there says they were “saved through and through!” That’s divine healing!
D. COVENANTAL: FIRM BASIS FOR FAITH
1. Jehovah-Rapha is a covenant name which links or describes God’s essential Being as possessing a healing nature.
2. This nature is further confirmed by healings in the O.T., and especially because the largest part of Jesus’ ministry was healing the sick and the Bible tells us He healed every person who came asking for healing.
3. In addition, God gives many promises to heal us. Therefore we have a firm basis for faith, in the Word of God, in the life of Christ, and in the fundamental nature of God.
III. GOD’S BLESSING IS ON THE OBEDIENT
A. NONE OF EGYPT’S PLAGUES
1. But Israel had light in their dwellings in Egypt (Ex. 10:23). They had water to drink. Their cattle didn’t die and the plagues didn’t come on Goshen.
2. Exodus 12, they had a lamb for every house. There was provision. Exodus 12:13, "When I see the blood I will pass over you." Every day in Christ is a new beginning.
3. Not that God won’t judge disobedience. The Israelites had 10 Plagues come on them in the wilderness:
a. Fire (misuse of tongue), Num. 11:1-3.
b. Sickness (tongue, lust), Num. 11:4-35.
c. Leprosy (tongue, jealousy), Num. 12:1-16.
d. Death (tongue, rebellion), Num. 14:28-35.
e. Sickness (tongue, rebellion), 13:31-33; 14:37.
f. Earthquake (tongue, rebellion), Num. 16:1-33.
g. Fire (tongue, rebellion), Num. 16:1-3; 34-35.
h. Sickness (tongue, rebellion), Num. 16:41-50.
i. Snakes (tongue), Num. 21:5-9.
j. Sickness (adultery, idolatry), Num. 25:1-9. [Dake's Bible Commentary]
B. JEHOVAH-RAPHA, THE LORD OUR HEALER
1. Ex. 15:26 is:
a. A revelation of God's character;
b. A promise of exemption from suffering;
c. A pledge to be the God of Health to them, conditioned on their obedience.
2. In the O.T. there were 18 personal healings & 7 mass healings mentioned:
a. 8 BARREN women healed [Sarah, Gen. 16:2; 21:1-2
(& Abram’s body dead, Rom. 4:19); Rebekah, Gen. 25:21; Rachel, Gen. 29:31; 30:1, 22-24; 35:16-20; Samson’s mother, Judges 13:3; Hannah, 1 Sam. 2:5; the Shunamite woman, 2 Kings 4:1-17; & Elizabeth, Lk. 1:7,13,24].
b. 3 LEPERS healed – Moses, Ex. 4:6-7; Miriam, Num. 12:13; and Naaman, 2 Kgs. 5:10.
c. 3 People RAISED FROM THE DEAD -- Child by Elijah, 1 Kgs. 17:22; Child by Elisha, 2 Kgs. 4:35; & Man in Elisha’s Tomb, 2 Kgs. 13:21.
d. 4 VARIOUS HEALINGS – Jeroboam’s hand, 1 Kgs. 13:6; Job (42:10-12); David, Ps. 30:2,3; Hezekiah, Isa. 38:21.
e. 7 MASS HEALINGS -- Abimelech’s whole family, Gen. 20:17-18; Snakebites healed, Num. 21:7-9; Plague Stopped, Num. 16:48 (14,700 died) & again, Num. 25:8 (24,000 died);
Plague During David’s Reign, 2 Sam. 24:25 (1,000’s); Blindness of the Syrian army healed, 2 Kings 6; Mass Healing, Hezekiah’s Reign – 2 Chron. 30:20.
C. OTHER O.T. PROMISES
1. Ex. 23:25, “Worship the LORD your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you.”
2. Deut. 7:15, “And the LORD will take away from you all sickness, and will afflict you with none of the terrible diseases of Egypt which you have known, but will lay them on all those who hate you.”
3. Psalm 41:3, “The LORD will sustain him on his sickbed and restore him from his bed of illness.”
4. Psalm 103:3, “Who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases.”
5. Psalm 107:20, “He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.”
6. Proverbs 4:20,22, “My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings….For they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh.”
7. Isa. 53:4-5, “Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”
8. And we know how our Lord Jesus spent so much of His ministry healing the sick(20% of the Gospels).
a. “…healing every disease and sickness among the people” Mt. 4:23.
b. “…healing every disease and sickness” Matt. 9:35.
c. “He healed all who were sick” Matt. 12:15.
d. “He…healed [all] their sick” Matt. 14:14.
e. “People brought all their sick to him…and all who touched it [cloak] were healed” Matt. 14:34-36.
f. “…power was coming from Him and healing them all Luke 6:17-19.
9. He commanded His servants, “As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give” Mt. 10:7-8.
10. In Mark 16:17-18, Jesus said, “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues….they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”
11. So we have every encouragement to ask and believe God for divine healing today!
A. HOW WE KNOW IT’S GOD’S WILL TO HEAL
1. Many times we pray to God for healing, we don't really expect to healed. We do it as a form, expecting to have to go to the doctor.
2. But Divine healing is the will of God!
a. Paul prayed three times, Not "If it be Your will...", BUT “Heal Me, Lord!”
b. 3 John 2 says, "Beloved, I wish above all things
that you may prosper and be in health even as your soul prospers."
c. Jesus healed ALL who came to him.
d. Woman who had the Issue of Blood – the Virtue release didn't require a decision from God.
B. THE CALL
1. Prayer for the sick.
2. Prayer for salvation.