The Hebrew word rophe means “heal,” “cure,” “restore,” or “make whole.” Shortly after His people left Egypt for the Promised Land, God revealed Himself as Yahweh Rophe, “the Lord who heals.” The Hebrew Scriptures indicate that God is the source of all healing. As you pray to Yahweh Rophe, ask Him to search your heart. Take time to let Him show you what it contains. If He uncovers any sin, ask for His forgiveness and then pray for healing. The New Testament reveals Jesus as the Great Physician, the healer of body and soul, whose miracles point to the Kingdom of God.
He said, “If you will listen carefully to Yahweh your Elohim and do what He considers right, if you pay attention to His commands and obey all His laws, I will never make you suffer any of the diseases I made the Egyptians suffer, because I am Yahweh Ropheka.” — Exodus 15:26
GOD REVEALS HIS NAME IN SCRIPTURE
Open your personal Bible translation and read the same passage. Make note to yourself or using a simple mark in your Bible every time Yahweh Rophe YAHWEH ROPHE is the name God uses for Himself.
20 Then the prophet Miriam, Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine in her hand. All the women, dancing with tambourines, followed her. 21 Miriam sang to them:
“Sing to Yahweh.
He has won a glorious victory.
He has thrown horses and their riders into the sea.”
22 Moses led Israel away from the Red Sea into the desert of Shur. For three days they traveled in the desert without finding water. 23 When they came to Marah, they couldn’t drink the water because it tasted bitter. That’s why the place was called Marah [Bitter Place]. 24 The people complained about Moses by asking, “What are we supposed to drink?”
25 Moses cried out to Yahweh, and Yahweh showed[a] him a piece of wood. He threw it into the water, and the water became sweet.
There Yahweh set down laws and rules for them to live by, and there he tested them. 26 He said, “If you will listen carefully to Yahweh your Elohim and do what He considers right, if you pay attention to His commands and obey all His laws, I will never make you suffer any of the diseases I made the Egyptians suffer, because I am Yahweh Ropheka.”
27 Next, they went to Elim, where there were 12 springs and 70 palm trees. They camped there by the water.
Understanding the Name
The verb from which Rophe is derived occurs sixty-seven times in the Old Testament. Though it often refers to physical healing, it usually has a larger meaning as well, involving the entire person. Rather than merely healing the body, Yahweh Rophe (yah-WEH ro-FEH) heals the mind and soul as well. This Hebrew verb is also used in other ways — for example, God “heals” water, land, and nations, and he “repairs” an altar. Significantly, God also heals sin and apostasy. The Hebrew Scriptures, in fact, link sickness and sin by presenting sin as the cause of illness just as it is the cause of death. In the New Testament, the corresponding Greek word is iaomai, which can refer to deliverance from death, demons, sickness, and sin.
- Jesus, the great healer, clearly indicated that sickness is not necessarily caused by sin on the part of the person who is ill. Rather, it can result from living in a sinful, fallen world.
Connecting to the Name
- How did circumstances influence the people’s attitude toward God? Describe times in your own life when your circumstances have caused your attitude toward God to fluctuate.
- How did Moses react to the circumstances? What does his example teach about how we should respond to difficult circumstances?
- The waters of Marah were bitter and God made them sweet. What areas of bitterness in your life have been healed or might still need healing?
- On what condition does God base His promise to keep the Israelites from disease?
- Describe a time in your life when breaking Yahweh Rophe’s commands caused you suffering or even sickness.
- God tested the Israelites with adverse circumstances, thus uncovering what was in their hearts. Describe ways in which you have experienced God testing you. How did you respond?
- What does this passage say about God’s control over sickness and health?
- How have you experienced God answering your own prayers for healing?
Praying a Passage with God’s Name
Praise God for the surprising way in which He has healed our sin, healing us through the wounds of His son. Spend a few moments reflecting on the name Yahweh Rophe, The LORD Who Heals, as you read Isaiah 53:4–5.
He certainly has taken upon Himself our suffering and carried our sorrows,
but we thought that Elohim had wounded Him, beat Him, and punished Him.
He was wounded for our rebellious acts. He was crushed for our sins.
He was punished so that we could have peace, and we received healing from His wounds.
PRAYING THE NAME YAHWEH ROPHE FOR MYSELF
Look up and read:
Do you feel the pressure to live by a list of rules? This is not what God wants for you. He wants you to be drawn by His grace and by the great care He put into His Word. The law found in the Bible was written by Yahweh Rophe, the only One who can truly heal your heart. Ask God to show you where the pressure you feel is truly coming from.
Promises from YAHWEH ROPHE
This is what Yahweh Elohim of your ancestor David says: I’ve heard your prayer. I’ve seen your tears. Now I’m going to heal you. — 2 Kings 20:5
When Yeshua heard this, he told the synagogue leader, “Don’t be afraid! Just believe, and she will get well.” — Luke 8:50
FOR DEEPER STUDY
Read the following passages, considering the name YAHWEH ROPHE and how its meaning relates to the context of the passage.
Excerpted with permission from Praying the names of God for 52 Weeks by Ann Spangler, copyright Ann Spangler.
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Yahweh Rophe is our God who heals. Do you need healing? Does some area of your life need healing? Do your relationships need healing? God hears your prayers and sees your tears. Keep praying and rely upon Him for healing! ~ Laurie McClure, Faith.Full