He said, “If you will listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in his sight, obeying his commands and keeping all his decrees, then I will not make you suffer any of the diseases I sent on the Egyptians; for I am the Lord who heals you.”Exodus 15:26
Yahweh Rapha: The LORD who heals you
Healing. What a loaded topic right now.
Now, in November 2020, when our country has been reeling for seven months from a pandemic and a feud. When politicians are using a serious, real problem to their own ends, when us ‘real’ folk are on the rack being pulled between health and financial security, when people are dying all over the world and doctors can’t make it stop. And in the midst of this, we are supposed to blindly put our trust in Yahweh Rapha who allowed it?
Not just our trust, but our obedience.
- Listen carefully
- Do what is right in His sight
- Obeying His commands
- Keeping all His decrees
Four times. So many, many times our eyes skip right over the first part of this verse, straight to the healing (we like that part). But four times He repeats that His people must obey to be healed! FOUR. TIMES.
God repeats Himself frequently in Scripture, and usually about things He knows we’ll skip over or need to hear more than once. Like obedience.
Because here’s the thing – we can be a little entitled when it comes to God’s miraculous power. We believe He can heal us, so He should or will heal us, regardless of what we do. He heals us because He can and He’s good and wants us to be healed, right? Yes, He can. Yes, He wants to. But what would we do with His gift if He did?
Jesus in his life once healed 10 lepers. Only one of them returned to say thank you.
Some smokers who’ve had to have an actual hole inserted straight into their throats so they can breathe – just choose to smoke through that opening instead.
When Jesus healed a paralyzed man who was waiting outside the pool of Bethesda, He was gentle enough to ask first, “Do you want to be healed?” Because truth be told – that healing we so crave… comes with a lot of responsibility we didn’t have before. It’s not as free as it looks.
I know we want – we need – the healing that is wrapped up in God’s character, that is in fact one of His many Names. But can we really say we’ll be responsible with it if He gives it to us? Or will we just – like the human beings we are – continue to act the way we’ve been acting and wind up right back in the same place we were before? Would we make the choices that make us stay healed?
Maybe that’s what obedience is for – to break the cycle of foolish or sinful behavior that led to the disease in the first place, so that when we are healed, we stay healed. Because God is a God of full healing. And that begins in our hearts.
Seed for thought: What would I do with wholeness, with health, if God – Yahweh Rapha – granted it to me?