Gracefully Truthful

Adoration,Broken,Character,Excuses,Faith,Fullness,Good,Healing

Read His Words Before Ours!

Exodus 15:22-26
Psalm 103:1-12
Psalm 147:1-3         
Luke 4:16-21
Psalm 51:7-10

Staring our lustful idols in the face,
naming them,
then bravely choosing to reject them
to worship the Only One Worthy
isn’t easy.

This action requires a heart made whole
by the God of healing. (Psalm 103:3)
A God whose Name is healing. (Exodus 15:26)
A God whose Name is a safe shelter. (Proverbs 18:10)

If we would truly tear down the idols of our hearts, we must deeply know the God who heals the empty places we’ve tried to satisfy with lesser loves. The more deeply we know and understand the God who heals, Jehovah Rapha, the more fervent our desire becomes for us to wholly love Him and others!

The Hebrew word rapha means “to heal, to restore or mend.” The Lord called Himself by this name following His miraculous rescue of His people from Egyptian slavery. (Exodus 7:1-5) When God began to teach His newly liberated children how to live in freedom, devoted to their One True God, He paired His previously revealed Name “I Am” (Exodus 3:14) with “LORD” (Jehovah) “who heals” (rapha).

“If you will carefully obey the LORD your God, do what is right in his sight, pay attention to His commands, and keep all His statutes, I will not inflict any illnesses on you that I inflicted on the Egyptians. For I am the LORD who heals you.” 
(Exodus 15:26, emphasis mine)

When the Israelites, faced with a desert sojourn, murmured against Moses instead of trusting in God’s faithfulness, the faith and focus they had previously experienced wavered. (Exodus 15:22-27) Collectively, they chose to prostrate themselves before the idols of their immediate and temporary lusts over whole-heart worship to the God who had already proven to be a faithful rescuer. 

Therefore, implicit in this passage is a warning: devotion to their own way, hardening their hearts, and abandoning the LORD’s loving guidance would lead to the kind of disaster the Israelites had just witnessed the Egyptians experience. 

Yet in that moment, demonstrating His unfathomable love, God concluded this warning by revealing Himself as the LORD who heals, calling His people to devotion to Him alone. As they sought God with single-minded devotion and He healed their hearts, the outward evidence of such healing would be lives of careful obedience to the LORD, pursuing righteousness and holiness with their whole hearts. 

In Psalm 147, we see a declaration of the LORD our healer at work (verse 3)
within the context of His vast omnipotence.

Lay down your idol of self-reliance, we might hear the psalmist call, for the LORD alone is your Rescuer. (verse 2)
Lay down your idols of lesser things and even your own knowledge, for the LORD’s greatness, power, and understanding are unmatched. (verse 5)
Lay down your idol of earthly power, for the LORD will move on behalf of the oppressed. (verse 6)
Lay down your idols of the gods of rain, of harvest, of war, of love, for the LORD alone holds all of creation in His hands. (verses 7-10, 13-20)
Lay down your idols and devote yourselves to Me, the LORD invites His people, for “[t]he LORD values those who fear him, those who put their hope in his faithful love.” (Psalm 147:11)

As we look to examples of Jehovah Rapha in the New Testament, we see Jesus, led by the Spirit, Jehovah Rapha incarnate, repairing our brokenness, freeing and healing from sin, ministering by the Word of God. (Luke 4:18-21) The living embodiment of wholehearted devotion to God the Father (John 15:9-10), Jesus’ desire for us is wholeness; His ultimate concern is spiritual healing.

If I’m honest, this topic has touched some raw places in my heart.

Recently, my best friend’s only child died. We prayed earnestly for God to heal her, and my heart shattered when I realized He would not. Thy will, not my will, was His plan and I had a choice to either trust His heart to still be good, or insist my plans would be the idol to which I bowed. (Matthew 26:36-46)

When Paul pleaded for the Lord to remove the thorn in his flesh, the Lord of Healing responded, no, in good kindness, for, “My grace is sufficient for you.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

We lean upon God’s grace with our full weight, surrendering our idols to be crushed and our hearts moved to whole-life worship of the Savior who heals.

“Purify me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. 
Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones you have crushed rejoice. 
Turn your face away from my sins
and blot out all my guilt. 
God, create a clean heart for me
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”
Psalm 51:7-10

Such joy is found in knowing God is mending our broken hearts; He is the God who takes our crushed spirits, whether from sin, idolatry, or the pain of grievous loss, and proves Himself to be Jehovah Rapha.

How do we respond to this kind of God?
With praise! Let’s glorify the God who tears down idols and heals us from the inside out; He is worthy to be praised!

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