The names of God: The Lord that healeth thee
Scripture: Exodus 15:26
In a place called Mara, a place of bitterness, Israel learned the comforting significance of this name. It was a place of testing and bitter disappointment. Under the stress of thirst, an at first yielding to the pressure of that stress to complain of God, they proved God to be their healer and preserver.
There is a great deal of truth stored up in this name that must be carefully and thoughtfully extracted. It is easy to go wrong and draw false conclusions from it. It is important that we keep all of Scripture in view to guide us in this matter and maintain a Biblical perspective on every point. We must be ready to see how this name applies to various aspects of physical, spiritual and ultimately, eternal life and health.
I THE LORD IS THE SOVEREIGN DISPOSER OF THE HEALTH OF MEN.
This is a vital place to begin and always come back to.
- He clearly states that He can, and does, preserve the health of those who obey Him. Here is one of the benefits of obeying God. A godly lifestyle will preserve us in better health than we could otherwise have known. Sin is the great cause of death and all that produces it.
- He states that He punished the Egyptians in their defiance of God, with various diseases. He can and does use sickness as a means of punishing sin in this life. Such things are often the natural consequences of sinful action, but we must recognize the hand of God at work when men reap as they sow.
- These statements are not absolute in this life. There are limitations on how we must apply these statements. Cp Ecc 7:15. He does allow the righteous to become ill and be afflicted with disease. Cp Job 2:4-8, Phil 2:27, 3Jn 1:2. It is evident that the godly sicken and die. Conversely, it is evident that the wicked often prosper in health. Cp Ps 73:3-5, Jer 5:28. It is clear then that though the words of Ex 15:26 link spiritual health to physical health, that link is not always to be made in an absolute sense.
II OBEDIENCE IS INDICATED AS THE KEY TO ENJOYING THE BLESSING OF GOD IN OUR HEALTH.
- A promise. The word is directed to those who will obey His laws.
- The kind of obedience to strive for.
- Hear. Diligence is particularly emphasized in this. Our ear plays a greater role in our well-being than we may think!
- Do. The words of God are to be put into practice. Cp James 1:22-25
- Keep. We must be on our guard in this matter.
- Obedience can be pleaded as a reason for healing when sickness comes. Cp Is 36:1-5.
- Sin is identified as the underlying cause of disease and sickness. Cp Rom 6:23. Christians need to remember this. In the lives of saints He uses sickness as a means of chastisement. Cp Deut 28:27, 35, Ps 41, James 5:15. However, it is not always so, even though every sickness, ache and pain should be traced by the Christian back to the working of sin within us and produce a readiness to cry for pardon.
III HEALING IN ALL ITS SENSES IS SEEN TO BE A PERSONAL BENEFIT OF GOD’S COVENANT WITH HIS PEOPLE.
- The name Jehovah. The promise of healing is an extension of the name Jehovah—God’s personal name as the signatory to the covenant of mercy and grace. It is also the name that underscores His eternity! As such it brings an eternal dimension into this matter of healing.
- Physical healing is a work of God in grace. Ultimately this promise of health is seen in the physical resurrection of the righteous which comes to us through Christ. This healing act is the greatest performed by the Great Physician.
- Spiritual healing. Cp Ps 103:3, Matt 9:12, Rom 6:23. Certainly such pardon and restoration is a work of covenant grace.