Moses and his sister Miriam, who helped save his life by placing him in a basket on the Nile River, sang a song of deliverance after the most dramatic experience of their lives. And they’d already had many!
Miriam sang to them:
“Sing to the Lord,
for he is highly exalted.
Both horse and driver
he has hurled into the sea.” (Exodus 15:21, NIV)
Christians today find inspiration in this story of an oasis called “Elim.”
When they came to Marah, they could not drink its water because it was bitter. (That is why the place is called Marah.) So the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What are we to drink?”
Then Moses cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a piece of wood. He threw it into the water, and the water became fit to drink.
There the Lord issued a ruling and instruction for them and put them to the test.He said, “If you listen carefully to the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you.”
Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs and seventy palm trees, and they camped there near the water. (Exodus 15:23-27, NIV)
God in this powerful story reveals himself as one who is able to restore physical life, give clean water, maintain health in exchange for faithfulness.
There the Lord made potable water for one million people and promised if they would listen and follow Yahweh, they could avoid the diseases that came to Egyptians.
The biggest stand out in this story is a new name for God. God here calls Himself, “The Lord who heals you.”
The Hebrew phrase transliterated into English alphabet is, “Jehovah Rophe” and the meaning is “The Lord heals.”
Lord, If we are truly your children you love and protect, will you do such mighty acts for us today? Is it enough to know you act this way in the past and can act this way if you see fit in our lives? It’s hard to believe, but you are great!
Jehovah Rophe, if we are disobedient we may be afflicted, but You also allow suffering of the righteous, such as Job. One thing seems clear: You love Israel. Heal us, Jehovah Rophe.
In what ways has God saved your life from purposelessness, from sin, rebellion, from exile, from the abuse of others. Make those things visible to yourself by writing them down.
Pray the name of Jehovah Rophe over the sick people you know today.
Greg Taylor preaches for The Journey. Greg’s wife, Jill, teaches math at Broken Arrow High School and Tulsa Community College. Greg and Jill have three adult children, Ashley, Anna, and Jacob. Greg is the author of many books, including his latest co-authored with Randy Harris, Daring Faith: Meeting Jesus in the Book of John.