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Sermon: Jehovah-Rapha: The Lord Heals You, Exodus 15.22–26

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Jehovah-Rapha: The Lord Heals You 

Exodus 15.22–26 

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • March 17, In the year of our Lord Christ, 2019 

  1. To persuade Pharaoh to let the children of Israel go out from Egypt, 
    1. the Lord used Moses to pour out on Egypt twelve plagues, 
    2. nationwide miraculous manifestations of God’s wrath, 
      1. which pulverized Egypt, and 
      2. it only survived because the Lord wished for the nation to remain. 
  2. One of the plagues that the Lord put upon Egypt 
    1. was turning the water into blood. 
      1. Every source of water in the land of Egypt turned into blood. 
      2. Only a divine power could accomplish such a feat, but 
        1. it should not surprise us 
        2. since He made water and blood. 
          1. He can change water into blood and 
          2. He can change blood into water or 
            1. He can change water into wine and 
            2. He can change wine into water. 
    2. That was just one of the ten plagues. 
  3. Finally, Pharaoh let the children of Israel go, but then 
    1. he had a change of heart:

      5 Now it was told the king of Egypt that the people had fled, and the heart of Pharaoh and his servants was turned against the people; and they said, “Why have we done this, that we have let Israel go from serving us?” (Exodus 14.5).
    2. He put together his army and went after the children of Israel. 
      1. Mean while, the children of Israel had gotten out of Egypt, heading east. 
      2. Israel was on the move and the Egyptians were on the move. 
        1. Israel came through a mountain pass and emptied out onto a beach. 
        2. The Egyptians came through that pass behind Israel, 
          1. trapping them between the mountains, the army, and the Red Sea. 
          2. Israel could see that they were trapped and 
            1. they thought that they would all die. 
            2. They had already forgotten the miracles God did in Egypt.

              11 Then they said to Moses, “Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you so dealt with us, to bring us up out of Egypt? 12 Is this not the word that we told you in Egypt, saying, ‘Let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness” (Exodus 14.11–12).
  4. However, the Lord did something unexpected. 
    1. Moses did not know what the Lord would do, but 
      1. he did know that the Lord would do something. 
      2. Moses put everything together, 
        1. the plagues, 
        2. the promises to the Fathers of inheriting the Land of Canaan, 
        3. the wonderful things in his own life, and so 
          1. Moses knew that God had to do something 
          2. to keep His promise to bring Israel into the Land of Canaan. 
    2. Therefore, Moses said to the people:

      13 “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. 14 The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace” (Exodus 14.13–14).
      1. Moses must have then spoken to the Lord, 
      2. asking Him to do something. 
        1. Therefore, the Lord said to Moses:

          15 And the LORD said to Moses, “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward. 16 But lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it. And the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea” (Exodus 14.15–16).
        2. Did Moses have in mind for God to do that? 
    3. Moses stretched out his hand out toward the Red Sea and 
      1. the Lord used a mighty wind 
      2. to divide the waters of the Red Sea, 
        1. allowing Israel to walk across on dry ground. 
        2. When Israel crossed The Jordan River four decades later, 
          1. the Lord made a five-mile-wide swath in the river, 
          2. allowing several million people to cross over. 
      3. He had to make an equally wide path for them to cross over in one night. 
  5. After Israel crossed the Red Sea, 
    1. the Egyptians tried to follow. 
    2. The Lord let the entire army get between the walls of water, and then 
      1. let the waters come crashing down upon the Egyptians, 
      2. killing the entire army.

        30 So the LORD saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. 31 Thus Israel saw the great work which the LORD had done in Egypt; so the people feared the LORD, and believed the LORD and His servant Moses (Exodus 14.30–31).
  6. What do you think Israel then did? 
    1. What would you have done? 
    2. They celebrated and praised God, singing:

      1b “I will sing to the LORD,
      For He has triumphed gloriously!
      The horse and its rider
      He has thrown into the sea!

      8 And with the blast of Your nostrils
      The waters were gathered together;
      The floods stood upright like a heap;
      The depths congealed in the heart of the sea.

      10 You blew with Your wind,
      The sea covered them;
      They sank like lead in the mighty waters.
      11 Who is like You, O LORD, among the gods?
      Who is like You, glorious in holiness,
      Fearful in praises, doing wonders?”
      – Exodus 15.1, 8, 10–11
      1. They sang praises to God just like we do. 
      2. This was the greatest moment in their national/family history. 
        1. I selected the parts where they mentioned the waters and 
        2. where they mentioned His uniqueness for doing wonders. 
  7. VII.It was time to move on and 
    1. they headed for the Land of Canaan, but 
    2. something happened and it completely changed their attitude toward God:

      22 So Moses brought Israel from the Red Sea; then they went out into the Wilderness of Shur. And they went three days in the wilderness and found no water. 23 Now when they came to Marah, they could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter. Therefore the name of it was called Marah. 24 And the people complained against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” 25 So he cried out to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a tree. When he cast it into the waters, the waters were made sweet. There He made a statute and an ordinance for them, and there He tested them, 26 and said, “If you diligently heed the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the LORD who heals you.” 27 Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve wells of water and seventy palm trees; so they camped there by the waters.
      – Exodus 15.22–27
      1. They traveled three days into the wilderness, but found no water. 
      2. Then they began to complain.

        “In three days, they descended from the heights of praise to the depths of despair.”
        – David Wilkerson, Knowing God by Name, page 31
    3. Think of what they had witnessed 
      1. in the plagues, and 
      2. in the parting and closing of the Red Sea. 
        1. Suddenly, they do not believe 
        2. that He can supply them with fresh water. 
    4. Can the God who turned the waters of Egypt into blood and 
      1. can that same God who divided the waters of the Red Sea, 
      2. also supply drinking water for those people? 
        1. Of course, He can. 
        2. Can He fix bad waters for them? 
          1. It is joke to ask the question. 
          2. As Gabriel told Mary,

            37 “For with God nothing will be impossible.”
            – Luke 1.37
  8. VIII.Remember that God tested Abraham decades after he already believed. 
    1. Just because I believed yesterday 
    2. does not mean I believe today or that I will tomorrow? 
      1. Therefore, God tested their faith, 
      2. even as He tests our faith. 
        1. We believe Him when things are easy, 
        2. will we believe Him when things are tough also? 
          1. Belief is not a one-time event. 
          2. It is a manner of life, of living. 
  9. What did Israel do? 
    1. What should they have done? 
    2. Should they have complained? 
      1. If God can turn water into blood, 
        1. if He can part and collapse the waters of a sea, 
        2. He can provide fresh drinking water, 
          1. even turning bad water into good water. 
          2. Israel should have know this. 
      2. Instead they complained, 
        1. as though God could not make the bad water good, or 
        2. as though He did not know where He was leading them, or 
        3. as though they expected better service from Him. 
    3. Could they not have simply asked Him for fresh drinking water? 
      1. Why did they, and why do we, think 
      2. that we have to get ugly with God and man, 
        1. demanding exactly what we want? 
        2. Would they have wanted people to treat them that way? 
          1. Do you want people to complain against you or 
          2. do you want them to talk to you about it? 
    4. Think about it, 
      1. they went from having total faith to walk through the divided Red Sea 
      2. to doubt about God in just three days! 
  10. Why did God allow them to go three days without finding water, and then 
    1. when they did find a source, 
    2. the water was not potable? 
      1. Consider what Moses said to them recorded in Deuteronomy 8. 
      2. This shows why He allowed them to hunger:

        1 “Every commandment which I command you today you must be careful to observe, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land of which the LORD swore to your fathers. 2 And you shall remember that the LORD your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. 3 So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD (Deuteronomy 8.1–3).
        1. God wanted them to keep His commandments 
        2. that they might live and multiply. 
          1. Therefore, He tested them, allowed them to suffer 
          2. to see whether they would still obey Him. 
            1. He fed them a special bread 
            2. that taught them an important lesson: 
              1. man does not live by bread alone but 
              2. by every word that God speaks. 
                1. If they always had an abundant supply of bread, 
                2. they would have concluded man does live by bread alone. 
    3. That entire scenario held true with drinking water. 
      1. God wanted them to keep His commandments 
      2. that they might live and multiply. 
        1. Therefore, He tested them, allowed them to suffer 
        2. to see whether they would still obey Him. 
          1. He provided fresh drinking when it was not available, 
          2. which taught them an important lesson: 
            1. man does not live by water alone but 
            2. by every word that God speaks. 
              1. If they always had an abundant supply of potable water, 
              2. they would have concluded man does live by water alone. 
  11. Remember what we saw as the background for Jehovah-Jireh. 
    1. Abraham had already shown great faith in God. 
    2. So it happened with Israel. 
      1. They had believed:

        31 So the people believed; and when they heard that the LORD had visited the children of Israel and that He had looked on their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshiped.
        – Exodus 4.31
      2. Then with the water, He tested them. 
  12. XII.So think of what the Lord did 
    1. after they had complained to them. 
    2. He fixed the water. 
      1. He then told them that He was Jehovah-Rapha, The-Lord-Who-Heals-You. 
      2. He was not, at least at this time, The-Lord-Who-Is-Angry. 
        1. His patience and endless compassion showed time and again, 
        2. just as it does in our lives. 
  13. XIII.I plead with you to remember the teachings of the following passages: 
    1. Psalm 103.1–5

      1 Bless the LORD, O my soul;
      And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
      2 Bless the LORD, O my soul,
      And forget not all His benefits:
      3 Who forgives all your iniquities,
      Who heals all your diseases,
      4 Who redeems your life from destruction,
      Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
      5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
      So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
      – Psalm 103.1–5
    2. Psalm 147.3

      3 He heals the brokenhearted
      And binds up their wounds.
      – Psalm 147.3
    3. Mark 2.17

      17 “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
      – Mark 2.17
    4. First Peter 2.24

      24 who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.
      – 1 Peter 2.24 
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