The compound name of Jehovah-Rapha was given at the cleansing waters of Marah in Exodus 15. Other comparisons for the servant are the Bronze Laver of the Tabernacle and the Second day of creation. All of these and more are discussed in detail in my upcoming book, Your Destiny, His Glory! To be released on our website June 26 at msrepairersofthebreach.com. Be watching!
As soon as the children of Israel grew tired and thirsty in their journey, they began to complain to Moses. Consequently, the Lord led them to bitter water. Directing Moses to a specific branch, God instructed His leader to throw it into the water. When Moses obeyed, the water became sweet.
Historically, the water at Marah was white rather than muddy or clear. It contained the minerals, magnesium and calcium. Here God told the Israelites that none of the diseases of Egypt would follow them. He revealed His name as Jehovah-Rapha, the Lord your healer or the Lord your health-keeping God.
In Egypt, both the Israelites and their animals drank water from the Nile River. They washed their clothes in it, took their baths in it, and probably still carried parasites from it. Facing the ominous task of crossing a desert, which would be a long, hot trek across scorching sand, God brought them to the bitter waters of Marah. Dry and thirsty, they all drank some of this water, even though it was very bitter.
Are you familiar with the effects of magnesium on our digestive system? It will cleanse your system. And so it did to the Israelites. Just a small amount of this mineral water sent them running to the latrine, wherever that was in the wilderness. Not pleasant, but quite effective to rid the body of parasites.
Drinking this water would also have put large amounts of magnesium and calcium, better known to athletes as dolomite, into their bodies. Long distance runners use this supplement to keep their muscles from cramping as they sweat, especially for long treks crossing hot deserts with scorching sand.
Get the picture? God was using the bitter water to cleanse their bodies and prepare them for a desert crossing. Preparing them for a new diet, a new way of life, He would give to them living water rather than the parasite-infested, slow-moving Nile River. He would give them new ways to stay healthy and prepare them for what was ahead. He was their health-keeping God. He promised “If you will… Then none of these diseases will come upon you.”
If you will obey Me, if you will follow My laws, if you will keep My covenant, then I will keep you healthy, whole, and prepared for any difficulty that lies ahead.
The unseen Servant helps keep the Church healthy by taking care of small details. Embracing bitterness, doing dirty jobs, loving the hard to love, and seeing and meeting needs, the Servant performs all these tasks behind the scenes. He is unnoticed, taken for granted, and yet so essential to keep the Church ready, moving and prepared for what is ahead.
At one time or another, we all come to bitter waters. By creating a safe atmosphere of hospitality, releasing living water through his words and actions, the Servant can prepare a place for others to find healing and comfort in the middle of difficult circumstances.