Week Four Lesson
God the Healer…one of God’s most called upon names, I’m sure! We will learn much about another marvelous name of God this week. But I don’t want to mislead you. Our lesson will not provide any definitive answers on why it seems God sometimes answers healing prayers and sometimes doesn’t. But what I can promise you is that we will take an amazing journey together as we seek to understand God’s healing power. We have much to cover this week, so let’s begin!
Below is our Week Four message:
Memory Verse: “I am the Lord, who heals you.” Exodus 15:26 (NIV)
Heavenly Father, God Our Healer, reveal the Truth of this part of who You are to me. I’ve experienced unanswered healing prayers; because of that, I have questions. I have doubts sometimes. Teach me. Challenge my simple faith to go deeper and ask hard questions. Reveal new truths to me and grant me the wisdom and knowledge to understand them. Thank You that You are forever with me…that even when I feel confused, alone and forgotten, You promise to go before me, walk alongside me and be my rear guard. There is nowhere I can go that You are not. Help me to experience Your amazing healing power as I go through this study. Teach me how to cast my burden on You and allow You to sustain me as I wait on You. Help me to quiet my heart and still my mind. Enable me to rest in You. Help me to be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer. I ask all this in Jesus’ powerful and effective name. Amen
1. Read Exodus 14:15-31.
This passage shares one of God’s greatest miracles! God’s people stood in awe as God blew His breath over the waters and caused them to divide and turn into two walls of congealed liquid. One commentator wrote when the Israelites stepped forward in faith, they walked safely on dry ground between two walls of ice. Once they arrived on the other side, they watched as rushing waters swallowed hundreds and hundreds of Egyptian chariots, chariot drivers and soldiers and then watched again as their bodies washed up on the shore.
a. Read Exodus 15:1-21. What did the people do next?
Then Moses led the people into the desert. They traveled for three days without finding any water.
b. Read Exodus 15:22-23. What happened when the Israelites finally found water? What did they call that place?
The grumbling Israelites turned their anger and frustration toward Moses. Moses cried out to God. And as He always did, God provided…but in an unusual way.
c. How did God provide? (v. 25) Why do you think He chose this method?
Why use a piece of wood? Matthew Henry proposed this piece of wood was a “type” of the cross of Christ…a foreshadowing. Just as the cross sweetens the bitter waters of affliction and brings salvation to all who stand at its foot and believe, the wood Moses used sweetened the water, thus satisfying their thirst and saving their lives.
2. In the next few verses, God set forth a decree as a standard to test their faithfulness.
a. Read Exodus 15:26. What was the standard God set forth in the first half of the verse?
The NIV and the King James use the word “diseases.”
b. What are God’s last few words in the decree?
God revealed Himself to His people in a name. With that name came a promise. He promised to be the Lord Who Heals them. But this promise contained a condition.
c. What was God’s condition?
God set forth expectations for His people:
* Listen carefully to the voice of the Lord
* Do what is right in His eyes
* Pay attention to His commands
* Keep all His decrees
d. Where did God lead them after He issued this decree? (Exodus 15:27) What did the people find there?
3. Does bitterness fill your heart today? Do you need refreshing? Share what is on your heart below.
Sweet friend, Jehovah Rapha, God your Healer is waiting for you to come to Him with what is on your heart. He wants to bring healing to your circumstances, your relationships, your hurt, and your pain. Open His Word so that He can touch your heart with a “piece of wood”…a piece of the cross…a piece of His grace-filled heart. And when you read His Word, listen carefully…do what is right in His eyes…obey what you hear. When you do, His sweet springs of living water will flow into the bitter waters of your heart and bring hope and healing.
4. Let’s dig into a bit of background before we jump into our lesson on King Hezekiah. Read 2 Kings 15:32-16:20.
Hezekiah’s deep trust in the Lord distinguished him from other kings. His great-grandfather (King Uzziah) and grandfather (King Jotham) left him a strong legacy. They were wise and godly men who brought great prosperity to Judah and did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. But Hezekiah’s father (Ahaz) was a wicked king who totally rejected the ways of God. He followed the evil practices of the pagan nations around him. He was a complete failure as a king and left Hezekiah a broken and shattered nation.
Hezekiah knew his nation’s physical deterioration stemmed from their spiritual deterioration. So he initiated a time of great reformation and restoration. He purified the temple. He reinstated temple sacrifices. And God was pleased with Hezekiah because he knew that for his nation to prosper, it had to first reconcile itself with God. If you want to read more about King Hezekiah’s reign, read 2 Chronicles 29.
a. Read Proverbs 14:34. What does it say? What does this mean to you?
b. Read 2 Chronicles 30:1-12. What did King Hezekiah do next?
In the midst of of this restoration, Assyria invaded Judah. Initially Hezekiah panicked and made some critical mistakes in response to the invasion. But he corrected that quickly, thereby angering the King of Assyria. He mocked and ridiculed Hezekiah’s God in a letter, telling him his God was weak and not trustworthy.
c. Read 2 Kings 19:14-19. What was King Hezekiah’s response this time?
d. What did he pray?
I love this prayer. It reflects Hezekiah’s beautiful heart of humility.
5. Read 2 Kings 20:1-2.
Here is where we meet God the Healer. We find him in the rest of King Hezekiah’s story. Just after the Lord rescued Hezekiah and his people from the Assyrians, Hezekiah became deathly ill. The prophet, Isaiah, gave the king only days to live. He told Hezekiah to “put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.” (2 Kings 20:1, NIV 1984).
a. What did King Hezekiah do upon receiving word of his illness? (v. 2)
b. Read 2 Kings 20:3. What did Hezekiah pray?
c. At the end of his prayer, what did he do? What does this tell you about his heart?
d. Read James 5:16b. What does James say in this verse? How does the relate to King Hezekiah?
e. Read 2 Kings 20:5-6. What specifically did Isaiah tell King Hezekiah about his healing in verse 6?
f. How did God heal Hezekiah? (v. 7) Why do you think He used figs? What lesson do you glean from this?
Maybe using the figs was God’s way of showing us that medicine is “of God.” God could have performed a miraculous healing, but He didn’t. He chose to use figs. Did God want to teach us that going to a doctor is not evidence of disbelief? And that when a doctor heals, it’s still God at work healing in and through another’s hands.
Our last two discussions introduced us to Jehovah Rapha and provided great examples of God’s healing power and how it worked in the lives of His people. But now let’s examine what God’s Word specifically says about His will on this matter of healing. “Healer” as used in the Old Testament is a translation of the Hebrew Word Rapha which means “to mend, to cure, to heal, to thoroughly make whole,” and it refers to God as the One doing the healing.
6. Read Proverbs 4:20-22.
a. What are God’s instructions?
b. What happens when we follow His instructions?
7. Read Isaiah 53.
a. Who is the Servant? (see Isaiah 52:13-15)
Friend, grasp the significance of this passage. Seven hundred years before Christ appeared, Isaiah prophesied not only Christ’s coming but also what His coming would mean for His people.
b. Read Isaiah 53:2-3. How does Isaiah describe the Servant?
c. Read Isaiah 53:4-5. What does Isaiah teach us in this passage about our Savior?
Many debate over what exactly was “covered” by the Servant’s death on the cross. Is it only inner (spiritual) healing? Or does it extend to outer (physical) healing as well? As we proceed, ask God for wisdom and discernment to speak what He has to teach you on this topic.
The NIV 1984 says “[Jesus] took up our pain and bore our suffering.” The King James says, “[Jesus] hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows.” The issue confronting us us what the words “pain,” “suffering,” “griefs,” and “sorrows’ mean. “Griefs” translates from the Hebrew word choliy which means “sickness and disease.” “Sorrows” translates from the Hebrew word makob which means “affliction” and “pain.”
Jesus’ disciple Matthew, gives us further insight into Isaiah 53:4 in Matthew 8:16-17.
8. Read Matthew 8:16-17.
a. What does this verse say?
b. What does this language imply about what Isaiah 53:4 says with regard to healing?
What we do know from Isaiah’s words is that by dying on the cross, Jesus took on our sickness and disease. He bore them in His own perfect body..a body that had been free of sin, sickness and disease since before time began.
Sweet friend, never ever forget that! Such a heavy load for our Father in Heaven and for His Son. God sent His only Son to die on the cross for our healing. That healing comes first in the form of spiritual healing…the forgiveness of sins. Because of Jesus, we are no longer bound by sin and death. We become children of God who can walk confidently in the righteousness of Christ with the hope and promise of everlasting life!
But I believe God’s Word also teaches us Jesus died for our physical healing. Jesus healed physically in the Old Testament and in the New Testament. God’s Word clearly teaches that God’s character never changes. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.
Therefore, we can conclude with great assurance that we are to pray not only for spiritual healing but also for physical healing.
The pages of the New Testament are filled with incredible stories recounting Jesus’ miraculous healings. Choosing which ones to share took hours! Each one contains its own unique lesson. But choose I must, so let’s begin.
Before we jump into the stories themselves, let’s travel back with Luke to the time Jesus met Satan in the wilderness. Jesus’ temptation came not long after John the Baptist had baptized Him.
9. Read Matthew 3:13-17 and Luke 3:21-22.
a. Share what happened in these two passages.
b. Read Luke 4:1-2. What happened to Jesus just after He was baptized?
c. Why do you think God led Jesus into the wilderness immediately after His baptism?
d. Read Luke 4:3-13. How did Jesus reply to each of the three temptations of Satan?
Jesus overcame each temptation with a few powerful, Holy Spirit filled words. This is a huge lesson for us, my friend. We must not fight Satan in our own strength, with our own words. We must fight Him with God’s strength, with God’s Words. Dr. David Jeremiah writes this in one of his daily devotions: “When we accept the Word of God, it ultimately affects our decisions, our walk, and our entire life. It provides rules when we don’t know where the guardrails are. And it’s a fountainhead of strength when we’re overcome by fear or weakness.”
e. Read Luke 4:14. What does Luke tells us happened just after the time of Jesus’ temptation?
These words are incredibly significant to the rest of our lesson as we get to know Jesus as the Great Physician. God led Jesus into the wilderness with a fresh filling of His Spirit. Jesus came out of the wilderness full of the Holy Spirit’s power!
10. Read Luke 5:12-15.
a. How did the leper approach Jesus (v.12)? What does this reveal about his heart?
b. Why do you suppose the leper said, “If you are willing?”
Friend, the leper knew Jesus was able, but he doubted if Jesus would actually heal Him. How often do we speak the same words? Tucked inside the leper’s words is really the question Am I worthy of Your healing? Or Is my healing a part of Your purpose and plan for me?
c. How did Jesus respond in Luke 5:13?
Don’t you love this? Jesus, in his sinlessness and holiness, touched the untouchable! He reached out and restored the leper to wholeness. Jesus did not have to touch the leper to heal Him because by His Word alone He could heal. But He touched this leper to meet a deeper need…his need for love and affection. Jesus’ touch healed the man’s heart, and His Word healed the man’s disease.
d. Do you have a rotting place in your life that you cannot share with another single soul? A place of shame? Guilt? Unforgiveness? Addiction? Bitterness? Prejudice? We all have a place…a place so ugly that if someone knew, they might reject us or judge us. Don’t remain in that stinkin’ rotten place, sweet friend. Jehovah Rapha offers us the same source of cleansing and healing that He offered the leper. That source is JESUS! He is waiting for you to come to Him.
Amazing faith. Who has it? What is it?
In Luke Chapter 7, Jesus defines amazing faith. After Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, He entered the city of Capernaum. Interestingly, Jesus performed many of His miracles in that city. Luke opens Chapter 7 introducing us to a Roman centurion. We never learn his name. All Luke tells us is that he is a centurion in the Roman army, meaning he commanded a century (group of 100 soldiers). Jews normally hated Roman soldiers, but this one they loved and respected. Why? Because, although Roman and a Gentile, he distinguished himself from all the other soldiers. He lived his life differently. He valued and respected this community of God’s people and had even built their local synagogue. This centurion had a servant who had become very sick. He had heard of Jesus and His miraculous healing powers, so he sent for Jesus. The elders immediately went to Jesus and pleaded with Him on the centurion’s behalf.
11. Read Luke 7:1-5.
a. What did the elders say to Jesus?
b. What was Jesus’ response? (v. 6)
c. What do you think Jesus heard about this man from the elders that made Him respond in this way?
One thing we cannot miss, my friend, is how this man valued his servant. In biblical times, slaves were of little value. If one became weak or ill, most owners would discard them and buy another. But not this centurion. Scripture says this servant’s master “highly valued” him. These words translate from the Greek word entimos, meaning “honored…precious…dear.”
Oh, friend, our Master highly values His servants…you and me. We are precious in His sight. Just as the centurion valued his servant, Christ values us.
d. Read Luke 7:6-8. What three character traits stood out to you as you read the centurion’s words to Jesus?
We learn three lessons about what Jesus looks for in a heart:
e. What words and actions in this story reveal the centurion’s good character?
f. What words reveal his humility? (v. 7)
g. What words reveal his faith? (v. 7-8)
The centurion’s words really said to Jesus, I know who I am, and people under my authority do what I say; therefore, because You are who You are, if You speak a word, it will be done. Even if the centurion didn’t understand everything about Jesus, He did have a clear understanding of His authority and what that authority meant and carried with it. He knew that when Jesus spoke, His Word came to be.
This, sweet friend, is the kind of faith God desires.
h. When Jesus turned to the crowd, what emotion did He feel and what did He say? (v. 9)
“Amazed” translated in the Greek here is thaumazo, meaning “to wonder, marvel and admire.” I don’t often think of Jesus being amazed, especially at me. How can the God of the Universe ever be amazed by us? But He can be…He wants to be.
Oh, how I want to be a woman whose faith amazes God! What about you?
Take time to review your lesson and prayerfully answer the questions below based on what you have learned from God’s Word and what God has spoken to your heart through your time with Him?
* Who is Jehova Rapha?
* Why should I care?
We close our journey with the names of God this week. And it has been my joy and delight to study God’s Word with you. You have so many places you could invest your time and energy and you choose to be here. It means more than you will ever know! I treasure each and every one of you.
To celebrate our time together, I would like to do a giveaway for next week. First, I will give away a copy of my book Hidden Joy in honor of God’s name Jehovah Rapha. Second, I will give away two sets of 12 postcards pictured below made by one of our own, Heather Bleier! Don’t you love how she intricately weaved the names of God into the word “LOVE?” She created them as a surprise and a gift for us. Thank you, Heather. We are so thankful for you!!
And please stop back by next week for a closing message about our last name of God…one so fitting for this season…Emmanuel!
From the comments left this week, I will choose 3 names to win either the book or a set of 12 cards from Heather. I can’t wait to hear what God teaches you this week about Jehovah Rapha, God our Healer.