The Names of God: Yahweh Elohiym and Yahweh Rapha


The Book of Exodus shows us the beginning of God’s fulfillment of His Promise to Abraham. In it we see the beginning of Israel as a nation, a people saved by God. In Israel we also see how God reveals Himself to his people. God reveals Himself through the use of different names, names that characterize Who our God is.

God Reveals Himself As ELOHIYM

As the Book of Exodus starts we see the Pharaoh order the abortion of all male children. Yet the Bible tells us that those who delivered the babies – the midwives – refused to do so. Why? The Bible says:

Exodus 1:17 … But the midwives feared God (Elohiym), and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive.

That which motivated the midwives was their fear of Elohiym. If you remember this name of God, you remember this is the earliest name of God found in Scripture. In Genesis it is the fourth word in our English Bibles:

In the beginning God (Elohiym)

We discussed in earlier messages that Elohiym is a plural rendered as a singular. It is the name of the Triune God (Father, Son, Spirit). I am not certain that the early midwives understood the Trinity (and we barely grasp it), but it was their fear of Elohiym – respect for the Three in One God – that caused them to refuse to kill babies though the state ordered it done. By being obedient the Bible says:

Exodus 1:20-21 Therefore God (Elohiym) dealt well with the midwives: and the people multiplied, and waxed very mighty. 21 And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God (Elohiym), that he made them houses.

The midwives had little, which is probably why they spent their time delivering babies for sustenance. But because they honored Elohiym the Bible says Elohiym made them houses. He increased what they possessed. A “house” is a reference to a household. Their income increased. Their families increased. Their health increased. What was it our Lord Jesus told us?

Matthew 6:31-33 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

My wife and I love to walk trails in the woods. It’s good exercise, and a beautiful way to experience God’s greatness. Often when I’m walking with my love I see fallen trees, many of which are huge in diameter. There is two reasons these forest giants fall. One reason is that the roots are not standing on solid ground. The other reason is because a small bug or disease took up residence in the trunk of the tree. I have seen trunks hollowed out by termites or small bugs. The outside of the tree looks nice and healthy, but the inside is all rotted away. In time it will fall.

So it is with every life, even the Christian life. If we build our lives on less than solid ground eventually we will fall. The Bible tells us to build our lives on the Rock that is our Triune God. King David said:

Psalm 62:1-2 … Truly my soul waiteth upon God (Elohiym): from him [cometh] my salvation. 2 He only [is] my rock and my salvation; [he is] my defense; I shall not be greatly moved.

The midwives sought the pleasure of The Father, Son, and Spirit. They did not live for Pharaoh nor to please the crowd. Furthermore, the midwives avoided allowing sins, like little bugs, to infiltrate their lives. When sin comes into the life, whether you be Christian or non-Christian, that sin will ultimately consume you. Oh Beloved, remember that:

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Sin kills. It eats us up from the inside out. Let us be like the midwives, and live so as to find our Father smiling on us. Let us live so as to honor the Son’s sacrifice. Let us walk in the Spirit, at peace with Elohiym regardless as to what this world may think! When we are afflicted, let us call upon upon the Father in the Name of the Son and in the power of the Spirit. Let us cry out within our affliction, as Israel did:

Exodus 2:23-25 And it came to pass in process of time, that the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God (Elohiym) by reason of the bondage. 24 And God (Elohiym) heard their groaning, and God (Elohiym) remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. 25 And God (Elohiym) looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them.

God Reveals Himself As YAHWEH

When God calls out to Moses from the burning bush, the Lord began by introducing Himself as Elohiym. He told Moses:

Exodus 3:6 … I am the God (Elohiym) of thy father, the God (Elohiym) of Abraham, the God (Elohiym) of Isaac, and the God (Elohiym) of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.

God told Moses that he was to go to both Pharaoh as well as Israel, serving as the spokesman of Elohiym. We read:

Exodus 3:13-15 And Moses said unto God (Elohiym), Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God (Elohiym) of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? 14 And God (Elohiym) said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. 15 And God (Elohiym) said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God (Yahweh Elohiym) of your fathers, the God (Elohiym) of Abraham, the God (Elohiym) of Isaac, and the God (Elohiym) of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.

Our God is YAHWEH. He is the great I AM. He is ETERNAL, without beginning or end. The first mother, Eve, knew Elohiym as YAHWEH:

Genesis 4:1 … Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD (YAHWEH).

When our Lord Jesus wanted to tell the Pharisees that He Himself is Eternal, co-existent with both Father and Spirit, He told them:

John 8:58-59 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM. 59 Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

The Pharisees sought to stone Jesus to death for blasphemy, for He made Himself equal with God. But Jesus is indeed equal with God. He is the Eternal Word Who “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1-2).

When God told Moses He was YAHWEH, He was also saying He is unchangeable. We change and grow, but God does not.

Malachi 3:6 … For I am the LORD (Yahweh), I change not

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

The Great I AM bound Himself to Israel by covenant, and that covenant would never end. He binds Himself to us who love Him by that same covenant. If you have faith in Christ then the Scripture trumpets:

Galatians 3:6-8 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. 7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. 8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, [saying], In thee shall all nations be blessed.

The God that saved Abraham is the same God that saved me. The God that promised Abraham is the same God that promised me. If you have received the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior then the Elohiym – the Triune God – works together to bring you into His family. YAHWEH has you in His hands. YAHWEH promised to save Israel from Egypt, and YAHWEH did so. It was YAHWEH Who told Israel to kill a lamb without blemish, a male of the first year:

Exodus 12:7-8 And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. 8 And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.

God said,

Exodus 12:11-13 … it is the LORD’S (YAHWEH’s) passover. 12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD (YAHWEH). 13 And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.

You all know the story. The God Who gives life was going to take life this very night, the life of all that were not under the Blood of the Lamb. That Blood represented what our Lord Jesus Christ did for us on Calvary.

Every day I read the obituaries of those who were unprepared for death. The LORD YAHWEH came to their homes, but they knew not Jesus.

Jesus Christ is …

Revelation 13:8 … the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

1 Corinthians 5:7 … Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:

The lamb slain at the first Passover represented our Lord Jesus Who would one day be killed for our sins. We are made near to God as children by the Blood of Christ (Ephesians 2:13). Our consciences are purged from dead works by the Blood of Christ (Hebrews 9:14). What shall wash away my sins? The Apostle said:

1 Peter 1:19 {you were redeemed from death} … with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

When Yahweh came visiting that night, every home that was not under the blood of the lamb suffered death. This broke the back of Egypt. Israel was released. Though Israel would later be pursued by Egypt (and the devil pursues every believer in Christ, tempting and trying to derail us), God would destroy Egypt’s armies and protect His people.

God Reveals Himself As YAHWEH RAPHA

People are so very fickle – and Christians are often the most fickle. God saved Israel with a mighty hand. At the Red Sea Moses cried out:

Exodus 14:13-14 And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD (YAHWEH), which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. 14 The LORD (YAHWEH) shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.

Yahweh – the Great God I AM – saved His people. God saves us by Grace. He merely asks that we come to Him as Lord, and heed Him as Father. He cries out to us in Jesus, “whosoever believeth in My Son will never perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Yahweh sends His Spirit to us, and indwells us, and adopts us. But we are so fickle. Our memory is so short. This is why we come together frequently, to remind one another that Yahweh is faithful – and calls us to faithfulness.

I am not a very good gardener. This year I am raising my own tomato plants from seed. So far they are doing well. But once I transplant them outside, that’s when the problems start. You see, I forget to check on my tomatoes daily. Weeds creep in. If you pull weeds when they are small, they are very easy to remove. But if you wait too long – holy cow! I pulled a weed the other day that had grown up into the highest part of my choke-berry tree. I thought I’d never get it out!

Weeds are similar to sin. You see, weeds began when Adam sinned. God told Adam:

Genesis 3:17-18 … cursed [is] the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat [of] it all the days of thy life; 18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee…

We need to pull the weed of sin out of our lives as soon as we see it. If we allow those little sins to creep in, they grow like weeds. Weeds that are not removed will remove the fruit – and even the life – of that which has been planted. If I want tomatoes, I must keep my garden weeded. If I want to be blessed of God, I must keep my spiritual life weeded.

Israel went three days into the wilderness, and found no water. Did they pray? Did they seek God’s face? Did they remember the blessings that God gave them just three days before?

No. They murmured. They groaned. They complained. They looked to themselves rather than to God. And here is where we see God revealing Himself to us by another name.

Exodus 15:24-26 And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink? 25 And {Moses} cried unto the LORD (YAHWEH); and the LORD (YAHWEH) shewed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them, 26 And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD (YAHWEH) thy God (Elohiym), and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee (YAHWEH Rapha).

Israel was headed toward the Promised Land, but was not there yet. But the God Who saved them – YAHWEH Elohiym – is the God Who will keep them. Our God is “Yahweh Rapha – the Great I AM Who heals us, His people”. God never brings us to a place in life where we are to be cursed. Israel should have known that the God Who saved them from Egypt is the same God Who will be with them through all their trials.

Healing the water was very simple. God showed Moses a tree to throw in the water – and that tree made the waters sweet. Our Lord Jesus Christ made our lives so very sweet by going to the Cross of Calvary for us. Did you know that the average human is about 60% water?

The tree being tossed in the bitter waters is a beautiful picture of the Cross of Christ. The tree had to die to be cast into the bitter waters.

When we receive Him as Lord and Savior, Jesus’ payment for our sins becomes the catalyst that brings us into the Family of God. We are made alive because He died for us. When life gets rough, we need to look to the Cross. We need to look to Yahweh Rapha, the God Who heals us. Yahweh Rapha gave everything He had to save us. The Father gave His Son to die. The Son was willing to die in agony and shame on Calvary for us. The Spirit gives His life by promising to inhabit the believer. Oh, how God sacrificed for us! So we as His grateful children lay our lives down for Him.

Let us look to Calvary, look to the Christ, and trust Him when we are tried. Do not allow the weeds of sin and selfishness to creep into your walk with God. Look up! Look up!

May God’s Spirit and his Word touch your lives this very day. Amen.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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