Is there no balm in Gilead – Part 2
Text:Jeremiah 8:20–22; Mark 6:1-6
Key Verse: Jeremiah 8:22, “Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? Why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?” (KJV).
Jeremiah was expressing deep grief and sorrow about the poor spiritual state of the people of Israel, who had turned their back on God and were buried in all manner of sin. Jeremiah said, “Since my people are crushed, I am crushed; I mourn, and horror grips me” (Jeremiah 8:21). The people were in desperate condition and needed to be restored back to God.
As Jeremiah was overwhelmed in astonishment, he asked this famous rhetorical question “Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then has not the health of the daughter of my people been restored?” In Gilead grew a tree that produced the healing ointment known as the Balm of Gilead, which people sought to cure their sicknesses.
Jeremiah’s question implies that there is balm in Gilead; that God has provided a remedy suitable to the desperate malady; and that there is more in the balm to heal than there is in guilt to wound; for there is more in grace to save than there is in sin to destroy.
The balm is the spiritual symbol of healing that is available through God. Why, then, are God’s own people lost in sin, idolatry, wickedness and covetousness? Why is she so sick and sore?
Jeremiah’s worry, of course, was that the people utterly refused to avail themselves of the provisions of the balm and the care of the physician to cure their sins. They knew about the balm of Gilead: its medicinal and cosmetic values. They knew about the physician Jehovah Rapha, but they preferred something else. This is the bug of familiarity.
Even more so in a spiritual sense Israel was the physician of men’s souls, holding for others and for all time the saving truth of God. But the evils which came upon them – social, political, spiritual – had increased to such a degree that it might well be asked, were the sources of saving health exhausted, or were the possessors of spiritual wisdom wholly extinct? Materially and spiritually, Israel was more in need of healing than those it regarded as barbarians and heathen.
Why are you overwhelmed in depression and contemplating suicide? Why are you carrying loads of sin? Are you not aware that Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). Why live in the yoke and bondage of sin? Jesus said, “For the yoke I will give you is easy, and the load I will put on you is light” (Matthew 11:30).
There is so much confusion everywhere in our world today because the people and our leaders have refused to avail themselves of the solutions that can only be found in Christ. Jesus is the answer. Jesus has the power to rule and reign over every circumstance that we face in life. There is no hope in this world – civilization is totally and terribly weak.
Why are you still going to and fro in search of solutions in places there are none? Jesus said the devil came to steal, kill and destroy, but that He came that you may have life, and have it in abundance (John 10:10). Please, I beg you, don’t neglect the free gift of God, as it is for your good. I urge you today to accept Jesus and make Him the Lord of your life and it will be well with your soul.
Today’s Nugget: Jesus is the answer.
Prayer: Jesus, come into my life today in Jesus Name, Amen.
Prayer lines: 09078154261.
E-mail: a firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Chidi Okoroafor, General Superintendent
Assemblies of God Nigeria
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