Is there no balm in Gilead?
Jer. 8:22 ¶ Is there no balm in Gilead?
Is there no physician there?
Why then has the health of my poor people
not been restored?
God's people were wounded -- wounded by their own behavior and sin and as a result were suffering the consequences of their infidelity. Israel was being destroyed both by those enemies that surrounded them but also by their personal sin which was like a cancer killing them from the inside out. Was there no way for them to be healed? This was a rhetorical question for obviously there was a cure for what ailed them. Gilead was within the borders of Israel -- so yes, there was a balm for healing and it could be found within their very own borders. The God of Israel was there, waiting to provide for his own people. Therefore, the question must be asked, "Why then has the health of my poor people not been restored?" Why indeed! Because they refused the cure.
Often have I had people come and share with me the ills of their life. They've lost their job; they're losing their home; they can't make the car payment; they can't pay the utility bills; they're marriage is on the rocks; their children are making poor choices -- and the list goes on and on. The difficulty with those conversations is that often they are looking for solutions from outside sources. There is no sense of responsibility that their own behaviors may have led them to their current state of affairs. The children of Israel were also not willing to accept responsibility; It had to be someone else's fault. I've heard a long list of excuses -- "my boss was out to get me;" "I only skipped four payments on my house -- and they want to take it from me! "Yeah - I bought a really expensive car, but I wanted it -- can you help me with my payment?" "I know I spend too much money on drinking -- but can you help me pay my heating bill?" "So I mess around a little on the side a little, I don't know what my wife is so upset about!"
It was time for the Israelites to realize that the cure was to be found within their borders and the same can be said for all of us. There is a balm in Gilead -- there is healing for many of our problems, if only we will submit ourselves to the great physician. Sadly, the Israelites refused to go to the doctor to be healed and many of us are behaving in the same way. We seem to be comfortable walking around wounded and refuse to go to the doctor. We all realize how ridiculous this is on the physical level, why do we not realize the consequences on a spiritual level?
God's healing balm is available to every one of us today because of the work of Christ. His blood is the healing balm which is sufficient to heal every wound. The Holy Spirit is the physician, ready and willing to apply the cure to us in each and every circumstance. Sadly there are many who consider themselves Christ-followers who are walking around wounded. Just like the Israelites, God's people, they are refusing to submit themselves to the cure. For wholeness, and a life of holiness, we must submit ourselves to the hand of the great physician who wants to apply his healing balm to every wound we have ever suffered. There is a balm in Gilead! There is a great physician available and the health of God's people can be restored. Maybe it's time to stop complaining about our wounds and go to the doctor so the healing can begin.
Lord, thank you for balm of Gilead that brings us your peace. Amen.