“Is there no balm in Gilead?
Is there no physician there?
Why then is there no recovery
for the health of the daughter of my people?” (Jer 8:22)
Gilead was an area east of the Jordan River, well known for its spices and ointments. The “balm of Gilead” was a high-quality ointment with healing properties. The Balm was made from resin taken from a flowering plant. Myrrh is taken from a similar plant. It is said that this balm was worth twice its weight in silver.
The Balm of Gilead appears in the Bible as a medicine for incurable diseases. When Joseph’s brothers planned how to kill him, a caravan of Ishmaelite passed by on their way from Gilead to Egypt. In their cargo were “spices, balm, and myrrh”. Later, Jacob tells his sons to carry some healing balm as a gift to Joseph in Egypt (Gen 37:25; 43:11).
Jeremiah sees that God’s people are rebellious. They are in danger to be punished for their sins and to be sent away as slaves to Babylon. Their many sins are described in Chapter 7. Even today the people of God indulge in the same sins. They are religious but not saved; they oppress the poor, the foreigners, the widows and the orphans. They steal kill and commit adultery. They listen and obey the false prophets who tell them that all is well when there is no peace in the land. They serve idols, in particular the Queen of heaven, Jezebel. They do not listen to God’s Word and God’s true prophets. All these sins have ‘hurt’ them deeply. The word ‘hurt’ means a deep spiritual damage, a broken heart and an un-healed fracture of the soul. The effect of sin is too deep to be treated with just human words of religious pity. All sinners need God, His touch and healing Hands. All sinners need the forgiveness of God and the peace of God that passes all understanding.
This is Jeremiah’s question: “How can a people who traded in balm be so sick?” The real question behind the illustration is, “How can the people of God, with the Bible in their hands, going to church every Sunday, praying and singing, be so sinful?”
The truth is that religion can never change your heart! Religion can never save your soul! Church and all activities can never give life eternal! You have to go to the Cross! See the price God had to pay to forgive your sins! You have to give your life to Christ! Unconditionally! By grace and thru faith in the Blood of Jesus, you are saved!
The Blood of Jesus is the Balm of Gilead! It will never lose its power! If you are sick today, if the doctors have lost all hope concerning your case, even then, apply the Blood of Jesus! Have faith that God can heal any disease and change every situation!
The following are just few of some ‘hopeless’ cases I personally know and pray about:
*A couple have been married for more than six years and no baby.
*A sister had a changed valve in the heart and she bleeds often because of her drugs
*A young brother is waiting for heart transplant as the last chance to live
*A husband loves his wife but he is totally impotent for the past 15 years
*A brother has diabetes, heart and kidney failure. He should have died long ago but he is still alive and praying
*A sister is bipolar. She is on medication. She has two children. Her husband works far away. The welfare department may take her children away
*A sister just got pregnant and the man responsible said he is not the father of the baby. She has acute depression
*A sister said that the husband gave her an ultimatum to leave the house and divorce
…and many others…
How can these people live? What help can I give to them? What words will they listed to? The only hope I have to give is the precious Balm of Gilead, the Blood of Jesus! I do not give false hopes! Just the true hope of glory found in Christ alone! Be saved! Be made whole! Be healed! May you receive your miracle today! In Jesus name, Amen!
This is an old African American Song. May the words minister to you:
“There is a balm in Gilead, To make the wounded whole;
There is a balm in Gilead, To heal the sin-sick soul.
Sometimes I feel discouraged and think my work’s in vain,
But then the Holy Spirit revives my hope again!
If you can’t preach like Peter if you can’t pray like Paul,
Just tell the love of Jesus and say He died for all”
Lastly… as I just finished this letter, I received a wonderful good news! Just in time! The husband whose wife could not have a baby for the past 6 years has just informed me that ‘pregnancy test is positive’ Praise the Lord!!!!!! Yes, there is Balm in Gilead! There is Balm of Gilead in our home and our church! Let the miracles increase!
More, Lord, moooooore!!!
All glory to You alone!