Jeremiah 8 … Consider His Healing Balm

For the brokenness of the daughter of my people I am broken;
I mourn, dismay has taken hold of me.
22 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?

The hopeless state of God’s people grows, and we hear the anguish over their plight from both the prophet and the Lord.

My sorrow is beyond healing,
My heart is faint within me!
19 Behold, listen! The cry of the daughter of my people from a distant land:
“Is the Lord not in Zion? Is her King not within her?”
“Why have they provoked Me with their graven images, with foreign idols?”

Is there nothing that can be done? But the truth is, all that needed to be done for them had already been done.

I am reminded of the days when my children were small and in need of medicine; medicine that would bring restored health, but medicine they quickly refused. The big difference being, I would force it upon them. I wanted them well.

The Lord wants us well too. But He will not force His Healing Balm upon us. It is available to all, but it is a choice to stay in our sickly state or to come to His Healing Balm for health that He applies through our faith and obedience.

“Be careful to listen to all these words which I command you, so that it may be well with you and your sons after you forever, for you will be doing what is good and right in the sight of the Lord your God,” (Deuteronomy 12:28).

He had proven Himself in His Works, and He gave them His Word that it may go well with His children forever. And if His children would only choose to listen and believe and obey, He would anoint them with both the beauty and health of His Healing Balm.

Balm: “6875. צֳרִי oriy,  צְרִי eriy: A masculine noun meaning balm. It indicates an aromatic gum resin from certain trees and plants. It can be used as a cosmetic or as a medicine. It was a much desired item of trade in the ancient Middle East…” Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance.

And much of today’s chapter reveals the results of rejecting His Healing Balm. But as we look past the people’s stiff-necked rebellion, we will see His continuous offer of Grace and Mercy through His Healing Balm that both beautifies and restores health.

Consider His Healing Balm

It is His Word that provides His Healing Balm: His Spoken Word that is preserved for us in His Written Word that reveals His Living Word, Jesus Christ, Our Savior and Healer.

  • The Healing Balm of His Spoken Word
    • “The Lord spoke to you face to face at the mountain from the midst of the fire, while I was standing between the Lord and you at that time, to declare to you the word of the Lord…” (Deuteronomy 5:4-5).
      • God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world, (Hebrews 1:1-2).
  • The Healing Balm of His Written Word
    •  So Moses wrote this law and gave it to the priests, the sons of Levi who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and to all the elders of Israel… (Deuteronomy 31:9).
      • “For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me,” (John 5:46).
  • The Healing Balm of His Living Word
    • Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel, (Isaiah 7:14).
      • And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth, (John 1:14).
  • The Healing Balm of His Living Word Who gave His Life that we would be Healed
    • But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
      He was crushed for our iniquities;
      The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
      And by His scourging we are healed,
      (Isaiah 53:5).
      • When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, 14 having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross, (Colossians 2:13-14).

And when we come to understand our need for salvation, are broken over our sin, place our faith in Christ, and are saved by His Grace, our deceitful and desperately sick hearts receive His Healing Balm.

“The heart is more deceitful than all else
And is desperately sick;
Who can understand it?”
(Jeremiah 17:9).

He heals the brokenhearted
And binds up their wounds,
(Psalm 147:3).

And as He Heals our broken and sick hearts, He opens our eyes to recognize the Living Word revealed in His Written Word, given by His Spoken Word.

Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures… 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him; and He vanished from their sight. 32 They said to one another, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:27, 31-32).

And as He opens our eyes through faith, He applies His Healing Balm that brings Health.

  • His Healing Balm restores and beautifies through His Life.
    • And death will be chosen rather than life by all the remnant that remains of this evil family, that remains in all the places to which I have driven them,” declares the Lord of hosts, (8:3).
      • For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord, (Romans 6:23).
  • His Healing Balm restores and beautifies through Repentance.
    • “Do men fall and not get up again?
      Does one turn away and not repent?

      • The Pharisees and their scribes began grumbling at His disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with the tax collectors and sinners?” 31 And Jesus answered and said to them, “It is not those who are well who need a physician, but those who are sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance,” (Luke 5:30-32).
  • His Healing Balm restores and beautifies through His Truth.
    • “Why then has this people, Jerusalem,
      Turned away in continual apostasy?
      They hold fast to deceit,
      They refuse to return,”

      •  So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free,” (John 8:31-32).
  • His Healing Balm restores and beautifies through acknowledging and confessing our sin.
    • “I have listened and heard,
      They have spoken what is not right;
      No man repented of his wickedness,
      Saying, ‘What have I done?’
      Everyone turned to his course,
      Like a horse charging into the battle,”

      • If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, (1 John 1:8-9).
  • His Healing Balm restores and beautifies through His Judgment that leads to Obedience.
    • “Even the stork in the sky
      Knows her seasons;
      And the turtledove, the swallow, and the crane
      Keep to the time of their migration;
      But My people do not know
      The judgment of the LORD,”

      • “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God,” (John 3:19-20).
  • His Healing Balm restores and beautifies through His Wisdom.
    • “How can you say, ‘We are wise,
      And the law of the Lord is with us’?
      But behold, the lying pen of the scribes
      Has made it into a lie.
      “The wise men are put to shame,
      They are dismayed and caught;
      Behold, they have rejected the word of the Lord,
      And what kind of wisdom do they have?”

      • But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, (1 Corinthians 1:30).
  • His Healing Balm restores and beautifies through His Supernatural Peace.
    • “They heal the brokenness of the daughter of My people superficially,
      Saying, ‘Peace, peace,’
      But there is no peace,”

      • Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, (Romans 5:1).

How do we respond to His Healing Balm?

Through His prophet, Jeremiah, God promised the children of Israel that He would restore them to Health and Life.

‘For I will restore you to health
And I will heal you of your wounds,’ declares the Lord,
(Jeremiah 30:17).

And He has clearly told us that it is His Spoken Word, His Written Word, and Jesus, the Living Word, that brings His Healing and Life.

  • He sent His word and healed them,
    And delivered them from their destructions,
    (Psalm 107:20).
  •  But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God,’ (Romans 15:4).
  • and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed, (1 Peter 2:24).

The day is coming when He will restore and beautify all things, when we will dwell in His ultimate Healing as His holy people for all of eternity.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, 4and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away,” (Revelation 21:1-4).

But He has also told us not to wait for heaven to experience His Healing Balm, for as we know Jesus, we know His restoration and beauty of Eternal Life.

“This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent,” (John 17:3).

But until we are with Him in His new heaven, as long as we dwell here on earth, let us diligently seek His Healing Balm as we pursue knowing Jesus with all that we are.

But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; 11 in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead, (Philippians 3:7-11).

And let us seek His Healing Balm as we give full attention and care to His Word, that we would walk in obedience with all of our heart.

My son, give attention to my words;
Incline your ear to my sayings.
21 Do not let them depart from your sight;
Keep them in the midst of your heart.
22 For they are life to those who find them
And health to all their body,
(Proverbs 4:20-22).

Oh, that we would so appreciate His Heart that readily extends His Healing Balm through knowing His Son and His Word. Let us pray we would never behave as ignorant children who refuse what we need for health, but rather that we would continue in what we have learned.

You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work, (2 Timothy 3:14-17).

Lord how thankful we are for the good and perfect gift of Your unvarying and constant Healing Balm. Lord, beautify and restore us we pray, as You grow us in what we learn through meeting with You as we spend time in Your Word; for we need Your Healing Balm each and every day.

Lord, please pour out the good and perfect gift of Your Life upon us as we humble ourselves in Repentance. Lord, let us seek Your good and perfect Truth above all else as we acknowledge and confess our sins before You. And Lord, please grant us discernment by Your good and perfect Judgment that we would walk in Obedience as we grow in Your good and perfect Wisdom, that Your Healing Balm would cover us with the good and perfect gift of Your Supernatural Peace.

Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow, (James 1:17).

Let’s Grow Together!

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