“Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? Why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?” Jeremiah 8:22
The prophet Jeremiah looks on the case of the nation of Israel to be deplorable and past recovery. In reality, such is the case of any whom the LORD turns over to their own reprobate minds. For Israel, the judgment determined by the LORD was being overrun by the Chaldeans, and once determined there is no balm in Gilead that can cure the disease of sin, no physician there that can restore what the LORD has purposed for judgment. People trifle with sin, unbelief, rebellion, and idolatry, without realizing that once the LORD gives them over to their own sin, the desolations made are irreparable, and the advancement of the terminal disease cannot be reversed.
Certainly, the blame must be laid squarely on the sinner. God owes no one His grace. However, if a sinner, taught of the Spirit, made to see their sinfulness and lostness should cry out, ‘Is there no balm in Gilead?’ the answer is, ‘YES!’ Gilead was a place in their own land, not far off from where they would be taken into captivity. They had enjoyed the privileges of the oracles of God, the revelations of Christ in type, picture, promise, and prophecy, and yet none of it meant anything to them in their blindness and corruptness. They had princes and priests, whose business it should have been to continue to point them to Christ, and yet whose own blindness continued to lead them astray, the blind leading the blind. Whether the preacher or the people following them, if sinners die of their wounds, their blood is upon their own heads. The blood of Christ is balm in Gilead, His Spirit is the physician there, for those who are made to know their lostness. Is not the blood of the LORD Jesus that precious balm? It is that blood shed that cleanseth from all sin, I John 1:9. All sin? Yes! Sins before calling, sins after calling, sins of thought, sins of word, sins of deed, sins of omission, sins of commission, sins against light, sins agains the Gospel, sins yet to be committed. Not just some sins, but from ALL sin. That is the only balm for sinners!
By Ken Wimer, from Shreveport Grace Church bulletin, March 28, 2010