The Spirit of peace and compassion will bind up all our wounds.
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?
Welcome to the lament of Jeremiah the ‘Weeping Prophet’
Jeremiah was a man confronted with the challenge of looking at his nation in light of what God had called them to be. He was broken by the drift that had taken place. This was a people whose story was so unique!
This nation Israel was a people scooped up out of the hands of oppressive slavery in Egypt and brought a land of promise to walk intimately with the living God.
As Jeremiah walked with God, and as he observed His ways, he was shattered by how far Israel had fallen. They had settled for lesser pleasures and lesser god’s.
It is in the tears and agony of Jeremiah that this question comes exploding out of the text!
IS THERE NO BALM IN GILEAD?
Gilead was a region famous for a healing balm that flourished there. It was said that this healing salve from Gilead was so sought after it was worth twice it’s weight in silver.
What was created to be sought after had become despised. The healing that had once been given through this nation was now barren and void. Surveying the brokenness of his people Jeremiah was devastated.
Today’s name of the Lord: “A Balm in Gilead” met the longing of Jeremiah’s heart. Jesus is the Balm of Gliead. Like the balm that made Gilead infamous,Jesus was crushed for our healing.
This fulfillment of this old testament prophet’s heart cry, gives me a deeper insight into the heart God. He is a merciful and compassionate God who is moved by the laments of His people. He could have washed his hands cleans of this people on many occasions, but rather and He constantly chooses to engage our brokenness and pain.
Jesus is a perfect example of that truth. He came as ‘Emanuel’ and lived in our mess so that he could lead us out of it! The death of Jesus open our eyes to God’s relentless pursuit of us. Despite our rebelliousness He comes to lavish us with mercy and compassion.