Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "He Keeps Me Singing"1 (Lyrics)
Jeremiah 8:22 – Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is there no healing for the wound of my people? (NIV)
Jeremiah 46:11 – Go up to Gilead and get balm, O Virgin Daughter of Egypt. But you multiply remedies in vain; there is no healing for you. (NIV)
My daughter keeps a small vial of lip balm on the bathroom counter. She leaves it there so that she will remember to use it frequently. Otherwise, especially during the winter months, her lips become dry, sore, and cracked, creating a painful situation.
In today's Scripture, Jeremiah is addressing both the Jews and the Egyptians. Each nation was suffering due to the fact that they were not applying the correct balm for their ailment. For although the Jews possessed the Word of God and knew the great and wonderful things He had done for them in the past, they had turned from His righteousness to worship idols and their own self-centred ways, resulting in chaos and misfortune to themselves and their land.
The Gentile Egyptians, unlike the Jews, did not yet have the Word of God, but they most certainly had seen, over the centuries, the great wonders and victories of the Jews' living God. Yet, they, too, refused to humble themselves and find healing balm in Him. Thus, due to their choices, both these nations, their lands and people, were despairing, spiritually dehydrated, sore, and broken; people without wisdom, guidance, fulfillment, comfort, or hope.
These verses and the circumstances of these nations remind me of the importance of being faithful in my relationship to the Word of God, both written and living, for spiritually, they are the balm of Gilead. In order for any balm to be effective, the right one must be applied regularly to the right affected areas to promote healing and ongoing health. Thus, as Christians, we must not neglect the regular application of the Word of God to our lives as a necessary balm if we, too, are to continue to be spiritually healthy.
2 Timothy 3:16 – All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. (NIV)
Hebrews 4:12 – For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (NIV)
Prayer: Father God, help us to remember to be disciplined in the regular application of the balm of Your Word to our hearts and minds, that we might consistently be spiritually strong and healthy Christians, people filled with a living hope to share with a dying world. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.