Wednesday, October 8, 2014
My wife and I heard an old time hymn this past Sunday morning on our way to church we had almost forgotten. The title of this old time American spiritual is “There is a Balm in Gilead” and I don’t suppose too many people under fifty years old know it, but if you’re interested, I’m sure you can find it on You Tube. There are not too many things that are not on You Tube. Anyway, some people will call it coincidence but as I kept thinking of the hymn’s message that morning, it never entered my mind I would see it played out in a person’s life later that day. Permit me to explain.
The hymn’s message is derived from then 8th Chapter of the book of Jeremiah where the prophet laments the destruction of his stiff-necked people. (Gilead was a mountainous region east of the Jordan River) They would not have suffered such things had they only obeyed and not strayed from their God. With a broken heart, the prophet ends the chapter by saying: “Is there no balm (medicine) in Gilead; is there no physician there? why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered ?” The writer of this spiritual song, whoever he or she was, clearly points out that the balm (medicine, cure, or remedy) is Christ himself by these two lines, “There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole. There is a balm in Gilead to heal the sin sick soul.”
This past Sunday, I spoke to someone I have tried to encourage before, one whose faith is obviously anemic. The minute I saw her approach, I remembered both the hymn and the biblical passage. There are Christians everywhere like her who would be just fine if they only believed in and took their medicine. (Christ) Even so, the Lord never gives up on His children and neither should we. If we know someone like that in our lives, let’s try to keep on encouraging and comforting them, never ceasing to pray for them in the process. Lets remember also that we have this promise from God: “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” (Galatians 6:9) And for us too, lets make sure we’re always close to our “medicine.”
Memory verse for the week: (Psalm 119:98) “Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever with me.”
NOTE: Starting November 3, I will sent these meditational thoughts only to those who expressly request them. I myself, do not read all the devotionals or bible related items I receive on a regular basis, so I completely understand if others do not read mine. For those who have responded already, thank you very much.