NO BALM IN GILEAD:
Is There No Physician There? By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
"The Harvest is past, the Summer is ended, and we are not saved." (Jer. 8: 20). The Jews were in great jephardy. The Chaldeans were theatening to invade and the Egyptian were not coming to help. And winter was coming! The Jewish Targum says: "The congregation of Israel said, The time is passed, the end is up, and we are not redeemed." A few months later, the city and the temple were burned.
The message we get from this ancient text is the importance of preparedness! It speaks to us and lets us know that one day we will come to the end of our days, and that we must be prepared. The Bible states: "As it is appointed unto men once to die, and after this the judgment. " (Heb.9:27)
When I read that verse in the Holy Bible many years ago, I was deeply moved and it still stirs me today! In 1970, I recorded a message based on that text for CTV, and have since given away hundreds of copies! Rejecting Jesus Christ is a losing cause!
The people of Israel were always backsliding in their love and devotion to Almighty God, even though He had chosen them as His own and had blessed them above measure with His loving kindness!
They were tempted by the Evil One to follow the demonic pagan gods of their neighbours. God sent His prophets, commanding them to repent and return unto Him and to obey His laws. Often, He would have to judge them severely.
Sin was ingrained within them, "..for every one of them from the least even unto the greatest is given unto coveteousess, from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely. For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of My people slightly saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace." (Jer. 8:10,11)
Preachers who are not living righteously or fully proclaiming God's Word, do not have the power to deliver people. They offer only superficial help for serious problems which need spiritual counsel and deliverance through prayer!
"They say, We looked for Peace, but NO GOOD came; and for a time of health but behold trouble." (Jer. 8:15). God's people were crying out, "Is not the Lord in Zion? is not her King in her?" Here is God's answer: "Why have they provoked Me to anger with their graven images and with strange vanities?" (Jer. 8: 19)
IS THERE NO PHYSICIAN THERE?
The prophet conveys the heart of God when he states: "For the hurt of the daughter of My people am I hurt; I am black (in mourning); astonishment hath taken hold on Me." Then he cries out: "Is there no BALM in Gilead; Is there NO Physician there? Why then is not the health of the daughter of My people recovered?" (Jer. 8: 21,22)
Gilead was a place where Balsom, a healing nugent, grew plentifully. There was healing available, but they had not taken advantage of God's provision for them. This is a picture of God's people who have lost contact with their Heavenly Father. God was their Physician, but they had forsaken Him!
It is a picture of the world about us and unfortunately of the church. Many have been struggling with numerous problems and sought for answers everywhere, but found none. There is a cry of desperation; "Is there no Healing available; is there no physician here?
There is a Doctor in the House and His Name is Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour! He is the great Physician and Healer of hurting people! He invites all sick, suffering and hurting to come to Him for Forgiveness, Peace and Healing!
The Holy Record states: "And when the even was come, they brought unto Him many that were possessed with devils: and He cast out the spirits with His Word, and healed all that were sick: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, HIMSELF TOOK OUR INFIRMITIES, AND BARE OUR SICKNESSES." (Matt. 8:16,17)
"Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd." (Matt.9: 35-37)
Our Lord chose twelve disciples to bring the Gospel of forgiveness and healing to multitudes: "And when He had called unto Him His twelve disiples, He gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.
"And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of Heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the leper, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received; freely give." (Matt.10:1,7,8)
THE NEED WAS SO GREAT!
"After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before His face, into every city and place, whither he himself would come...And HEAL THE SICK that are therein, and say unto them, The Kingdom of God is come migh unto you.
"And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through Thy name. And He said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from Heaven. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: And nothing shall by any means hurt you." (Luke 10: 1, 8,9, 17-19)
The Bible states: "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed of the devil, for God was with Him."(Acts 10: 38)
Seven hundred years before Jesus Christ's vicarious death on the Cross, the prophet Isaiah stated: "Surely, He hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.
"All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all." (Is. 53: 4-6). St. Peter wrote: "Who His own Self bare our sins in His own body on the Tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: BY WHOSE STRIPES WE WERE HEALED." (1 Peter 2:24)
Have God's people drifted so far away from Him that we have forgotten and abandened His commandments, laws and promises? Are we trusting only in ourselves and in society at large? Have we taken our eyes off the only ONE who can save, heal, deliver and protect us? Our focus should be on Jesus Christ, the one who gave Himself to Redeem us!
The Bible states: "And ye know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him is no sin...For this Purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might Destroy the works of the devil. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is Love.
"In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. Herein is Love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us. And sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins." (1 John 2:5,8,9-11)
JESUS INVITES US TO COME TO HIM!
Lilian B. Yeomans (1861-1942), a Canadian physician wrote several books documenting Christ's great miracle healings. As a physician working tirelessly performing surgeries, she became enslaved by drugs and almost lost her life. Through prayer, her life was spared and she became a powerful Evangelist for Jesus! She writes about the great miracle that happened to Philip Melancthon through Martin Luther's prayers:
"Martin Luther knew what it was to turn his face to the wall in utter despair of all human aid. When he found Philip Melancthon, his God-given helper in the Protestant reformation, in the very act and article of death, eyes set, speech gone, consciousness almost gone, face fallen, Luther turned away from the awful scene to the window, and there called on God, urging upon Him all the promises he could repeat from the scriptures, and adding, with incredible boldness that God must hear and answer now if He would ever have the petitioner trust Him again.
"Melancthon, writing to a friend, said, I should have been a dead man had I not been recalled from death itself by the coming of Luther." Luther wrote as follows to friends: Phillip is very well... I found him dead but by an evident miracle of God he lives."
A Norwegian Magazine expands on God's miracle. When Luther came into the room where Melanchton lay dying, Luther threw his satchel against the door, thereby keeping people out and locking God in. He said, "For about an hour I hurled God's promises into His ears. I told Him that He was not leaving until He answered me."
Then Melanchton revived and said in a weak voice,"Stop praying Luther, let me die." Luther replied," If you die, I will excommuniate you." Luther asked the nurse to bring him some broth. Melanchton said, "I don't want any broth, Luther. Let me die." Luther answered, "If you die before me I will excommuniate you." Melanchton outlived Luther!
Lillian Yeomans continues: "I am associated in the Lord's work with a dear sister who had seven major operations on her by some of the best surgeons in this or any other country. Her friends jokingy say that everything was removed except her brain. I can testify that they are intacct and fertile of many splendid expeditions for advancing the Kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
"After all the surgery adhesive inflamation set in, and she was simply "glued together inside", to quote her own words. Every effort was made to relieve this condition but all in vain. Lying on her hospital cot dying, she, like Hezekiah, turned her face to the wall. There she saw JESUS only. Such childlike confidence and unclouded trust came with the sight that she knew the work was done. She was prayed with for healing and saw herself submerged in depths of burning white light. "In Him was life and the life was the light of the world." (John 1:4) Amen.
TO GOD BE THE GLORY FOREVER!
He said: "Come unto Me all ye who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest." (Matt. 11: 28); "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord; though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." (Is. 1:18)
He invites: "Look unto Me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth, for I am God, and there is NONE else." (Is. 45: 22); "Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not." (Jer. 33:3)
"Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities. Who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies. Who satisfaction thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's." (Ps. 103: 1-6).
"But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." (Is. 40: 34): "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: Be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness." (Is. 41:10)
"No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of Me saith the Lord."(Is. 54: 17): "He sent His Word, and HEALED them from there destructions." (Ps. 107: 20).
JESUS WILL KEEP HIS PROMISES!
"Christ hath redeemed us from curse of the law, being made a curse for us; for it is written, cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the Promise of the Spirit through faith." (Gal. 3: 13,14)
"Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is." (1 John 3:1,2)
"Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in Him and He in God. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love." (1 John 3: 15, 18);
"If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which He that testified of His Son. He that believeth on the Son hath the witness in himself: He that beliveth on the Son of God hath the witness in Himself: he that beliveth not the God hath made Him a LIAR, because he believeth not the record God gave of His Son.
"And this is the record, that God hath given to us Eternal Life, and this LIFE is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath LIFE; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of he Son of God; and that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
"And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us: And if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we KNOW that we have the petitions that we desired of Him." (1 John 5: 9-15)
LET US NOW RECEIVE FROM HIM!
Almighty God stated: "So shall My WORD be that goeh out of My mouth: it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereunto I sent it. " (Is. 55:11); "Then said the Lord unto me, Thou hast well seen; for I will hasten My Word to perform it." (Jer. 1: 12)
JESUS said: "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away." (Matt. 24:35); "Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me: or else believe Me for the very works' sake. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto My Father.
"And whatsoever ye shall ask in My NAME, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in My name, I will do it. If ye love Me, keep My commandments.
"And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of Truth; whom the world cannot receive, brcsuse it seeth Hom not, neither knoweth Him, but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you." (John 14: 10-18)
"If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, Ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you." (John 15: 7). " These things have I written unto you that believe on the Name of the Son of God; that ye may KNOW that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
"And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will, He heareth us: And if we KNOW that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him." (1 John 5:13-15)
Let us pray: Heavenly Father, I approach Thy throne of mercy in humility and faith. By Your grace alone, I receive faith to receive your abundant blessing of forgiveness and healing for my spirit, soul and body! Forgive me, cleanse me and heal me now, I pray in Jesus' Name. Amen.