Balm of Gilead



In the OT, balm of Gilead had a great reputation for it’s medicinal properties.  Balm of Gilead is an ointment made from resin extracted from plants that were plentiful in Gilead, the area east of the Jordan river. It was used to heal wounds, and treat other medical ailments.

Ironically, the writings of Jeremiah demonstrate the impotence of the famed balm of Gilead to heal those that seemed in the most need (Jeremiah 8:22; Jeremiah 46:11).  Why?  Even the best medicines do not cure us of sin, and cannot offer the kind of healing that ultimately makes us live.  That healing can only come from Christ’s atonement. Perhaps nothing teaches this point better than the following old Negro Spiritual.

 There Is A Balm In Gilead
There is a balm in Gilead
To make the wounded whole;
There is a balm in Gilead
To heal the sin-sick soul.
~
Some times I feel discouraged,
And think my work’s in vain,
But then the Holy Spirit
Revives my soul again.
~

There is a balm in Gilead
To make the wounded whole;
There is a balm in Gilead
To heal the sin-sick soul.
~

If you cannot sing like angels,
If you can’t preach like Paul,
You can tell the love of Jesus,
And say He died for all.
~

There is a balm in Gilead
To make the wounded whole;
There is a balm in Gilead
To heal the sin-sick soul.
~
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