Where Is Our Balm?

Is there no balm in Gilead?  Is there no physician there? Why then is there no healing for the wound of my people? Jer 8:22

In centuries past, groves of balsam trees were planted on terraces in the hills south of Jerusalem. They were also planted in fields east of the Jordan River, in the area known as Gilead. The sap from the trees was harvested to create a balm that was considered to have great medicinal value in helping wounds to heal. The balm was used especially  to treat scorpion stings and snake bites. Since scorpions and snakes abounded in the wilderness regions of Judea and throughout the Middle East, the balm was extremely valuable and was an important export item along the ancient trade routes. 

The “balm of Gilead” is identified with Jesus. He is the One who heals our wounds. Every day holds the potential for us to experience stings and bites, both literal and figurative. While not always life-threatening, these ‘jabs’ from the enemy are hurtful nonetheless. How can we apply the balm of Jesus Christ to them? The foremost way is through praise. Any time we find ourselves under attack or wounded, we can turn our minds and hearts to Him with a word, a thought, or a song of praise.

For example, if we feel attacked by a swarm of stinging problems, we can say, “Praise You, Jesus, You are my deliverer, my Rescuer, my sure Help.” If we feel wounded by a failure, we can say, “Praise you, Jesus, You are my Redeemer.” If we feel wounded in the heart by a word of criticism or rejection, we can say, “Praise You, Jesus, You have sent the Holy Spirit to be my comforter.” If we feel overwhelmed by too many responsibilities, we can say, “Praise You, Jesus, You are my Prince of Peace.” as you praise Jesus, you will find the pain associated with an incident or situation soothed. He is the Lord of lords – including anything that tries to “lord” it over you!

There is a relatively new band out called Tenth Avenue North who has a song called “You Are More,” also known as you’ve been remade. It is worth a listen when things are trying to hold you down. Click the link above to listen.


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