Spiritual Medicine

What Are The Ingredients That Make Up Gilead’s Balm?

After throwing Joseph into a pit, ten brothers saw some traders heading to Egypt with it (Genesis 37:25). In a sad twist of irony, multiplied centuries down the line, the brother’s descendants, along with the nation of Egypt, would metaphorically be at a loss without it (Jeremiah 8:22, 46:11). And millennia later, numerous songs have mentioned it, and even a modern-day pharmaceutical company bears its name. What is it? It’s the much sought after balm of Gilead.

Although originating as a literal and highly sought-after medicinal salve produced in the mountainous regions of north-eastern Israel, the reputation of, and reference to, Gilead’s balm became a symbolic medium and antidote to the sickening effects of sin due to the fact that no worldly medicine could help a dead or dying soul – the spiritual problem demanded a spiritual solution! Thus, Gilead’s balm was the name of the soul-saving prescription that could only be written and administered by God.

So what were the spiritual ingredients that made up the medicine of God? The same ingredients that it contains today:

Read the list of scriptures for yourself. They don’t take long to read, and their theme is easily recognizable because the ingredients of Gilead’s balm are clear and understandable which is the way God designed it to be.

And one last thing, keep in mind that the Great Physician from Galilee is the only one today who still offers and is able to write the prescription for the same balm that contains salvation’s salve for a sinful and dead soul. EA

For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: “Who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth”; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.” (1 Peter 2:21-24)

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“Till There Was No Remedy”

Moreover all the leaders of the priests and the people transgressed more and more, according to all the abominations of the nations, and defiled the house of the Lord which He had consecrated in Jerusalem. And the Lord God of their fathers sent warnings to them by His messengers, rising up early and sending them, because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place. But they mocked the messengers of God, despised His words, and scoffed at His prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against His people, till there was no remedy.” (2 Chronicles 36:14-16)

A sad picture is painted here of the southern kingdom of Judah. A picture painted with the dark colors of sin, rebellion and hard hearts.

The above words are so clear and poignant that too much commentary would do it an injustice. It reveals an ancient principle to our modern-day hearts – a principle of God that distinguishes between longsuffering and being made a mockery of as Lord.

Almighty God dealt with His people in a way that would have stirred up penitence in anyone’s heart that was capable of it. And while God would not force penitence upon His people He would not allow them to represent Him with their lifestyles unendingly.

Accordingly, the Great Physician of the soul (Luke 5:31-32) deals with His people in a way that should cause our heart to move with a penitent attitude when our sin is revealed by His word (Hebrews 4:12). He is longsuffering but He will not be made a mockery of as Lord (Luke 6:46; 1 Corinthians 10:14-22; Revelation 2:18-23).

We must strive to avoid painting the same dark picture of sin, rebellion and hard hearts that Judah painted so long ago. Let us not refuse the remedy offered that produces healing. God deals kindly with soft hearts (Psalm 34:18; 51:17), but this God also has His limits (Exodus 7:10-13; 8:15, 32; 9:34). If we refuse to be worked on, we will be worked out! The same sun that can melt the wax can also harden the clay.

The Lord worked on His people “till there was no remedy” and there was no remedy to be given because there was no remedy they would take! So let’s make sure we take our remedy today before our remedy gets taken back tomorrow (Hebrews 3). EA