There Is a Balm in Gilead

Photo credit: Art4TheGlryOfGod via / CC BY-ND
Photo credit: Art4TheGlryOfGod via / CC BY-ND

Jeremiah 8:18-9:1
Psalm 79:1-9
1 Timothy 2:1-7
Luke 16:1-13


Since the title of this post is also the title of a hymn, here are a couple of YouTube sites if you want to listen.

In Jeremiah, we read a question, Is there no balm in Gilead? NIV Jeremiah as a prophet of God spoke for God, but he also spoke for God’s people, as in this section. The people then, as now, lived in sin and suffered for it. Jeremiah cried for them even as he told them what would be the result of their bad choices.

We learn from the Hebrews that God expects us to have faith in Him; that He has the plan to save us from the suffering we have created. In Jesus, we learn more about that plan, not all of it, but enough to know that the plan is for every human now and forever.

Jesus tells us point-blank that there are only two ways for our lives to go, Heaven or Hell. We can serve God, or we can serve the Father of Lies; we cannot serve both.

The point of the Parable of the Shrewd Manager is generally thought to be, You cannot serve both God and Money. NIV (The actual Greek word is mamonas, meaning wealth, avarice, or greed.) That is what Jesus tells the Pharisees and the rest of us as well.

But notice what the manager does. He has been a liar and a thief, yet he sees that that life will lead to ruin, so he quickly gives away wealth, even if it is not his. He does it so he will have friends when he most needs them.

Jesus is telling us that we can do no less. We must give what we can to help others. In that, we will find reward. Many lifetime Christians are uncomfortable with this parable because Jesus makes a rogue appear the hero; yet, that is the point, we are all rogues and must depend on the Mercy of God.

The words of Paul add just a bit to this lesson.

First of all, then, I counsel that petitions, prayers, intercessions and thanksgivings be made for all human beings, including kings and all in positions of prominence; so that we may lead quiet and peaceful lives, being godly and upright in everything. Phillips

These words speak to the very nature of what it means to be a follower of the Messiah. He did not come on a war-horse wielding a sword. He came quietly, and he came with a message of Peace. It is what we must work and pray for even as we stand ready to face evil when it attacks.


Be righteous and do good.

Mike Lawrence

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