Thought from Today's Old Testament Passage:
[Jeremiah 8: 22]: "Is there no balm in Gilead—no medicine proper for a sick and dying kingdom? Is there no physician there—no skillful faithful hand to apply the medicine?" He looks upon the case to be deplorable and past relief. There is no balm in Gilead that can cure the disease of sin, no physician there that can restore the health of a nation quite overrun by such a foreign army as that of the Chaldeans. The desolations made are irreparable, and the disease has presently come to such a height that there is no checking it. Or this verse may be understood as laying all the blame of the incurableness of their disease upon themselves; and so the question must be answered affirmatively: Is there no balm in Gilead—no physician there? Yes, certainly there is; God is able to help and heal them, there is a sufficiency in him to redress all their grievances. Gilead was a place in their own land, not far off. They had among themselves God's law and his prophets, with the help of which they might have been brought to repentance, and their ruin might have been prevented. They had princes and priests, whose business it was to reform the nation and redress their grievances. What could have been done more than had been done for their recovery? Why then was not their health restored? Certainly it was not owing to God, but to themselves; it was not for want of balm and a physician, but because they would not admit the application nor submit to the methods of cure. The physician and physic were both ready, but the patient was willful and irregular, would not be tied to rules, but must be humoured.
Matthew Henry, Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Bible (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers) 1997.
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