Welcome!  Hymns have been and continue to be a real source of inspiration to me.  My desire in this blog is to share special hymns with my readers hoping that the words will minister to them, especially in times of great personal need.  If one of these hymns ministers to you, please take time to leave a comment so that I know that my blog is helping others as much as it helps me. Sometimes I will also provide a link where you can go to hear the hymn played.  So, please join me here each week and sing along as we praise God together.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

THERE IS A BALM IN GILEAD


Growing up I never really understood what this well-known traditional spiritual was really all about.  I could understand the words of the verses but was always confused by the term "balm in Gilead".  Actually a balm is something that heals, soothes, or comforts.  And according to Wikipedia, "The "balm in Gilead" is a reference from the Old Testament, but the lyrics refer to the New Testament concept of salvation through Jesus Christ. The Balm of Gilead is interpreted as a spiritual medicine that is able to heal Israel (and sinners in general). In the Old Testament, the balm of Gilead is taken most directly from Jeremiah chapter 8 v. 22: "Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is there no healing for the wounds of my [God's] people?"  Jeremiah's question really is, "How can a people who traded in balm be so sick?" Of course its even worse than that - this is the physical illustration of a spiritual point. The real question behind the illustration is, "How can the people of God, with the Law in their midst, be so sinful?!"  Today the problem's the same - people are steeped in sin though the cure is so near. We as believers have the balm to share, but what do we do with it?  The origin of the tune is lost to history. We don't even know if this is the original tune that accompanied these words. This hymn appeared in the 1889 Methodist Hymnal with a different tune, but the tune in our present hymnal, as with most other publications, is the traditional tune.  Maybe you can relate to the words and thought of the two verses.  Maybe you are discouraged in your ministry for Christ and at times you think your work is in vain. Many of us have experienced that. If that is the case, may the Holy Spirit revive your soul and encourage you today.  Or maybe you think that you can't be used by the Lord.  You don't have the talents or gifts like some do to minister to crowds. But God has given you important gifts to be used for His glory.  You can share the love of Jesus, His balm, with others.  The balm can still heal the sin sick soul.  Be encouraged with that knowledge this week.

(1)   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.

(2)   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.

Listen to it being sung so beautifully by a high school choir.  It is long but you will be blessed to listen to the entire video presentation.   LISTEN

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