Peace at Last:  The Will at One with God and Man VIII

                                                             Jeremiah 9:1-9

                                                            August 13, 2023



I want to deal with peace this morning, as in the title of the last seven lessons.


I may ab lib some - hopefully based on the Scriptures - the theme for

the last six plus months has been dealing with:  dissatisfaction, complaints,

entitlements, envy, jealousy, covetousness, disunity, arguments, quarreling,

of men with men, and many times this is carried over against Almighty God.


What is hard to deal with in our culture in 2023 is the denial of the truth

portrayed in Scripture that there can be no peace to the wicked. 


My observance, over the years, is that mankind wants an earthly, prosperous,

secular and worldly form of peace, while living demonically apart from God.

This may happen at times BUT IT WILL NEVER LAST!


One can never heal the hurts from disunity, contention, and warfare among

men by promoting the idea of peace by “.....saying Peace, peace when there is

no peace.”  (Jeremiah 8:11)



Like  line in a song that I know not the origin:  “Wishful thinking.”


(Because “..... the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose

waters cast up dirt and mire.  There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.”

(Isaiah 57:20-21)


I decided to pursue something on the internet about Rest in God to try to simplify

the peace with God and with our fellowmen.


That is when I ran across  No Limits with Pastor Delman (


Now Delman Coates is a black man that I want to use for reference in

a multi-racial society, where the problems are coming from between man

and man.  Not so with God - the lack of peace with God and man comes

from all classes of men and all races.  Class and race has nothing to do with

our lack of peace with God.  Sin is our Problem!


In my notes on the lesson today which can be found under 1c at the

top left of the website


Below:  Blue = Delman Coates

              Black = my commentary


June 6th, 2023


“Those who walk uprightly enter into peace and rest on their couches.” - Isaiah 57:2 

I would like to use this in reference to peace being attainable, however the passage

more than likely refers to death beds.  uprightness; peace; beds; couches; death;



How is this attainable:  The work of the Holy Spirit will help you if you

will accept His teachings, showing to you the things of Christ.


7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go

away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you;

but if I depart, I will send Him unto you.

8 And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of

righteousness, and of judgment:

9  Of sin, because they believe not on me;

10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no


11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them


13 Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you

into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He

shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will shew you things to come.

14 He shall glorify me: for He shall receive of mine, and shall shew it

unto you.

15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that He

shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you. (John 16:9-11)

The prophet Isaiah comforts us with the promise of rest that awaits the faithful after

death. This rest is not an ordinary one, but a sacred rest that comes only from God.

It's a rest that we can find solace in knowing that our loved ones have finally entered

into after all their struggles and pain on earth.

The Bible tells us that the righteous who walk uprightly enter into this rest, where

there is no more pain or suffering. It's a place where the wicked shall cease from

troubling, and the weary shall be at rest. Our loved ones have received the

promise of rest from God and have entered into His presence, where they

will find eternal peace.
The promise of rest that we have in God is not just a physical rest, but a spiritual

one as well. It's a rest from all our labors, worries, and fears. It's a rest from the

struggles of life that we all face on a daily basis. In this rest, we can find hope

and healing for all that we have lost on earth.

As believers, we can look forward to the day when we will also enter into this rest.

We can find comfort in knowing that our loved ones have gone before us and have

received their reward. We can find peace in the midst of our grief, knowing

that they are resting in the arms of Jesus.
Let us remember the faithful who have gone before us and let us find comfort

in the promise of rest that they have received. Let us also look forward to the

day when we too will enter into this rest.  

As we continue to navigate the difficulties of life, let us find hope and

healing in God, who promises to restore all that we have lost on earth.

May we find our rest in Him, and may we trust in His goodness and

faithfulness always. 


From:  No Limits with Pastor Delman (


Leave a comment:  no comments yet - June 2023



Yet during this life on earth we find ourselves:


·         Poles Apart

·         Community Churches Uniting


16 For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that

came out of Egypt by Moses.

17 But with whom was He grieved forty years? was it not with them

that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness?

18  And to whom swear He that they should not enter into his Hest, but

to them that believed not?  (neither enter into peace - CY - 2023)

19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.  (Hebrews 3:16-19)


This rest, then:


·         is not the end of activity,

·         or the beginning of relaxation.

·         It's a completion of a task.


4:1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into

His rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.

2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the

word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in

them that heard it.

3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as He said, As I have

sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the

works were finished from the foundation of the world. (you have to

do nothing but believe and obey - CY - 2023)

4 For He spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And

God did rest the seventh day from all His works.

5 And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest.

6  Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they

to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:

7 Again, He limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so

long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear His voice, harden not

your hearts.

8  For if Jesus (Joshua) had given them rest, then would he not afterward have

spoken of another day.

9  There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.

10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his

own works, as God did from His.

11 Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after

the same example of unbelief.


Our problems today are the same that the Jews had before the 70 years captivity.

We like them could have peace instead of the breakup of society had we obeyed

God.  It is true that “....all these things happened unto them for ensamples and

are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.”

(I Corinthians 10:11)


Jeremiah’s message from God for them in ch.  9:1-11, did them little good and if we

do not take heed, neither will it us.  The words read like this:


1 Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears,

that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my



1 He cried also in mine ears with a loud voice, saying, Cause them

that have charge over the city to draw near, even every man with

his destroying weapon in his hand.

2 And, behold, six men came from the way of the higher gate, which

lieth toward the north, and every man a slaughter weapon in his

hand; and one man among them was clothed with linen, with a

writer’s inkhorn by his side: and they went in, and stood beside the

brasen altar.

3 And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub,

whereupon He was, to the threshold of the house. And He called to

the man clothed with linen, which had the writer’s inkhorn by his


4 And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city,

through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads

of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be

done in the midst thereof.

5 And to the others He said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through

the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity:

6 Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and

women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and

begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which

were before the house.

7 And He said unto them, Defile the house, and fill the courts with

the slain: go ye forth. And they went forth, and slew in the city.

8 And it came to pass, while they were slaying them, and I was left,

that I fell upon my face, and cried, and said, Ah Lord GOD! wilt

thou destroy all the residue of Israel in thy pouring out of thy fury

upon Jerusalem?

9 Then said He unto me, The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah

is exceeding great, and the land is full of blood, and the city full of

perverseness: for they say, The LORD hath forsaken the earth, and

the LORD seeth not.

10 And as for me also, mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have

pity, but I will recompense their way upon their head.

11 And, behold, the man clothed with linen, which had the inkhorn by

his side, reported the matter, saying, I have done as thou hast

commanded me.  (Ezekiel 9:1-11)


Last week I read some from Isaiah who prophesied 150 years prior to fulfillment.

Jeremiah’s prophecy’s were immediately prior to and  contemporary with the fulfillment.

Ezekiel’s prophecy was during the captivity - went in at 25, received his

call at 30, his last vision was at 52,  and died there.·         


2 Oh that I had in the wilderness a lodging place of wayfaring men;

that I might leave my people, and go from them! for they be all

adulterers, an assembly of treacherous men.

3 And they bend their tongues like their bow for lies: but they are not

valiant for the truth upon the earth; for they proceed from evil to

evil, and they know not me, saith the LORD.

4 Take ye heed every one of his neighbor, and trust ye not in any

brother: for every brother will utterly supplant, and every neighbor

will walk with slanders.

5 And they will deceive every one his neighbor, and will not speak

the truth: they have taught their tongue to speak lies, and weary

themselves to commit iniquity.

6 Thine habitation is in the midst of deceit; through deceit they

refuse to know me, saith the LORD.

7Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, Behold, I will melt them,

and try them; for how shall I do for the daughter of my people?

8 Their tongue is as an arrow shot out; it speaketh deceit: one

speaketh peaceably to his neighbor with his mouth, but in heart he

layeth his wait.

9 Shall I not visit them for these things?  saith the Lord:  shall not my

soul be avenged on such a nation as this?





Oh that I had in the wilderness a lodging place!  (v. 2)





Not by giving us permission to retire to desert solitudes, except, as with

Elijah and Paul, it may be for a while to prepare for future and higher

service. But in the manner that the psalmist suggests as above in Psalm

55:6  where he says, “...Oh that I had wings like a dove!  for then would

I fly away, and be at rest.”  Yes, wings like a dove will bear us into the present rest

of God. The dove is the emblem of meekness.  Like the lamb amongst the beasts,

so the dove amongst the birds is the symbol of lowly meekness and gentleness.

But lowly meekness is the way to rest, the rest God gives, the peace of God.

(not through clamor, shouting, racket, tumult, turmoil, loud noises), Listen to our

Savior: “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy ladened and I will give

you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn of me for I am meek and lowly in

heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls”  (Matthew 11:28-30). The dove

is the emblem of purity. It was not only amongst  those birds that were counted

clean, but was especially selected for presentation to God in sacrifice, as that

which was pure alone could be. The doves were  allowed to fly about the temple

and to rest on its roofs and pillars (see H. Hunt’s picture of the ‘Finding in

the Temple’ below).



File:William Holman Hunt - The Finding of the Saviour in the Temple -  Google Art Project.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

                                                                                    (wickimedia commons)




But purity opens the door of heaven, and enraptures the beholder with the beatific

vision there. “Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God.” (Matthew 4:8)

Wings are these, therefore, well  likened to those of a dove, “covered with silver,

and her feathers with yellow gold.” (Psalm 68:13)  Yes, “keep thyself unspotted

from the world”  (Doctrine and Covenants 59:9) and God shall

so manifest Himself to thee that thy soul shall be at rest, let the wicked rage

around thee as they may. And the dove was the selected symbol of the

Holy Spirit. “I saw the Holy Spirit descending like a dove” (John 1:32) said

John the Baptist. But His wings will bear thee where thou mayest see the fatherly

love of God, His wisdom guiding all, and His gracious purpose being more

and more accomplished. “He will take of the things of Christ and show

them unto thee.” (see John ch. 16:12-15)  And in them thou shalt have peace.

The psalmist’s passionate longing may then be fulfilled for us, We may have

wings like a dove.” These, of meekness, purity, and the blessed Spirit of God.



Temptation - I Cor 10:13 - Jesus tempted but yet without sin


John 16:9-11 - righteousness is attainable as God counts - not as we count


And so, without quitting the station assigned us or departing to any

wilderness, we may have even now the rest of God.





On the Wings of a Snow White Dove

sung by Ferlin Husky (1960)


On the wings of a snow-white dove
He sends His pure sweet love
A sign from above (sign from above)
On the wings of a dove (wings of a dove)

When troubles surround us
When evils come
The body grows weak (body grows weak)
The spirit grows numb (spirit grows numb)
When these things beset us
He doesn't forget us
He sends down His love (sends down His love)
On the wings of a dove (wings of a dove)

On the wings of a snow-white dove
He sends His pure sweet love
A sign from above (sign from above)
On the wings of a dove (wings of a dove)

When noah had drifted
On the flood many days
He searched for land (he searched for land)
In various ways (various ways)
Troubles, he had some
But wasn't forgotten
He sent him His love (sent him His love)
On the wings of a dove (wings of a dove)

On the wings of a snow-white dove
He sends His pure sweet love
A sign from above (sign from above)
On the wings of a dove (wings of a dove)

On the wings of a snow-white dove
He sends His pure sweet love
A sign from above (sign from above)
On the wings of a dove (wings of a dove)
On the wings of a dove (wings of a dove)
On the wings of a dove (wings of a dove)
On the wings of a dove (wings of a dove)


Songwriters: Bob Ferguson





                        The Doings and Doom of Deceit (v. 7)


The verses from v. 2 to the text set forth its doings, and the text and

remainder of the chapter foretell its doom. Note:


I. DECEIT. It is a terrible indictment that the prophet brings. He affirms

that deceit is:


1. Universal. Ver. 2, “They be all,” etc. Ver. 6, “Thine habitation is in the

midst of deceit;” i.e. it is everywhere, all around you. That:

2. It has broken up the most sacred relationships: “They be all adulterers”

(Ver. 2).

3. It has turned their solemn assemblies into a conclave of liars (Ver. 2).

4. It is practiced deliberately. Ver. 3: as a man deliberately bends and takes

aim with his bow.

5. It has mounted the judge’s seat (Ver. 3; cf. true translation of phrase,

“They are not valiant for the truth”).

6. It has smoothed the way for all evil. “They proceed from evil to evil”

(Ver. 3).

7. It has destroyed all confidence

(1) between neighbors,

(2) between brethren (Ver. 4).

8. It is diligently studied. Ver. 5, “They have taught,” etc. “They take the

utmost pains to go crookedly.”

9. It is cruel and deadly in its aims (Ver. 8). In view of a condition of things

so horrible, how unanswerable is the demand of Ver. 9, “Shall I not visit

them for these things?” etc.! It will be found in all the judgments of God

upon nations that those judgments have never come until there was no

other way of dealing with such nations, if the moral life of the world was to

be maintained.




1. It had made dwelling amongst them intolerable to the righteous. (Compare

v. 2.) Jeremiah longs to get away from them. The most desolate solitude

would be preferable to living amid such a people as this. It is an ominous

sign for a community when the godly, however compassionate, however

long-suffering, can no longer endure to dwell in their midst.


2. It had made the thought of God intolerable to themselves. vs. 3, 6,

“They know not me, saith the Lord.” Just as a man may meet one whom he

desires to have nothing to do with, but when he meets him will pass him as

if he did not know him; so deceit had made these people, as it makes all

such, desirous of having nothing to do with God. Therefore they will not

recognize or acknowledge Him in any way.


3. And at last it had made them intolerable to God. V. 7: God asks,

“What else can I do for the daughter of my people?” (See Exposition).

There was nothing now but for the judgment of God to go forth against

them. Therefore note:


 III. ITS DOOM. V. 7, “Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts, Behold I

will melt them, and try them....” etc. And down to v. 22 these awful judgments

of God are set forth. Inquire, therefore, what there is about deceit which renders

it so hateful in the sight of God.


1. There can be no doubt that it is so. Lying tips are an abomination unto

the Lord” (conpare Psalm 15.; Acts 5.). “All liars shall have their part in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone:  which is the second death.”


2. And some of the reasons are:


(a) Deceit cometh from Satan, who was “a liar from the beginning”

(John 8:44) and “the father of lies.” It was by his lies that our first

parents were deceived and sin was brought into the world.


(b) It is the source of infinite misery and distress. It is the deceits of the

world, the flesh, and the devil  which still work well-nigh all our sorrow

and our shame.


(c) It tends to the destruction of human society. All our well-being and

comfort depend upon good faith being maintained between man and man.

“But now, where fraud and falsehood, like a plague or cancer, comes over

to invade society, the band which held together the parts compounding it

presently breaks, and men are thereby put to a loss where to league and to

fasten their dependencies, and so are forced to scatter and shift every one

for himself. Upon which account every notoriously false person ought to

be looked upon and detested as a public enemy, and to be pursued as a

wolf or a mad dog, and a disturber of the common peace and welfare of

mankind; there being no particular person whatsoever but has his private

interest concerned and endangered in the mischief that such a wretch does

to the public” (South). A sin, therefore, so destructive of the well-being of

His children cannot but be abominable in the eyes of the Father of us all.


3. It shuts God out of the heart altogether. God has made us for Himself,

but deceit bars fast the door of man’s heart against Him. God can only be

worshipped in spirit and in truth; but deceit renders this primary condition

of such worship unattainable.


4. But God in his anger remembers mercy.  V. 7, “Behold, I will melt them, and try them,” that is to say, He will, as the smelter casts the metal into the fire not to destroy but to refine it, to purge away its dross, and then, that being done, tests and tries it to see that the process has been effectual; so God will send His judgments upon His people, not to destroy, but to purify them, and

He will afterwards test them again, give them another opportunity of serving

Him. He might have destroyed, but this He will not do. He “will melt them, and try them.” But less than this He cannot do. “What else?”  He asks. It is a dread

process; Judah and Jerusalem found it so, and all who compel God to cast

them into such a crucible find it to be a dread process. Our blessed Savior

wept over Jerusalem, although He told them that when next they saw Him

they should say, “Blessed is he that cometh in the Name of the Lord.”

(Luke 13:35)  It was the thought of that furnace for fire through which they

must pass ere they would come to this better mind that drew forth those tears.

Let none, therefore, deem the judgment of God a subject for trifling with,

because, as here, God says its purpose is to “melt and try,” rather than to

destroy.  (“For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the

world; but that the world through Him might be saved.”  John 3:17)


·         CONCLUSION. Let this consideration of the doings and doom of deceit

lead us to listen to the Lord’s appeal, “Oh, do not this thing that I hate!”




Falsehood (9:4-8)   Work this in somewhere



aspect of sin is untruth. Every sin is a lie. The triumph of sin is the

overthrow of all truth and trust.



WITH MEN. Religion and morality mutually influence each other. The

worship of a god known to be false develops a life of falseness. The

hypocritical service of God is likely to be accompanied by dishonest

dealings with men.



Society reposes on trust. Commerce is impossible without good faith.

Universal distrust must involve social disintegration. The state, the family,

all mutual organization, must then fall to pieces. Falsehood only succeeds

by abusing trust; but by so doing it tends to destroy trust; and when it has

accomplished this end it will be ineffectual. Universal lying would be

useless to everybody.  (I wonder when it will dawn on the media that they

are  in the process of destroying society?  CY - 2023)



WICKED SIN. For this especially the people must be punished (v. 9).

Deceit amongst men is a sin against GOD WHO IS TRUTH ETERNAL!

 It is a spiritual sin, a sin most near to the diabolical (John 8:34). It is a sin

which is peculiarly injurious to the spiritual nature of the sinner, tending to

destroy conscience (“But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of

darkness, how great is that darkness!”  Matthew 6:23). It involves both injustice

 and cruelty towards men.



                        The Prophet’s Grievous Lament  

                                    (v. 18 - ch. 9:1)



2. The time of redemption was over. (“The harvest is past, the summer

is ended, and we are not saved.”  v. 20. - this is one of the saddest

passages in the Bible to me, for what it signifies - CY - 2023) The long

harvest days, the bright summer weather — symbols of all days of

opportunitythese were gone, The days when they might have turned

to God and found deliverance, “the wrath of God had arisen against them,

and there was no remedy.” (II Chronicles 36:16) But what a retrospect is

his who has to say as did Post Israel,

The harvest is past!” For:


(a) Such seasons remind us of our privileges and obligations.


(α)  It is a time of fruitfulness, of great privilege, grace, and goodness.

       God makes man’s cup to overflow. Youth and days of gospel

       privilege.  Sundays, sacred services, etc.

(β) It should be a time of great activity. The natural harvest and

      summertime is so. For:

(γ) It is a season of such limited duration.


(b) But men often let these times pass away unimproved.


(α) The world hinders them.

(β) Perversion of Scripture truths.

(γ) Belief that they are well enough as they are.

(δ) Procrastination.


c) But once gone, the fruits of that summer and that harvest can never be

    saved. Such facts as these open the floodgates of grief in hearts like

    that of Jeremiah.


3. He could see no means of restoration or recovery whatsoever (v. 22),

    no balm and no physician anywhere.





1. Christ’s servants should be in sympathy with the prophet’s lament. It is

because we are so indifferent the world is so. “Si vis me flere flendum est,”

it is ever saying, but in vain, to the professing Church. Oh for the

compassion of Jeremiah and yet more of Christ! If we sowed in tears we

should reap in joy. If so we went forth “bearing precious seed, we shall

doubtless come again rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”

Psalm 126:6 -  No doubt the origin of the old hymn we used to sing

in our country church at Oak Hill, Somerset, KY - CY - 2023)


2. But you who cause such grief, think you not that if such be the result of

anticipating God’s judgments upon sin, the enduring of them must be far

worse? And that is your part in them. Christ Himself assured the weeping

women who followed Him to Calvary that the woes of them who crucified

Him would be worse than His own. “If they do these things in a green tree,

what shall be done in the dry?”  (Luke 23:31)


·         CONCLUSION. Then, instead of causing sorrow to the faithful servants

of God by resisting their appeals, yield to them, and so gladden these

servants, and the angels of God (Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in

in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.”

Luke 15:10 - You, personally, can make a ripple in heaven - CY - 2023),

and the heart of God, and the Son of God. So you yourself shall enter

            into the joy of your Lord.”  (Matthew 25:23)





II. THE OCCASIONS. What led to these questions being asked by the

prophet? and what tends to their being asked still?


1. By the prophet. The ruin of his land and people. The awful calamities

that were at that moment overhanging the doomed nation. But:


2. By men still. It is the contemplation of the threefold fact of:


* sin,

* sorrow, and

* death.


(a) Of sin. Think of the myriads of mankind who have lived and died on

this earth of ours, and all of them unblessed by the light of the gospel.

Think of the ramp[ant wickedness, the hideous vice, the festering

corruption, the indescribable moral pollution that characterizes vast masses

of mankind, indeed the mass of mankind. And think of the corruption of

Christianity: what a veneer of religion! What a counterfeit of godliness!

What a hollow mockery so great part of it is! And coming closer home, the

saddened contemplator of the ravages of sin may turn his gaze inward into

his own heart, and as he reflects on the slender hold which Divine and holy

principles have upon him —


“What scanty triumphs grace has won,

The broken vow, the frequent fall;”


and as he cries out at times almost in despair at seeing the strength of the

chains by which his soul is bound, “O wretched man that I am!  Who

shall deliver me from this body of death?”  (Romans 7:23) The words of

our text fit in with his mournful mood. It seemed to him as if

there were “no balm in Gilead, no physician there!”


(b) Of sorrow. To St. Paul, as he penned the eighth chapter of the Epistle

to the Romans, the whole creation seemed to “groan and travail together in

pain.” What is the progress of mankind but one long procession of

mourners! Oh, the tears and sorrows of the broken-hearted, the helpless,

the desolate and afflicted of all ages and of all lands! What a catalogue do

they fill! The mind reels as it contemplates the dark mass of human woe.

Its faith in the Divine Fatherhood staggers as if smitten with a deadly blow,

and is half forced to the conclusion, which to a sad and an increasing

number seems self-evident, that there is no balm in Gilead, no physician



(c) And the reign of death produces similar feelings. As men see how the

king of terrors stalks triumphantly through the land, how ruthless is his

tyranny, how crushing his power, how dark the grave into which we so

soon descend, and how helpless we all are against his might, it does seem

at times as if there were no deliverer and no deliverance. But note:




1. To those which inquire, Is there no balmno physician there? some

answer “No.” Sin, they say, is a mistake which education will rectify, and

the operations of the great law of evolution will gradually eliminate. In

fact, there is no such thing as “sin” in the sense religious people think.

Therefore, whilst for the race there is hope, for the present and past

generations there is none. Sorrow, also, they teach, is the result of

ignorance of natural laws or of disregard of them. The progress of

knowledge will gradually lessen it; that is all that can be said. And as to

death, that, of course, is the inevitable, and ends all. The only immortality

is in the influence which a man exerts in those who come after him. As to

the Resurrection and the life” credat Judaeus (Let the Jew believe it).

Such is the dismal gospel of this nineteenth (now twenty-first) century.

But the Christian reply to these questions is unhesitatingly, “Yes; there is

a Balm and a Physician for the sin-stricken soul, whether of the individual

or of the whole human race. And also for the heart riven with sorrow,

broken  with grief. And for all those, too, over whom Death has reigned

with such cruel power. Because we believe in Christ and in the Holy Ghost,

we believe in the ‘Balm’ and in the ‘Physician ‘humanity needs.” But then



2. The last and seemingly unanswerable question. “Why then is not the

daughter of my people healed?  What are we to reply to this?


(a) For one large part of those whom it concerns, the sin, sorrow, and

death ridden multitudes, we deny that which the question assumes. For the

Balm and the Physician have done or are doing their blessed work on them.

We appeal to the throng of the redeemed, the blessed dead, myriads of

whom are now with God.


“White-robed saints in glory,

Cleansed from every stain.”


With the eye of faith we behold them, and we believe in their existence as

we believe in our own, and the yearning of our hearts is to be with them.

And they are a great cloud of witnesses to the Balm and to the Physician

both. But — as unbelievers will demand clamorously that we should do —

we come down to this world and this life that now is. Well, then, we appeal

to the fact that there are regenerated, renewed, saintly souls living here on

earth today, walking in purity, integrity, and in the light and love of God.

They are God’s witnesses to what the unbeliever denies. Furthermore,

there are a vast number in whom this process of healing is going on.

Slowly, it may be, and with sad retrogressions at times, but really,

notwithstanding. The tide is a long, long time coming in, but it does come

in. Healing is always a gradual work. Nemo repente fuit sanctissimus,”

any more than “turpissimus.” (base, shameful, disgusting, repulsive ·

disgraceful · indecent · nasty · ugly)  A man cannot leap into heaven, as,

thank God, he cannot leap into hell. But because healing is only gradual,

do we deny its existence? But we know there are vast multitudes more

to be accounted for than those we have as yet told of.


(b) Therefore for this part we say concerning them, wait. St. Paul had

evidently pondered this problem, and he has taught us that there are due

times and seasons appointed in the wisdom of God for the manifestation of

Christ to men (compare 1 Timothy 2:6; Ephesians 1:8-10; Philippians

2:9; Colossians 1:20), but that in the “dispensation of the fullness of

times it is God’s “good pleasure” to gather together all things in Christ,”

all the living and all the dead. And it is impossible not to see how the heart

of the holy apostle exults in the beatific vision, the “breadth, and length,

and depth, and height” of the glorious completed living temple of the Lord

God. Therefore, in view of revelations like these, we say that before the

reality of the work of Christ and the Holy Ghost are denied, we are bound

to wait. And if it be objected that the waiting has been and may be for so

long, we reply that it is because men will not come unto Christ that they

might have life. The remedy of redemption is not forced upon any soul. A

man’s soul is not saved by his will being crushed, by his ceasing to be a

man and becoming a machine. We cannot but believe and know — the

individual conversion of every true child of God demonstrates it — that

God has ways and means to bring “the unruly wills of sinful men” into

accord with His own, and this in perfect harmony with the moral freedom

he has given man. How long and how dreadfully far the human will may go

in resisting God we cannot tell, but we may not believe that it is greater

than God himself and can exhaust all the Divine resources. The hunger and

misery of the prodigal brought him “to himself,” the consuming fire of the

dread captivity which Jeremiah is foretelling burnt out forever the love of

idolatry amongst Israel; and there are other like fires of God’s holy love

which may have like results. Therefore, we say, that until — if we may so

speak — God has thrown up the case of sin and sorrow stricken humanity,

we have no right to affirm that there is “no balm in Gilead.  In regard

to sorrow, that has a ministry of spiritual healing of its own, which has

gone on ever since “the Man of sorrows ‘became “acquainted with grief.”

(Isaiah 53:3) As His messenger, Grief has gone about from house to house,

from heart to heart, a veritable sister of mercy, though clad in coarse and

unlovely garb.  Up and down the streets of this weary world, and in

and out every one of its homes, she perpetually goes; but no one ever

meets her in the new Jerusalem, in the city of our God, for her ministry

is not needed there.  Then as to death, we say that in all the drear, dark,

hopeless power of it “Christ has abolished death. and brought life and

immortality to light!”  (II Timothy 1:10)  We can, and by every graveside

we do — challenge death as to its sting, and the grave as to its victory.

O Death, where is thy sting, O Grave where is thy victory? (I Corinthians

15:55)  Therefore we say, and with glad hearts, that the health of the daughter

of the people is recovered, or is recovering, for that THAT THERE IS





                        The Balm of Gilead (v. 22)


There were those who treated the crimes and miseries of the nation as a

trifling matter; they sought to “heal the hurt slightly, saying, Peace, peace;

when there was no peace” (v. 11). Not so the prophet. He is keenly alive

to the dreadful evils of the time. He takes the sins and sorrows of the

people on himself, makes them his own. Tender human sympathy, as well

as Divine compassion, breathes in the words, “For the hurt of the daughter

of my people am I hurt.” And it is not sorrow alone but “astonishment” of

which he is conscious. “Why is not her health recovered?” Can it be that

there is no remedy? The “balm of Gilead” is taken as the symbol of a

healing moral power. Is it so, then, that the very nation that was called to

diffuse a redeeming influence over all the world is unable to cure herself

has no medicine for her own diseases, or none to apply it? Such is the

wonder with which a thoughtful, earnest spirit will often contemplate the

moral condition of the world, in view of the fact that God’s “saving health”

in the gospel has so long been made known to it. Consider:



HUMAN RACE. This remedy is the spontaneous fruit of the love of God.

On the ground of that love we may justly expect such a remedy. It is not

likely that a God of infinite benevolence would leave the human race to

perish. Though redemption isof grace,” yet there is everything to make it

antecedently probable. Though nature contains no revelation of it, yet to

the eye on which the light of the gospel has once fallen, the whole

constitution of the universe is full of dim prophecies and promises of some

such triumphant grace. The spirit of boundless beneficence that pervades

and governs it — the fact that for every want there is a supply, for every

appetite that which gratifies it, for every danger a safeguard, for every

poison its antidote; above all, the silent witness in favor of mercy that is

graven more or less deep on every human heart; — all this is so much in

harmony with the great redemption as in a sense to anticipate it. But it is

facts, not probabilities, with which we have to deal. The gospel is God’s

actual answer to our human necessities, the sovereign remedy his love has

provided for the sins and sorrows of the world. He heals them by taking

them upon Himself in the person of Jesus Christ his Son. “He was wounded

for our transgressions,” etc. (Isaiah 53:5); “Who His own self bare our

sins in His own body on the tree.” (1 Peter 2:24); “Where sin abounded, grace

did much more abound,”  (Romans 5:20, 21). Note respecting



1. It goes to the root of the disease. It does not effect a mere superficial

reformation, as human methods for the most part do; does not flatter with

the appearance of health while leaving the malady to strike its roots down

deeper and deeper into the soul. It reaches at once the secret springs of all

mischief, destroys the germs of evil in human nature, changes the outward

aspects of the world’s life by giving it a “new heart.”


2. It is universal in its application. All national diversities, all varieties of

social condition, of age, of culture, of intellectual development and moral

life, etc., are alike open to its application, and it is the same for all.


3. It is complete in its efficacy. Every element of human nature, every

department and phase of human life, bears witness to its healing power. A

perfect manhood and a perfect social order are the issue it works out.


4. It stands alone, not one among many, but absolutely THE ONLY REMEDY.

 It enters into no kind of competition with other methods of healing. It has the

solitary and supreme authority of that which is Divine. “Neither is there

salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given

among men whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12).



then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?” The reason

lies, not in any want of fitness in the remedy, or in any lack of power or-willingness

in Him who provides it, but in certain human conditions that nullify its action and

thwart His purpose.


1. In the self-delusion that leads men to think that they have no need of

cure. “They that are whole need not a physician,” Jesus said.  (Matthew 9:12).

The sense of moral sickness is the first step to healing.


2. In the vain self-trust by virtue of which men dream that they can cure

themselves. How many and how plausible are the expedients by which the

world seeks to rid itself of its own maladies! How slow is human nature to

confess its helplessness!


3. In the obstinacy of spirit that refuses the Divine method. “Are not

Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of

Israel?” said Namaan(<120512>2 Kings 5:12). Anything rather than God’s

way of healing by the blood of atonement and the regenerating grace

of the Spirit!


4. In the lethargy and neglect of those whom God has called to minister

the healing power. Who shall say how much of the continued sin and

misery of the world lies at the Church’s door? If all who have themselves

known the virtue of this sovereign balm were but more thoroughly in

earnest in their efforts to commend it and to persuade men to apply it, how

much more rapidly would the health of human society everywhere be






If a man falls, he instantly attempts to rise again. Even if there is

some serious injury, it is commonly discovered by the failure of the man’s

attempt to rise; and so from the subordinate part of our nature there is a

rebuke to the higher and governing part. A very striking instance of such a

rebuke would be given in the falling of a drunken man to the ground. He

staggers to his feet again if he can. If he remains on the ground it is a sign,

to use the common expression, that “he is very far gone indeed;” and in

such an instance may we not truly say that the body is rebuking the will for

its imbecility and its base slavery to appetite? So if a man is going

anywhere, and turns unwittingly from the straight path; such a turning may

be made very easily, and the wrong path be kept in for a while, but

presently there will be some sign to show the error, and with more or less

delay there will be a return to the right path. Here, then, are two instances,

level with the experience of everybody, of what is natural for man to do,

viz. come back from a wrong state as soon as ever he can; and if the

position be only looked at truly, it will be seen that it is as unnatural for a

man to remain in spiritual degradation as to continue lying on the ground.





SUBJECTED TO MAN. There is the horse. He can be so trained as to

become a potent force in the battle-field, and if he becomes uncontrollable

and rushes hither and thither, as dangerous to friend as to foe, it is not

because of any rebellious purpose, but a brief madness has seized on him.

Let a few hours pass, and he may be submissive and serviceable as before.

We put bitS  in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn

about their whole body.”  (James 3:3)“The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass

his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider.”

(Isaiah 1:3) The very birds of the air, seemingly so free from all restraint, come

and go according to certain laws. If the beasts which man has tamed to his use,

and on which he daily depends, were to treat him as he treats God, what an

awkward, nay more, what a perilous scene this world would become! The

whole visible universe, ground beneath, air around, and far away into the

immensities of space, are crowded with admonitions to perversely

disobedient man. These birds mentioned here, by certain wondrous

intimations to which they are ever heedful — exceptions only going to

prove the rule — help to carry on the government of God. They are faithful

to their nature, and their faithfulness is again but a sign of God’s own

faithfulness in the orderliness of the seasons.



  Why the Hurt of Israel is not Healed (vs. 21-22)


VERY IMPORTANT -  but condense



substance; medicine; remedy). In wounds of the body, Israel knew where to go.

They found balm in Gilead, and Gilead was not far off, even supposing they

had always to go there to get the balm.  Balm of Gilead might be made to grow

nearer than Gilead. Thus we see the medicament was easily procured, — a very

important consideration. The incense for the altar they brought all the way from

Sheba, but the balm for healing grew much nearer. Easiness of procurement,

however, would have been little without efficiency. A certain remedy brought

from the ends of the earth is better than a doubtful one near to home; only, of

course, there must be foresight to lay in a stock, so that it will be at hand when

wanted. Evidently this balm of Gilead which grew within Israelite territory

was a famous and trusted balm. Only some popular and widely known

agent of healing would have served the purpose of the prophet for quoting

here. And is it not plain that the God who thus provided for bodily wounds

a balm so easily obtained and so efficient in its action, might also be trusted

to provide an available and thorough cure for the worst of spiritual ills?

Assuredly the prophet means that an affirmative and encouraging answer is

to be given to his question. There is balm in Gilead. There is peace for the

guilty conscience, purity for the turbid and defiled imagination, strength for

the weakened will. The springs of all our pollution and pain can be dried

up, and their place know them no more forever.




good, but it may require to be applied by a skilful and experienced hand.

The physician can do nothing without his medicaments, and the

medicaments are oftentimes nothing without the physician. A physician is

needed to prepare the way for saving truth, to apply it in its most

efficacious order, and to press it home in close and vigorous contact with

that which has to be healed. The balm of Gilead is not given that it may be

trifled with, that it may film over deep evils with a deceptive appearance of

removal. In applying that balm there may have to be pain, intense pain for a

time, in order that a worse pain may be forever taken away. The pain

coming from self-indulgence must be succeeded by the pain coming from

self-denial. Men have to discover that the pains of sin are the smitings of

God, and when they have made this discovery they will be in a fair way to

learn that only He who smites can also heal. Do not let us unjustly complain

of incurable ills; let us rather confess that we are much in the condition of

the poor woman who, after spending much on many physicians, found, by

a simple faith touching the true Source of healing, what she had long vainly

sought.  (Matthew 9:20-22)





They would listen to no warning. Balm was offered, and

the physician’s skill to apply it, but they would not come to be healed.

Unlike Moses, they preferred the pleasures of sin along with its risks and

pains. (Hebrews 11:24-26)  That their state was bad they knew, but they

believed it was not near so bad as the prophet made it out to be. Only physicians

can tell how many cases of bodily disease might be cured if the sick were willing

to go to the root of the matter, and mend their habits as to eating and drinking,

working and playing.


            * Ignorance,

            * indifference,

            * prejudice, and

            * unblushing lust of the flesh


lie at the bottom of much bodily disease, explaining both how it originates

and how it continues. And similar causes operate with regard to such ills as

afflict the consciousness of the entire man. Sinners must have a will to go

to Jesus if they expect healing and life, and then life more abundantly.