With some new, potentially lifesaving cancer drugs costing up to $138,000 a year, yahoo news reports about 120 leading cancer specialists have joined forces in an unusual protest aimed at getting pharmaceutical companies to cut prices.
Profiteering with medicine makes me wonder who the sick people really are versus those that are sick in their twisted souls.
In the Old Testament, we see this phrase the Balm of Gilead taken 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?”
Even in Old Testament times, God’s people struggled with how medicine wasn’t available and serious wounds were only being treated with band aids. God used that picture to show mankind and even his people, the children of Israel, were not considering their sick spiritual conditions. He was pointing to the only Balm in Gilead that could cure both the body and the soul—Jesus Christ.
When James writes about being sick in chapter 5 of his letter, I believe it’s about life threatening illnesses. He’s not talking about migraine headaches, or hurt knees, or kidney stones. There are a couple of reasons that I say this.
For one, in I Timothy 5:23, Paul prescribes a course of treatment for stomach ailments that Tim was having. He did not tell him to go to the elders and seek healing; he told him to drink a little wine.
The second reason is because of the phrase of verse 15 where James says, “…the Lord will raise Him up.”
Almost every time raising someone up is spoken of in the New Testament, it’s talking about raising someone from the dead or rescuing someone from a situation in which they were about to face death. Even though it’s not necessarily true that all sickness is a result of sinning, the truth is that there are times it can be, and so he addresses the issue in verse 15 and 16.
15 “….If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. 16Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
Like I said in my last blog, God can heal anyone by using medicine but all healing is a blessing from God. And the most important healing, to me, is when the Balm in Gilead (Jesus Christ) can be applied to a sick twisted soul, renew the mind, restore broken relationships and reconcile us to God.
As important as cancer medicine is, no cancer treatment can do that and the pharmaceutical companies who are using the need for medicine and guilty of profiteering will lose. I like that!
It’s amazing to see in scripture how a healthy spiritual condition can make life and living more rewarding, all because it starts with a relationship with the Balm of Gilead.
But what do we do when there is a life threatening illness that seems to be the consequences of sinning. In my next Mind The Gap, I will talk about the procedure that has been abused for years in Christian culture. And I want to show how communities of believers, homes, and marriages can enjoy real spiritual health.
Our study in the book of James is coming to a close and I believe we desperately need to see this kind of health in our world today. Join me next time, would you, as we wrap up this series on Modus Operandi to see how the Balm in Gilead heals sick twisted souls.