Devotions By Jan

Pinyon Sap

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Scripture for Today: Jeremiah 8:22 “Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is there no healing for the wounds of my people?”

It’s just sap running down a rock. Or is it? This is liquid gold for some. The sap of the Single Leaf Pinyon Pine works as a natural antiseptic. It is very sticky, needing processing before it can be used. But as a balm or salve, it does wonders. Rub it on a burn or on a skinned knee and there is immediate relief! It can soothe the sting of wind burn on a face or sore feet after a day of hiking.

Today’s verse mentions a balm. Gilead was known in biblical times for the balm they produced from the sap of the balsam tree. It was also used for its healing properties and making use of it were the physicians living there. The questions in this verse are rhetorical with a “yes, there is” answer expected. But what the people needed was spiritual healing rather than physical. They refused to return to the Lord, clinging to deceit (verse 5). They rejected the words of the Lord (verse 9) and no help from man could heal their wounded souls.

All of us have wounded souls. The ravages of sin and the separation from our Creator make us soul sick. But there is a balm for my soul found in Gilead and everywhere else. That balm is repentance and forgiveness. Because of the cross, I can have immediate and complete healing. It is because of His wounds that I am healed (Isaiah 53:5). He took the punishment on Himself that I so richly deserved. That balm for my soul takes away the sting of guilt or shame.

Thank you Lord, for being that balm for my soul.

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