Christ as Physician of the Spiritually Sick
Hosea 5:13
When Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah saw his wound, then went Ephraim to the Assyrian, and sent to king Jareb…

Wherever we look, or wherever we go, we are met by one or another of God's loving mercies. In the extremity of their distress, Ephraim and Judah chose the most unholy and unlawful means for their deliverance. They had no bright confidence in the fountain of living waters.

I. THE ENTIRE ISRAEL OF GOD SUFFERS MORE OR LESS FROM HEART AND SOUL SICKNESS. There is not a prophet under the old dispensation, nor an apostle under the new, but speaks without one qualifying term of the sinfulness of man. Does not God's Word, however, seem to contradict the saying that the spiritual sickness of a guilty soul is universal? Is not this inferred — that some souls are nut in this lapsed condition — when Jesus said, "They which be whole need not a physician"? Those words were directly addressed to the Pharisees, and were meant as a rebuke to that proud, self-righteous seed, whose thoughts were always running upon their own moral excellency. No sinner, with the taint and defilement of sin upon him, can possibly be whole in the scriptural acceptation of the word.

II. WE ARE OFTEN DRIVEN IN OUR DISTRESS TO UNAVAILABLE SOURCES FOR OUR RELIEF. Assyria was, at that time, a mighty nation, and apparently held in her large grasp the destinies of the house of Israel: nevertheless, when that distressed people came to her king for succour, his hands were tied and his instruments were powerless. Yet they took the best wisdom of the children of this world. The heart of man is a very insufficient, I had nearly said the worst of all imaginable counsellors. And men have no knowledge of their true Physician, or no taste for His medicines; they have no life to seek the grace of salvation, or no love freely to embrace it. There is a class of professors who accept the invitations of Jesus, but only in a qualified sense. They receive Him as a great Prophet, an intercessory Priest, an everlasting King. But only the sick care to hear of Him as the Great Physician.

III. HE WHO CURES OUR MALADY MUST HIMSELF BE FREE FROM IT. Christ and none but Christ is pointed at in these words, "For He who knew no sin was made sin for us." After what manner did He cure?

1. By changing the appearance of sin, and showing what we thought mere little scars to be large wounds.

2. By giving a new channel to the thoughts when they have beheld enough of corruption to alarm, to disturb, and to humble the whole man.

3. By teaching a praying penitent songs of praise, and testifying so strongly to the length and breadth and height of His mercy, that he shall have no depth of desire for anything else. When the heart is cured, how can it do otherwise than sing? When the will is cured, its principal delight is to search the revealed counsels of the Most High; the cure is effectual; the thanks-offering must not be less than cordial.

(F. G. Crossman.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: When Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah saw his wound, then went Ephraim to the Assyrian, and sent to king Jareb: yet could he not heal you, nor cure you of your wound.

WEB: "When Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah his wound, Then Ephraim went to Assyria, and sent to king Jareb: but he is not able to heal you, neither will he cure you of your wound.

The Moth; or God's Quiet Method of Destroying
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