Heal me, O LORD, and I will be healed; save me, and I will be saved, for You are my praise.
1. These words express a deep concern about salvation, and an earnest desire to obtain it.
I. THE CREDIT OF THE PROPHET IS BOUND UP WITH HIS MESSAGE. He is conscious that this is the case. It is the test laid down by the Law (Deuteronomy 18:21, 22), and that it should be so is beneficial. This is the universal law for all who declare the will of God. It is tried by human experience, by spiritual results. The prophet is expected to "heal."
II. MEN TRY HIM BY CHALLENGING A SPEEDY FULFILLMENT. Just as in nature men, as Bacon says, would anticipate, so in grace. There is a lack of patience, or impatience is made a mask for unbelief. In either sign it is a lack of faith. So men manufacture tests for prayer, for reality of conscience.
III. HE FINDS REFUGE AND COMFORT.
1. In the answer of a good conscience toward God. It was not idleness, love of filthy lucre, or eagerness for pre-eminence that led him to the work, but a consciousness that he was speaking God's own word, no man's fancy or device.
2. In earnest prayer that God will make good his word. There are elements in this prayer from which we shrink. But should we? The fulfilling of evil prophecy may sometimes be a national benefit.
3. In the unshaken faith that what God willeth will be. He appears to be sore distressed. Perhaps personal perplexity enters into his grief. But there is no sign of lack of faith in its ultimate fulfillment. What a support is that to him who foretells or does the will of God! "In due season we shall reap if we faint not." "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my word shall not pass away." - M.
Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved.I. THE PROPHET'S CRY. Sin is the sickness of the soul. It has seized upon all its powers. Not one single faculty has escaped; all are polluted, all diseased. Its very vitals are affected by sin. The understanding is darkness (1 Corinthians 2:14). The will is stubborn; the conscience is impure (Titus 1:15). The very memory is impure. But the chief seat and residence of sin is the heart (Jeremiah 4:18). Oh, how little do we know its deep defilement (1 Kings 8:38). The leprosy of the law was a type of it. It is poison (Psalm 140:3). It is the "mire" in which the sow wallows, the "vomit" of dog (2 Peter 2:22). One sin has in it all enmity, rebellion, distance from God, all deceitfulness, hardness; and yet, how slight are our deepest views; how poor and feeble our most heartfelt repentance; how unfeeling our most touching sorrow. Sin is by all human skill and human power incurable (Jeremiah 2:22).
II. IS THIS SO? THEN NO ONE BUT JESUS THE LORD CAN HEAL OUR SPIRITUAL DISEASES.
1. It requires omniscience to know them. There is in all sin, in every one sin, a depth which human wisdom can never fathom — a depth of baseness, ingratitude, contempt (Psalm 19:12).
2. It requires omnipotence to subdue them. It requires the same putting forth of Divine omnipotence to bring light into the darkened soul as to bring light into this darkened world (2 Corinthians 4:6).
3. It requires infinite patience to bear with these soul-diseases.
4. It requires an infinite sympathy, and a boundless love.
III. HIS HEALING.
1. The means whereby He heals are various. Indeed, there is not a single circumstance which He does not employ for this very end. By things pleasant, things painful; comforts and crosses; by what He gives, by what He takes away; by friends, by foes; by saints, by sinners; by the Church, by the world; by sickness, by health; by life and by death; He heals the sin-sick soul.
2. The character of His healing.(1) Most wise healing. How infinite that wisdom which suits His skill to every individual case. Some are confident, He checks them; others depressed, He cheers them. Some love nothing but high cordials, He brings them down to that hunger that makes every bitter thing sweet.(2) Most tender healing. His is the tenderness of Him who in all our afflictions is afflicted, a friend, a brother, a nurse. Is the medicine bitter? He administered it with His own hand.(3) Most mysterious healing. He makes us wise by discoveries of our own folly, strong by unfolding our own weakness.(4) Most efficacious healing. He blesses His own remedies.(5) Most holy healing. All this healing is to conform to the Divine image.Conclusion —
1. Our wisdom is to be willing to have our spiritual maladies discovered, yea, thoroughly searched.
2. Our wisdom is to be willing to have them thoroughly cured, honestly to wish this, cost what it may, "Heal me."
3. To expect no cure but what is promised.
4. To put ourselves fairly into His hands.
5. Above all, to trust not only in Him, but in the blessed confidence of a simple faith that He is able to heal, and will heal, to come to Him with the prophet's cry, "Heal Thou me."
(J. H. Evans, M. A.)
1. Loss of rest.
2. Deprivation of taste.
3. Loss of sight.
4. Loss of hearing.
II. CHRIST IS THE ONLY PHYSICIAN.
1. The infinite efficacy of Christ's atonement, as showing God's readiness as well as ability to pardon.
2. Since God requires forgiveness without bounds of us, will not He extend the same to sinners?
3. The direct statements of Scripture.
4. Great instances of mercy.
III. PRAYER IS OUR ONLY REFUGE. The appointed means. Has never failed.
IV. PRAISE SHOULD BE OUR TRUEST DELIGHT.
2. A firm persuasion that God alone can save.
3. A heartfelt application to God for salvation through the medium of prayer.
4. An unwavering confidence that the salvation which God bestows in answer to prayer will be a salvation suited to the wants of fallen man.
(G. Brooks.)I. AS EXPRESSING A DEEP CONCERN ABOUT SALVATION AND AN EARNEST DESIRE TO OBTAIN IT. He not only cherishes a lively aversion to all that stings him with remorse, or that fills him with alarm; he mourns also the loss of those positive blessings of which his apostasy has deprived him, and thirsts for their recovery.
II. The true penitent being thus awakened to a sense of his need of salvation, and to unfeigned and anxious concern about obtaining it, HE APPLIES FOR IT TO ALMIGHTY GOD. "Save me, O Lord." The nature and exigency of his situation compel him to have recourse to God as alone able to deliver him. The Divine mercy exhibited in the Gospel encourages him to put his confidence in God, as perfectly willing to bestow the deliverance he is so anxious to attain. Every new proof that he discovers of God's kindness gives him a more forcible impression of the heinousness of his guilt and of the folly of his conduct, and shows him still more clearly how much he must lose by remaining in a state of alienation and impenitence, and thus adds a fresh and double impulse to the anxiety that he feels, and the desire that he cherishes, for pardon and reconciliation.
III. THE TRUE PENITENT APPLIES TO GOD FOR SALVATION THROUGH THE MEDIUM OF PRAYER. "Save me, O Lord." The moment that the sinner feels the real burden of his transgressions, and is made fully sensible of his need of Divine mercy, that moment he as naturally, and as necessarily, cries to God, for the requisite communications, as the hungry child craves bread from its bountiful parent, or as the condemned criminal supplicates pardon from his compassionate sovereign. And the penitent transgressor not only feels his heart naturally lifted up to God in prayer, when convinced that it is He from whom cometh his aid, he also applies in that way, in conformity to the Divine institution. He knows that prayer is the appointed method of seeking for and of obtaining the blessings of salvation.
IV. THE CONFIDENCE WHICH THE TRUE PENITENT FEELS, THAT IF THE SALVATION WHICH HE ASKS BE GRANTED, IT WILL BE ALTOGETHER SUCH AS HIS CIRCUMSTANCES REQUIRE, AND SUCH AS WILL MORE THAN GRATIFY HIS UTMOST WISHES. It is as if the penitent said to God whom he is addressing, "Were any other being to undertake my salvation, I should not be saved. There would be some imperfection in the achievement. It would be an attempt, but not attended with success. But if Thou Thyself save me, I shall be saved indeed. There will be no feebleness in the purpose; no inadequacy in the power; no deficiency in the means; no failure in the result. The perfection of Thy nature must reign in all Thy works; and that provides a security that nothing can occur to frustrate or to impair the work of my salvation."
(A. Thomson, D. D.)Psalm 107). With regard to the soul, it is well to find ourselves there, and the sooner the better; for it is not a hopeless place by any means. The Help of the helpless is ready there at the call of distress. He can do little for us indeed till we thus learn that really there is no other help but He. The Earl of Aberdeen tells how on one occasion, going up the Nile in his yacht, he saw a little steamer coming puffing rapidly down. He was told it was Gordon's steamer, who was Governor of the Soudan at the time. On hearing that, he was anxious to speak with Gordon, if possible; but the question was how to accomplish it, for in a few minutes the steamer would be past. Suddenly a brilliant idea struck the earl. He gave orders to his men to hang out signals of distress. He was sure Gordon was not the man to pass by heedless a signal of distress. The ruse proved successful. The steamer began at once to veer round, and in a very short time was alongside the yacht. Now we all know that the helpful spirit was very characteristic of Gordon, but where was it he learned it? Just by sitting at Jesus' feet. And we may be sure that the disciple is not greater than the Master in that readiness to heed and help at the call of need, and that what Jesus was in the days of His flesh, He is now and ever will be. One thing more is implied in the text — the assurance that the help will be all-sufficient. The prophet is sure that God will perfect His work of healing and saving. And that is a great matter, to know that it is something that lasts. Our soul shall be restored and shall bless the Lord who healeth all its diseases. Yea, and so will the world in the good time coming, when all lands shall be healed, and God's saving health shall be known among all nations.
(J. S. Mayer, M. A.)
Thou art my praise.I. THE NATURE OF TRUE EFFECTUAL HEALING.
1. Spiritual healing is a gradual and progressive thing. It begins with a sinner's principles, for if the principle of our actions be not a part of God's holy teaching, and grafted by the Spirit of Christ into those who are the children of His adoption, it is one of the unsanctified impulses of nature. It is the soul's worst enemy, a wandering, faithless state, that will never lead us to Bethlehem, and as the seed of the bond woman must be utterly cast out. When this terribly diseased principle is healed, the Spirit's work is in operation; and we begin to apprehend what that unearthly life is, which leads every other life that is worth possessing after it. From the principle the work of healing is carried forwards to the various actions that branch from it; the wild grape is no longer the curse of the vineyard. When the husbandman takes the plant itself in hand, it yields naturally to the superior excellency of the graft, and partakes of its very character and condition. We cannot now indulge the senses as we did; we were once their slaves, they are now our handmaids, and enter freely with us into the liberty of the Gospel.
2. It is free and unpurchaseable by any creature who has the heart and disposition of a sinner. There is no buying the skill and medicines of our Physician. When He heals, it is "without money and without price." Nay, He was Himself compelled to purchase at the hands of justice, the power of stopping the ravages of corruption, and drawing a line, beyond which the sin of leprosy should not spread. No one, neither man nor angel, will ever be capable, I say not of estimating, but of imagining, the greatness of that purchase.
3. It is an effectual and everlasting healing. Christ's balm goes down to the very depth of the diseased places; He sifts, and tries, and searches the wound before He closes it.
II. THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN HEALING AND SALVATION. Both of these blessings are the precious and enduring treasures of redemption; though one of them is but a mean to an end; if I am not healed I cannot be saved; my earthly heart must not only be emptied of its enmity and rebellion, and deceivableness of unrighteousness, but of whatever hinders it, on its way to glory. Yea, and it must be refilled, with that measure of Divine love which will spur it forward, and strengthen and advance it on its journey towards Zion. When I am healed, my bosom glows with delight that I shall not go down in my natural uncleanness to the grave: my self-interest has quite wrapped itself up in the sweet security of the blessing; the depths of a wounded spirit are fathomed by the only hand that can get to the bottom of them. I have lost the distress, and pain, and poignancy of guilt; the scars are indeed mercifully left upon me, to be my remembrancers of what a gracious and loving Jesus has done for my sick soul, but the killing sickness is gone, and I seem to apprehend the wonderful reality of my being plucked as a brand out of the burning. The act of healing may, perhaps, with more propriety belong to the office of the Holy Spirit, than to the incarnate Son, — but salvation is that chariot of fire which exclusively holds the triumphs, the royalties, the priceless riches of Christ. We identify salvation with conquests and suffering, and a vesture stained with blood; it calls us, in special language, to draw near, and kiss the Son, and to support our everyday trials, by giving our thoughts to that surpassingly severe trial which He passed through as a Conqueror upon the Cross.
III. IN WHAT WAY THE LORD IS GLORIFIED AS THE BELIEVER'S PRAISE. It is no question of conjecture in this place, whether God, under every one of His providences, in dark and clouded clays, as well as in clear bright sunshine, is worthy to be praised; for that will admit of no discussion, if we believe that He is the perfection of wisdom, and goodness, and love; but this is a matter for individual, experimental inquiry, and so is limited to a narrower space. Have you, and have I the right apprehension of our God as a Father? and of ourselves as His children? to be able to go down deep into the spirit of the text, and to say, "Thou art my praise"?
1. If the Lord is your praise, your hearts will be full of desire to honour Him in every act of your lives; and your continual longing will be to plead with Him, that every fresh song you sing to His glory may savour of this unselfish spirit.
2. If God be our praise we shall labour to be conformed to His likeness.
3. If God be our praise, all the heart springs must be so full of it as to throw the precious living water into the life.
(F. G. Crossman.)
PeopleBenjamin, David, Jeremiah
PlacesJerusalem, Negeb, People's Gate, Shephelah
TopicsHeal, Healed, Hope, O, Praise, Safe, Save, Saved, Saviour
Outline1. The captivity of Judah for her sin.
5. Trust in man is cursed;
7. in God is blessed.
9. The deceitful heart cannot deceive God.
12. The salvation of God.
15. The prophet complains of the mockers of his prophecy.
19. He is sent to renew the covenant in hallowing the Sabbath.
Dictionary of Bible ThemesJeremiah 17:14
LibrarySin's Writing and Its Erasure
'The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron, and with the point of a diamond: it is graven upon the table of their heart, and upon the horns of your altars.'--JER. xvii. 1. 'Ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.'-2 COR. iii. 3. 'Blotting out the handwriting that was against us.'---COL .ii. 14. I have put these verses together because they …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
A Soul Gazing on God
Two Lists of Names
The Heath in the Desert and the Tree by the River
A Nation's Duty in a War for Freedom.
"The Carnal Mind is Enmity against God for it is not Subject to the Law of God, Neither Indeed Can Be. So Then they that Are
Severinus in Germany.
Trust of the Wicked, and the Righteous Compared. Jer 17:5-8
But in Order that we Fall not Away from Continence...
Epistle i. To the Roman Citizens.
"And if any Man Sin, we have an Advocate with the Father,",
"For what the Law could not Do, in that it was Weak through the Flesh, God Sending his Own Son in the Likeness of Sinful Flesh,
Appendix xvii. The Ordinances and Law of the Sabbath as Laid Down in the Mishnah and the Jerusalem Talmud.
The Fourth Commandment
The First Part
Inward Witness to the Truth of the Gospel.
The True Manner of Keeping Holy the Lord's Day.
But Concerning True Patience, Worthy of the Name of this virtue...
What the Scriptures Principally Teach: the Ruin and Recovery of Man. Faith and Love Towards Christ.
Jewish views on Trade, Tradesmen, and Trades' Guilds
The Secret of Its Greatness
Division of Actual Grace
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