“Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, for you are my praise” (Jeremiah 17:14).
Though Jeremiah preached repentance, he didn’t just rail at others, he recognized his own corruption and need for divine healing. He demonstrated the heart that God was looking for—a heart to turn back to God for deliverance. Though Jeremiah was sent to preach repentance to a nation, he believed his message was just as much for him as it was for all men. Not five verses before this personal plea for healing, Jeremiah said about the whole human race: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick” (Jeremiah 17:9). He knew full well the state of his own heart and sought God’s deliverance with confidence—”heal me Lord, and I shall be healed.”
- Psalms 41:4; “As for me, I said, ‘O LORD, be gracious to me; heal me, for I have sinned against you.'”
- Psalms 6:2; “Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am languishing; heal me, O LORD, for my bones are troubled.”
Every one of us are sick in the heart because of sin and in dire need of healing.
- Isaiah 1:4-6; “Ah, sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, offspring of evildoers, children who deal corruptly! They have forsaken the LORD, they have despised the Holy One of Israel, they are utterly estranged. Why will you still be struck down? Why will you continue to rebel? The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even to the head, there is no soundness in it, but bruises and sores and raw wounds; they are not pressed out or bound up or softened with oil.”
Isaiah was a lot like Jeremiah. He preached a stern message of repentance and coming judgment, but not without understanding his own position and equal need for salvation. Over and over again in chapter 5 of his prophecy he pronounced “Woe to those who” have sinned in such-and-such-a-way against the Lord. Yet in chapter 6 he proclaimed, “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips” (Isaiah 6:5). Isaiah, like Jeremiah, lead the way in repentance and faith in the One who promises to heal the brokenhearted.
I shall be healed
Recognizing the depravity of your heart means nothing if it isn’t followed by a response to God asking and believing that He can heal it. And we can be sure, if it is God who does the healing, we shall be healed indeed.
- Psalms 147:3; “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”
- Psalms 30:2-3; “O LORD my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me. O LORD, you have brought up my soul from Sheol; you restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit.”
God can and will heal us—we need only recognize our need and turn to him and ask.