A RUNNING SORE
In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord: my sore ran in the night, and ceased not: my soul refused to be comforted. Psalm 77:2
There are few things that are more repulsive to contemplate than a festering and oozing sore that does not respond to treatment. This is an exact illustration of the innate sin nature of all men, out of which and because of which all of man’s troubles, self centered attitudes, and wicked actions stem. All men without exception inherit this mortifying disease and there is no remedy that a man can find or devise to actually cure it.
This is a malady which causes a certain level of pain in all men, yet its true insidious and incurable nature goes undetected in the vast multitude of men. Most are content to mollify it effects and treat its external symptoms by various means that are handed down from generation to generation. There is no shortage of “physicians of no value” who would apply various salves and ointments, and no shortage of those who are satisfied with these plasters and poultices which heal slightly but do not treat the disease itself because neither these physicians nor their patients understand or believe that this disease is as crippling and deadly as it actually is.
Just as the woman with the issue of blood, (see Luke 8:43) had spent all of her money on physicians who could not heal her disease; so too will men seek out various remedies and healings for their problems when they have no idea what their problem actually is. Some of these “healers” that hang out their shingles for all to see are:
Doctor Self Righteousness. He is the oldest physician on record and has produced many other doctors of dubious distinction, which ply their remedies to their unsuspecting patients. Adam made his acquaintance in the Garden of Eden. He recommended that Adam disobey the command of the LORD and then gave him fig leaves to hide his shame as if such a small covering would be of any value before the all seeing EYE of GOD. He is the physician of record at the birth of all of Adam’s posterity. Many will deny any connection to him, yet an examination of the birth certificate always confirms his presence at their birth, and their denials only serve to prove that fact.
Doctor Religion. He is the oldest son of Dr. Self Righteousness. We see Cain making a visit to his office quite early on in the epoch of humanity. He prescribed a fine sacrifice for Cain which was to be offered with the proper fanfare, which only seemed a reasonable thing to do, and the medication seemed very acceptable to Cain. It was this Doctor’s prescription which caused Cain’s anger at the rejection of his sacrifice and also the subsequent murder of his own brother. Dr. Religion practices in all countries and does the most damage when he is closest to speaking the truth, while using soothing words to confuse his patients and feeding them placebos which produce a certain euphoria.
Doctor Free Will. He is the brother of Dr. Religion and practices in the same building. In fact most of Doctor Religion’s patients visit him regularly because they simply adore Dr. Free Will. Dr. Free Will is so loved by his patients (even though he has never helped a one) that they will defend him to the end and will often seek to destroy those who speak ill of him. His prescriptions are cherished by all of those who visit Dr. Religion’s office on a regular basis.
Doctor Law. Just adjacent to Dr. Religion’s office and clearly able to be seen from Dr. Free Will’s window can be found the medical suites of Dr. Law. He is a physician of great note but was never trained to heal or help men with an oozing sore, and really only ever stirs up more corruption. Yet there are many who having spent much time in Dr. Religion’s care, feel certain that Dr. Law can offer a remedy for their problems. Some have even stolen prescription pads from Dr. Law’s desk so that they can write themselves prescriptions, but more importantly can prescribe some of Dr. Law’s medicine to others. It is even rumored that Dr. Religion himself, writes prescriptions inscribed with Dr. Law’s name and credentials.
It is also a fact that Dr. Self Righteousness always sends his patients to Dr. Law, and many of them report that they are helped by taking a dose of medicine from both men. Yet if one looks closely at the door out of Dr. Law’s office they will see that it opens into a yawning pit from whence there is no escape. There is a sign over the door which clearly says “the soul that sinneth shall die”, yet Dr. Religion puts drops in the eyes of his patients so that they cannot clearly see it and stops their ears that they cannot hear the cries of those who are destroyed in this pit.
Doctor Self Help. He is one of the younger doctors, yet he has an enormous following. His offices are also very close to Dr. Religion’s and they often collaborate with one another in dispensing their medications. Dr. Self Help has written several books on “Positive Thinking”, “The Keys to Happiness”, and numerous other “how to books”. He is the biggest supporter of Dr. Free Will’s therapies and would actually go out of business if Doctor Free Will quit administering his potions. He often dispenses “smiley pills” and assures his patients that GOD is only interested in making them happy. His most common advice is to ignore the oozing wound and focus on positive thoughts, assuring them to simply exercise faith and all of their problems will be solved. He usually tells men that they wouldn’t even have an oozing sore if they just loved themselves more. Make believe is his most potent medicine, especially when mixed with Dr. Self Righteousness’ prescriptions.
David was well aquainted with all of these “physicians of no value”, and by the grace of GOD was made able to see his “running sore” for what it is. Thus by the same grace that showed him his “incurable disease”, he was also made to flee from these “miserable comforters” and apply to the only ONE who could possibly help him.
Sin is not simply found in the bad things that men do, but is the very root cause of their love for any way which is not perfectly righteous before GOD. David understood that he had not simply broken the commandments of GOD but that his very heart was at enmity with GOD and was a sore which continually ran.
This is exactly what the apostle Paul speaks of to the Romans. “For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I-
Paul goes on to express the hopelessness of his ability to solve his problem and to declare the only REMEDY for this “running sore”. “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Rom 7:24-