“Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus”
Jeremiah tells us in chapter 50 how the people of Babylon will come to ruin. This will ultimately happen, Jeremiah writes, because of all Babylon has done to the Lord’s chosen people. This chapter also gives us a glimpse into how God’s people will turn back to the Lord. Judah appears to be responding with an appropriate level of emotion, but we’ll have to continue reading to discern whether or not they were true in their repentance. I can recall times in my own life where I did not turn to God in genuine repentance. I worshipped and repented with my lips, but in my heart I continued to sin. Look with me again at the text. How beautiful a picture do verses 4 and 5 paint?
“‘In those days, at that time,’ declares the LORD, ‘the people of Israel and the people of Judah together will go in tears to seek the LORD their God. They will ask the way to Zion and turn their faces toward it. They will come and bind themselves to the LORD in an everlasting covenant that will not be forgotten’” (Jeremiah 50:4–5 NIV).
When dealing with the sin in our lives, how often do we honestly turn our faces to God and bind ourselves to him? I can admit that I do not do this often enough. Instead, I usually attempt to overcome any shortcomings I have in my own strength. Maybe if I pray hard enough? Or fast enough? Or read the Bible? Unfortunately all of these things are devoid of power without the Holy Spirit.
Judah finds itself in a similar place in this passage. They are not able to save themselves from the hands of the Babylonians on their own. They are vulnerable, like sheep wandering around and open to attack; but to their surprise, they are released from captivity. This makes the importance of binding themselves to the Lord paramount. Do we realize that we, too, are unable to save ourselves? Hebrews talks about a new covenant that we may bind ourselves to, one in which God claims us as his own. Through Jesus, this new covenant can be ours. Whereas the priests in Judah were not faithful to lead correctly, we trust in Jesus who is our High Priest and in whom our hope will never be put to shame. Amen.