You that have escaped the sword, go away, stand not still: remember the LORD afar off, and let Jerusalem come into your mind.
This charge, addressed to Israelites spared from Babylon, may be applied to all in Christ. For -
I. ALL IN CHRIST ARE SPARED ONES. Spared from:
1. The condemnation due to sin.
2. The abiding tyranny of sin.
3. The crushing power of sorrow.
4. The misery of alienation from God.
5. The might of death.
II. TO SUCH THIS THREEFOLD CHARGE IS ADDRESSED.
1. They are to "go away, stand not still." As Israel from Babylon that had enslaved them, so these from the sins which. God has forgiven them. "Let him that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity." Many Jews despised this charge, and stayed on in Babylon. Some not merely stayed in Babylon as Jews, but probably far more of them were "mingled with the heathen, and learned their ways." "Evil communications corrupt good manners." Even those who disobeyed only the letter of the command suffered, whilst those who disobeyed both the letter and the spirit were simply lost, cut off from the house of Israel. And they who have received Christ, if they do not break away from their old sins and from all that would hold them in bondage to such sins, will lose their religion and are in sore peril of apostatizing from Christ. Therefore let such put further and further distance between themselves and their former life, lest again they be entangled and. overcome.
2. To "remember the lord afar off." In their sin and misery God seemed afar off to Israel. "My way is hid from the Lord, and my judgment is passed over from my God" - such was their grievous lament. But they were to remember him, turn their thoughts and prayers toward him, and believingly wait his promised answer. And to the believer now "it doth not yet appear what we shall be;" we are far off from that; but we are to remember the Lord, though we be yet in condition and character so far off from him. Remember him in our meditations, prayers, purposes, and aims; wait on him, and so renew our strength.
3. "Let Jerusalem come into your mind." How blessed to be there! how she demands our earnest service! - her joys, her sanctity, her children, her employ; our place there prepared for us, and our preparation for the place. So remember her, and so be delivered from being wearied and faint in our minds. - C.
Parallel VersesKJV: Ye that have escaped the sword, go away, stand not still: remember the LORD afar off, and let Jerusalem come into your mind.