Jeremiah 51:6, 50
Flee out of the middle of Babylon, and deliver every man his soul: be not cut off in her iniquity…
I. IN WHAT SENSE OBLIGATORY UPON THE CHILDREN OF GOD.
1. Spiritual detachment is always the duty of saints. In heart and life they are to be separate unto the Lord. Their motives, ulterior aims, and dispositions are to be such as the Holy Spirit creates and fosters. They obey the law of the resurrection life, and "seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God, setting their affection on things above, not on things on the earth" (Colossians 3:1, 2).
2. Physical removal may be requisite when
(1) all hope of saving or benefiting sinful men is at end; or
(2) there is danger that we snail yield to the temptations of their society, or encourage them in their evil courses, and thus share their curse. The Jews were to seek the peace of Babylon so long as that was possible; to share in civic life, business pursuits, and social intercourse, until this prophecy came to their knowledge.
II. THE MOTIVES AND AIMS THAT ARE TO INFLUENCE US IN DOING THIS, They are not selfish. It is only when spiritual interests are at stake. There must be no idleness or lingering when the call of duty comes. The Jew was to arise and seek his long forsaken land at once. His motives were:
1. Allegiance to God. He was to "remember the Lord afar off." God was indeed near to him, even there in Babylon. lie is to seek more closely to serve and honour him. And this ought ever to be the aim of Christians: "a closer walk with God." And if he be spiritually minded, he will feel the attraction of the Divine presence and the blessedness of the Divine communion, which far more than make up for temporal loss or sorrow incurred for conscience' sake. It is the special duty of Christians to call upon God and obey him when amongst those who do not know his Name.
2. The interests of the kingdom of God on earth. God sought to separate and sanctify to himself a peculiar people in olden time, that it might witness to his truth. He still seeks to gather a spiritual Church, whose communion consists of those who are redeemed by the blood of his Son. Through its manifold ministries he is carrying out the salvation of the world. Every Christian is bound to connect himself with it in some form or other, and to take his part in its worship and work. The language of the ancient exile might well be adopted by every member of the new Israel - Psalm 122; Psalm 137:5, 6. - M.
Parallel VersesKJV: Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and deliver every man his soul: be not cut off in her iniquity; for this is the time of the LORD'S vengeance; he will render unto her a recompence.