Thus said the LORD; Behold, I will raise up against Babylon, and against them that dwell in the middle of them that rise up against me…
The captives in Babylon are charged to remember Jerusalem, because the temple of their God was there; to keep them from settling down in Babylon.
I. THERE IS A JERUSALEM HERE BELOW WHICH SHOULD COME INTO OUR MIND. The Church of the living God is our holy city, the city of the Great King, and we should have it in mind —
1. To unite with its citizens. Join with them in open profession of faith in Christ, in Christian love and mutual help, in holy service, worship, communion, &c.
2. To pray for its prosperity. Our window, like that of Daniel, should be opened towards Jerusalem.
3. To labour for its advancement. Remember it in the allotment of money, use of time, employment of talents, exercise of influence, &c.
4. To prefer its privileges above earthly gain. Consider these privileges in our choice of our residence, occupation, &c.
5. To act consistently with her holy character. God's people must not degrade His name and cause by living in sin.
6. To lament its declensions and transgressions (Luke 19:41; Philippians 3:18).
II. THERE IS A JERUSALEM ABOVE WHICH SHOULD COME INTO OUR MIND.
1. Let the believer's thoughts often go thither, for Jesus is there, our departed brethren are there, our own home is there, and thither our hopes and desires should always tend. It should be upon our minds —
(1) In our earthly enjoyments, lest we grow worldly.
(2) In our dally trials, lest we grow despondent.
(3) In our associations, lest we idolise present friendships.
(4) In our bereavements, lest we grieve inordinately.
(5) In old age, that we may be on the watch for the home-going.
(6) In death, that visions of glory may brighten our last hours.
(7) In all seasons, that our conversation may be in heaven.
2. Let the unconverted permit such thoughts to come into their mind, for they may well inquire of themselves thus —
(1) What if I never enter heaven?
(2) Shall I never meet my godly relatives again?
(3) Where then must I go?
(4) Can I hope that my present life will lead me to heaven?
(5) Why am I not taking the right path?
(6) Unbelievers perish: why am I one of them? Do I wish to perish?
(7) How can I hope to enter heaven if I do not so much as think about it, or the Lord who reigns in it?
( C. H. Spurgeon.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will raise up against Babylon, and against them that dwell in the midst of them that rise up against me, a destroying wind;