Let’s RETURN to GOD & RENEW our COVENANT with HIM: "In those days and in that time," says the Lord, "the children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah together; with continual weeping they shall come, and seek the Lord their God. They shall ask the way to Zion, with their faces toward it, saying, 'Come and let us join ourselves to the Lord in a perpetual covenant that will not be forgotten.'" (Jer 50:4-5)
This is a message of hope for the return and restoration of Israel and Judah interposed in the prophecies against Babylon in Jeremiah chapters 50 & 51. Six times, after Jeremiah speaks of judgment on Babylon, he predicts blessing for Israel and Judah and the above referenced verses (4–5) form the first. Jews in exile are told to lead the return of captives to their own lands because Babylon will be plundered.
Jeremiah announced to the nations the public humiliation of Babylon. She would be captured and her gods would be put to shame. Jeremiah’s prophecy looked beyond the fall of Babylon to Cyrus in 539 B.C., to describe an end-time destruction that will reverse the fortunes of Israel and Judah. The destruction of Babylon will be the climax of God’s judgment on the gentile powers that have oppressed His people, and will open the way for the fulfillment of His promises to Israel (Isa. 13–14; Zech. 5:5–11; Rev. 17–18).
How would the Israelites return to God & be restored in fellowship with Him?
- They shall weep and cry in repentance (as the Israelites did in Samuel’s time, 1 Samuel 7:2).
- They shall inquire after the Lord and seek His face for help.
- They shall renew their covenant and walk with God more closely.
What we see here is that Israel and Judah would be restored one day as they seek the Lord in mournful repentance, looking for help to return home. They would enter into a perpetual covenant with the Lord that they would not forget or reject (see Ezekiel 16:60). Throughout this prophecy, God gives words of hope to His people still in captivity. Both Israel and Judah will be reunited and restored to their land (50:4–5). The scattered flock will be gathered (50:6–7, 17) and the sinful nation forgiven (50:19–20). They are guilty of sin, but God the Judge will plead their case (50:33–34). The forsaken wife will be reunited to her Husband (51:5), and the nation will be vindicated (51:10).
Let’s also return to God and renew our covenant with Him!
"Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon." (Isaiah 55:6-7)