Day 235: The Plan of Salvation in Jeremiah 50:4-5 (A Spurgeon Snapshot)

““In those days and in that time, declares the Lord, the people of Israel and the people of Judah shall come together, weeping as they come, and they shall seek the Lord their God. They shall ask the way to Zion, with faces turned toward it, saying, ‘Come, let us join ourselves to the Lord in an everlasting covenant that will never be forgotten.’”
‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭50‬:‭4‬-‭5‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Through the Bible: Jeremiah 49-50

Every year, the Vacation Bible School (VBS) curriculum produced by LifeWay Christian Resources includes a CD of original songs to go with the theme. One of the songs always reinforces the plan of salvation. VBS veterans know it as the ABC song because of its clear presentation of what it takes to become a Christian:

  • A: Admit to God that you are a sinner, and repent
  • B: Believe Jesus is the only one that can save you
  • C: Commit your life to Jesus as your Savior and Lord.

But way before Vacation Bible School, Charles Spurgeon found a version of the “ABC’s” in Jeremiah 50:4-5. Only he would have called it the WSJ’s. Let’s break down these verses line by line and consider Spurgeon’s insights.


Verse 4 describes a day when “the people of Israel and the people of Judah shall come together, weeping as they come.” Spurgeon writes:

I will not believe that you are truly coming to God if there is not… a great sorrow for sin and a lamenting after the Lord. Can you imagine the Jews returning from captivity without bewailing the sins that drove them into the place of their exile? There must be tenderness toward God if we expect reconciliation with God.

Note on Jeremiah 50:4, The Spurgeon Study Bible

Spurgeon also points out the subtle detail of the Israelites and Judahites “coming together.” Remember that these two kingdoms had been at enmity with one another for over three hundred years. But reconciliation with God and reconciliation with others must go hand in hand. Jesus thought it so important that He taught, “If you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember your brother has something against you, leave your gift there at the altar. First, be reconciled with your brother, then come and offer your gift” (Matthew 5:23-24).


“They will seek the Lord their God. They will ask about Zion, turning their faces to this road” (v. 4b-5a)

When we become aware of our sin problem and our own helplessness to solve it, we seek a solution. We know from Acts 4:12 that “salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” So the returning exiles got it right. They were seeking the Lord their God. Notice that they will “ask about Zion.” Keep in mind that after seventy years of exile, most of them had never seen Zion, so there is an earnest curiosity about where they are going. Spurgeon wrote:

It is clear from their asking that these seekers were teachable. They not only yielded to instruction, but they were eager to be taught… They do not raise questions by way of quibbling that they might have an excuse for sitting still. They question because they are downright earnest… They ask boldly, for they are not ashamed to be found inquiring.

Finally, these seekers “turn their faces to this road.” There is a commitment implied here. If you turn your face to one road, that means you are turning away from any other road. The same Jeremiah who spoke this word from God also spoke another word from God: “You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).


“They will come and join themselves to the Lord in a permanent covenant that will never be forgotten” (v. 5b).

The gospel demands a response. It isn’t enough to be sorry for your sins. It isn’t enough to seek information about God, or even to give intellectual assent to the reality of His existence (see James 2:19). The crucial step of salvation is to join yourself to the Lord. Here’s Spurgeon:

The mischief of our fallen state arose from our trying to be distinct and independent of God. This is a permanent covenant. An agreement? A promise? No! “Covenant” is the word. And their covenanting with God “will never be forgotten.”

There is a seriousness to joining oneself to God. If I use Super Glue to join two things together (such as a broken part back on to a toy, or, unfortunately, my hand to the tube of Super Glue), they are together to stay. One doesn’t go anywhere without the other. One can’t move without the other. To be joined with God means that we are no longer distinct or independent from Him. Beloved, this is so much more than raising your hand at VBS, praying a prayer, and then living the rest of your life the way you want to. It is joining yourself to God, finding your joy in God, and enjoying fellowship with God. And when we truly do this, it will never be forgotten. A permanent covenant provides eternal security.

I am so thankful that no matter where you dig in the pages of Scripture, you are going to hit gospel. You may not see it immediately, but it is there!

One other thing, though; and this is so important. This is not just another opportunity for you to marvel at the perfection of God’s Word. These words are for you. This is the plan of salvation. Have you repented of your sins? Have you sought Jesus and committed to His road and no other? Have you joined yourself to Him in permanent covenant? If not, don’t waste another moment. Come back from exile and walk the streets of Zion.

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