The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

2nd Chronicles traces the lineage of the kings (predominantly in Judah).  We learn about the leaders who listened to God’s directions and those who charted the course that led to destruction.  Time after time, there rose out of the chaos a prophet, speaking truth into the lives of the Hebrew people, but their cries for redemption fall on deaf ears.  Eventually, the situation grew worse and worse, until the Assyrians conquered the north and the Babylonians apprehended the south.

I have many questions concerning the exile.  Did all of the Hebrew people break the covenant?  If not, why were the faithful punished for the abuses of the sinful?  Could not God establish a new covenant with those who love Him?  Where is God in the middle of the exile? “How could we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?” (Ps. 137:4 NRSV).

While I do not have a solid answer to my questions, I do know what it feels like to be in spiritual exile.  Through some random course of events, something happens that upsets my whole way of living, and I am forced to move from the things that define me.  I am so blown off my feet that I do not even know how to call on God.  How can I sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?

When the dust settles, and the wreckage of my experiences seems to calm down, the only thing left is the path that leads back to my Creator.  I stand up and put one foot in front of the other unsure where the road will take me.  All I know is that I can’t remain lifeless and afraid.  My faith restores my confidence as with each step I grow stronger.

For those who seek hope, who feel like they are in exile, come home.  God will give you rest and restore you back to health.  This renewal of spirit is the foundation of our faith.  We know that we can be redeemed, for we are the children of the Most-High God.

Published by joekmac

I am a pastor in the United Methodist Tradition. I am the Pastor of First United Methodist Church of Belen in the New Mexico Annual Conference. I am married to Cazandra and have two sons with hemophilia.

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