Have you ever been lost or alone? How did you feel?
In the Promised Land, God’s people, the Israelites, were meant to love him, and worship him, and do good. And sometimes they did. Do remember King Solomon? He built God a beautiful temple to live in and be worshiped in. But over time even Solomon stopped worshiping God. And Solomon stopped doing good. Eventually something terrible happened. Israel was divided into two separate nations: Israel in the north, and Judah in the south.
Every single king of Israel was bad.
And in Judah sometimes the kings were good, and sometimes they were bad.
Eventually God let his people be defeated by other nations. Israel was conquered by the Assyrians (can you say Assyrians?). And Judah was conquered by the Babylonians (can you say Babylonians?). The Babylonians came to Judah, burned the temple, killed the priests, and took the people as slaves. Here’s how the Bible says it:
2 Kings 25:21. And the king of Babylon struck [the priests] down and put them to death at Riblah in the land of Hamath. So Judah was taken into exile out of its land.
Sometimes our sin has consequences doesn’t it? Sometimes we have to be punished so that we can see that we are doing something wrong, something that is not loving toward God or toward others.
God let his people be taken into exile for 70 years, but after the 70 years, God let them return to the Promised Land again. Why? Because God always keeps his promises. And God had promised Judah that they would always be his people and that he would always be their God. That they would always be brought back to their land, and that a son of David would be their king again. And did I mention that God always keeps his promises?
Five hundred years after Judah was sent into exile, Jesus would leave his heavenly home and come to earth to live in exile among us humans. He would come to be our servant and save us from our sin by dying on the cross for us, so that we could one day go to live with God forever where we belong. We weren’t meant to live apart from God, and with Jesus we never have to. For now, while we are in our exile here on earth, Jesus lives inside of us. And one day, just like Judah, we will be allowed to go home to live with God in heaven forever.
Because of Jesus we will live with God forever.
With Jesus I never have to feel like I am all alone.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
To help your children understand exile a bit better you can show them Simba’s exile scene from The Lion King. Did Simba stay in exile with Timon and Pumbaa? Just like Simba we will be brought home to reign with Jesus.
Thank you for being exiled to earth and saving us from our sins so that we won’t ever have to be exiled from God again. Help me to know I am never alone.
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