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 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 punished his people for their disobedience by letting other nations defeat them. 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 Solomon had built, killed the priests, and took the people as slaves. Here’s how the Bible describes it:
2 Kings 25:21. And the king of Babylon struck [the priests] down and put them to death…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 away 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.
Five hundred years after Judah was sent into exile, Jesus would willingly leave his heavenly home and come to earth to live in exile among us. He would come to be our servant and save us from our sin, so that we could one day go to live with God forever where God promises we belong. You see, we weren’t meant to live apart from God, and with Jesus we never have to. With Jesus we are never alone.
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.
Jesus, thank you for 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. Amen.