Tag Archives: Exile

Reliable

Mom stands by the curb, tearfully watching her little one board the schoolbus for the first time.  Dad swallows hard and wraps his son in a fierce embrace.  The young man will board a plane and head off to his first deployment overseas.  This is the heartbeat of God as He allowed His chosen people to be carried off to exile.  Here’s what He told them:

“Listen to me, you descendants of Jacob, all the remnant of the people of Israel, you whom I have upheld since your birth, and have carried since you were born  Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you.  I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”  (Isaiah 46:3-4)
Almost sounds like God is saying, “This will hurt Me more than it does you.”  But notice carefully God’s promise to sustain them and carry them, even in their time of banishment.  And rescue them.  That’s the heartbeat of God.  “For God so loved the world…”

That’s His heart toward you, too, even if you have wandered off into an exile of your own making.  You may have run from Him, but He loves you and will never run from you.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.

(Psalm 139:7 -10)

Forever

Geoffrey Wilkinson, George Henderson and Mark Frankel.  Do you know thesse names or what they have in common?  Geoffrey was a world renowned chemist.  George, a priest and politician.  Mark was an actor who played “Leon the Pig Farmer.”  They all died 20 years ago today, September 26, 1996.  How did you do?  Me neither.  Twenty years after you die, maybe your family will remember who you were but the chances of much more of a lingering impact are slim.

Isaiah wrote:

6 A voice says, “Cry!”
And I said, “What shall I cry?”
All flesh is grass,
and all its beauty is like the flower of the field.
7 The grass withers, the flower fades
when the breath of the Lord blows on it;
surely the people are grass. (Isaiah 40:6-7)

But he wrote those words 2700 years ago in a country about the size of Rhode Island that was on the verge of being conquered and exiled!  And you know his name and can almost certainly quote or paraphrase some of what he wrote.  Try it; fill in the blank:  “The people walking in darkness have _____________.”   Or, “For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given and the government will be on __________.”    See what I mean?  What are the odds?

Of course, the reason Isaiah’s work has been preserved and is widely known is because it is in the Bible.  That’s because, over the centuries, it has stood the test.  He accurately prophesied the rise and fall of kingdoms in the Middle East (try that today!) and the exile and eventual release of the Jewish people, well over 100 years before it happened.  Most significantly, he foretold the coming of Jesus with amazing accuracy and clarity.  The only explanation is that Isaiah was writing God’s words.

Including these next lines from the quote above:

8 The grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of our God endures forever.”   (Isaiah 40:8)

Yes, it does.