The day in which we live, the times in which we live, and the purposes for which we live in Christ and out of Christ has brought us back to a time in which we are being considered for expulsion from the school of Jesus Christ.
Since the beginning man has been going away from God. Adam being the first created and made by the hands of God was presented with a mate in whom he called woman. He knew not the woman in the natural for they were spiritual beings blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places. The enemy came in and used the serpent to speak to the woman for she was the closest thing to Adam and he knew he could not get to Adam for God had a hedge of spiritual protection in and around him. The woman would be beguiled to deceive Adam; this God man. The Devil uses the closest people to us for he knows that they would hurt us the most.
Adam after being deceived by Satan was no longer privileged to the tree of life but cursed to till the ground and work for food. She would have pain in childbirth and they would face death; for dust thou art, and unto dust shall thou return (Genesis 2:15-19). Before being exiled Adam gave a name for the woman he had been given to wife; whom he called Eve in Genesis 3:20. God then made them coats of skins and clothed their naked behinds. Sin, disobedience did bring them to know who they were and opened their eyes to things they never were to know. With knowledge comes responsibility. What they knew to obey and do in the spiritual was overtaken by the flesh when they yielded their members to what was in the earth to serve them. They were exiled from the Garden of Eden.
Genesis 3:22-24 and the Lord God said, behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever; therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
What does that mean? Well to be exiled means we are a people that will be banished from God, his people, or his country, ostracized, outlawed, cast out, deported, displaced and separated as if we are refugees with no place to go except to Christ. We become like fugitives running, outlaws hiding because sin, disobedience and nastiness has prevailed in our lives and nation. Paul said under the unction of the Holy Ghost in Ephesians 1:3-4 blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ (referred to as the second Adam) according as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world (Jesus the spoken Word) that we should be holy (full of the Spirit, led and controlled) and without blame before him (God the Creator) in love. Paul was born again, dead and risen with Christ, led by the Holy Ghost and controlled by God as Jesus was and we are called to be.
Why do we have the leadership we have and the one to come that has been prophesied over twenty years now is to keep us a nation not exiled as a third world country. Itís because of the leadership God has given us the favor we have not to be destroyed. But if our ways are not changed we will lose the favor of God. When a child is in school and they misbehave or have conduct that is repulsive to the system they are expelled, suffering expulsion from all schools for a period of time. Well the Israelites in this lesson suffered exile because of their actions, attitude and disobedience to God. This however is nothing new with God, Satan along with the other disobedient angels was exiled from Heaven and Adam and Eve was exiled from the Garden of Eden for their disobedience. Now we can be exiled from a place not just because we have sin but because someone else does that will not fall in their proper place with a life in Christ.
II Chronicles 36:15-21 and the Lord God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people and on his dwelling place; but they mocked the messengers of God and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against his people, till there was no remedy. Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age; he gave them all into his hand. And all the vessels of the house of God, great and small, and the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king, and of his princes; all these he brought to Babylon. And they burnt the house of God and brake down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire, and destroyed all the goodly vessels thereof. And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia; to fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her Sabbaths; for as long as she lay down desolate she kept Sabbath, to fulfill threescore and ten years.
Scripture shows us that God allowed King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon to do his worse to Judah that had taken God for granted like people do today. The Kingdom ended, the Chief Priests and the people transgressed very much after all the abominations of the heathen and polluted the House of the Lord which he had hallowed in Jerusalem. They kept it up until the wrath of God came upon them. They mocked the messengers of God and despised Godís Word. For best results we are to follow instructions. They misused Godís prophets until the wrath of the Lord arose against his people and there was no remedy. Just as there was no remedy for Israel until they came back to God there is no remedy for sin today other than to come to God; obey. God allowed them to go into captivity and King Nebuchadnezzar to put the punishment on the remnant. They were gone from under the protection of God, their souls were in trouble. God will punish sin and his wrath is great against the sinner that will not repent and stop their ways.
King Nebuchadnezzar was loosed and his army killed many of the people by the sword, he plundered the temple and broke down Jerusalemís City walls, he burned the palaces and took everything of value. They had to lose everything and be in exile for seventy years as the Prophets had warned before they would again call upon the name of the Lord. They were stiff necked and hard hearted toward the Lord God of Israel. King after King from the oldest down to the youngest King failed to obey Godís Law, Commandments, Judgments, and Prophets or other Kings that warned them of their God. To everything there is a time and season under the sun. God knows man is sinful, yet He loves His created beings so much He wonít allow us to wallow in sin forever. God was patient with his people Israel; it was not his doing but their forgetfulness, sinfulness and neglect of duty to reference, obey, and worship God in the beauty of Holiness.
David warned the people of their constancy in captivity in Psalm 137:1-8 by the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps on the willows in the midst thereof. For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song: and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. How shall we sing the Lordís song in a strange land? If I forget thee, O Jerusalem let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy. Remember, O Lord, the children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem; who said, Rase it, rase it, even to the foundation thereof. O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou has served us.
How long will we be in exile? What is it going to take for us to remember God? The people were exiled from God and David recorded it in the Psalms. Why did they have to remember God when all they had to do was follow and obey? Why were their hearts hardened against doing right? Why enjoy sin for a season that takes us off into a far land away from God? How can we sing Zion songs in a strange land? That strange land is where we give God no time and we want him to automatically show up for us. The Israelites knew he wasnít having it that way. A river flows and doesnít miss a beat. Spiritual games played by Godís people have costly consequences. Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 3:1 that there is a time for everything. Have we given God his proper due? If we are a river that flows why is it we waste so much time on things that is vanity? Instead of flowing in Christ we flow away from Him every chance we get and we pick up the trash of the world.
God never intended us to have some things for as the Israelites we become captive to the things of the world that leads to our destruction thatís sometime deadly. The captors required of the Israelites to sing them one of them Zion songs they use to sing not that they loved God but because they were mocking them and wanted some entertainment. The Devil makes a fool of us. God is patient with us, but our time as we know it is running out. Yes time is important, it has purpose for us and we can be out of time and miss our purpose. The only songs the Israelites felt like singing were sad songs of mourning. To everything there is a time and purpose under the sun. God knows man if sinful, yet he loves his created beings so much he wonít allow us to wallow in sin forever. God was patient with Israel but they walked away from him. Like the people of God today Israel took God for granted and didnít realize what they had in Him until it was too late. It struck them that God was important to them after all.
David in II Samuel 15:19:28 had to flee for his life from his own son Absalom that sought to kill him. He had to go into exile for his life to be spared. He didnít want Israel exiled. He told Solomon when death was upon him in I Kings 2:1-4 that he was to be King of Israel. David got it right and no longer felt exiled from God. We must take care of Godís business even unto death. David charged Solomon after anointing him King over Israel before he died and prayed that his son be better than he (Jesus also said to his disciples, greater work shall ye do because I go to the Father) and thanked God for allowing him to see his successor on the throne. He told Solomon be strong and show yourself to be a man, keep the charge of the Lord thy God to walk in his ways. To keep his statutes and His Commandments and His Judgments and His Testimonies as it is written in the law of Moses that thou mayest prosper in all that thou do and whithersoever thou turnest thyself that the Lord may continue His Word which he spake concerning me saying if thy children take heed to their way to walk before me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul there shall not fail thee (said he) a man on the throne of Israel.
After being appointed King Adonyal Solomonís brother feared being exiled because of his own ought toward his brother. Solomon said that Adonyal had to prove his self; worthy and that not a hair shall fall from the earth, but if wickedness shall be found in him he shall die and Solomon sent him to his house. God too gives us a chance to get ourselves right. Jesus was sent and we exiled him. In Isaiah 51:14 he prophesied that Christ would be exiled by his people Israel. Jesus came but He was rejected, bruised for our iniquities and the chastisement of our peace was upon him, he bore our grief, carried our sorrows, was oppressed and afflicted yet we did esteem him stricken smitten of God and afflicted. We thought we did God a favor and turn away from the Lord. We will not open our mouths today to declare the works of the Lord. We back down as someone dumb when itís time to stand up for what is right. We have no spiritual wit about ourselves and have not the same boldness Jesus had to stand for God even in the face of death.
For Judah the kingdom of the House of David Jesus would come. There would no longer be division but oneness and unity in righteousness. That city of righteousness shall be called the faithful city. Grace was promised after all the rebelliousness of man because of Godís love for his Creation that He doesnít want to destroy. Destruction yet threatens the wicked in this world; the transgressors (those that know God but will not obey) and the sinners (those that know not God and will not obey) that will be together in judgment and those that forsake the Lord (them that know to do right and sin) shall be consumed in that burning fire. One day we will go back to the Garden of Eden and live that life God first gave man to live in the earth as spiritual beings. This is life eternal; heaven on earth. If we are strong and trust in God he will be the spark that will burn up all that threaten to keep our soul bound and quench every desire for them.
Judah was birth forth after the division in the kingdom of the house of David. Judah means the object of praise. Judah also was the name of the son of Leah and Jacob. This son was the one that suggested to his brothers that their brother Joseph be sold into slavery or exile instead of killing him as they had previously planned. Joseph was exiled into Egypt for a time but with a God ordained purpose unknown to his brothers. Sometime we will be put in exile because of our dreams and admiration of God. Joseph was used to save not only his people but the whole nation of Egypt benefited from his suffering and false persecution. God has used people to deliver man time and time again. We will suffer persecution just as Jesus did for the Gospel sake. Jesus was put to death for the Gospel to be brought to us today. He brought back the choice we have to serve God or not. He brought redemption back to man through salvation righteousness and sanctification unselfishly. He made the sacrifice needed for us to know God in the beauty of holiness. We donít have to live unrighteous that God put us in a state of exile.
We get ourselves in trouble going to fight losing battles. We fight battles that are not ours to fight, using what God has blessed us with to bless those that are cursed because of disobedience to God. We can do great things for God and in his behalf as Josiah did in returning Israel back to the Lord. Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign and reigned in Jerusalem thirty one years. He did that which was right in the sight of the Lord and walked in the ways of David his father and declined neither to the right hand nor to the left. In the eighth year of his reign while he was yet young he began to seek after the God of David his father and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem from the high places and the groves and the carved images and the molten images. The altars of Baalim was broke down in his presence as well as the images that were on high above them was cut down. He cleansed Jerusalem and Judah, the cities of Manasseh and Ephraim, Simeon, Naphtali and the mattocks round about. Then he repaired the house of God.
God promised him he would not see the demise of Israel. In II Chronicles 34: 14-20 the book of the law was found that had been given to Moses from the Lord. When it was brought to King Josiah and read before him; he said all that is therein we will do. We worry about the outside looking good but our insides are full of dead man bones concerning the Lord. He sent his servants to go and enquire of the Lord for him and them that was in Israel and in Judah concerning the words written in the book that is found because great is the wrath of God upon them because of what the forefathers had not kept the Word of the Lord to do after all that was written therein. Huldah in verses 22-28 was a prophetess and when they spoke to her concerning the Kingís apprehension of the situation she told them that Josiah was because of his obedience able to go to the grave in peace and he would not see all the evil that God would bring upon Israel and its inhabitants.
King Josiah died fighting a war that was not his to fight. II Chronicles 35:20-24 after all this when Josiah has prepared the temple Necho King of Egypt came up to fight against Charchemish by Euphrates and Josiah went out against him. Be he sent ambassadors to him saying, what have I to do with thee, thou king of Judah? I come not against thee this day, but against the house wherewith I have war; for God commanded me to make haste; forbear thee from meddling with God, who is with me that he destroy thee not. Nevertheless Josiah would not turn his face from him, but disguised himself, that he might fight with him and hearkened not unto the words of Necho from the mouth of God and came to fight in the valley of Megiddo. And the archers shot at King Josiah and the king said to his servants, have me away; for I am sore wounded. His servants therefore took him out of that chariot, and put him in the second chariot that he had and they brought him to Jerusalem and he died, and was buried in one of the sepulchers of his fathers. And all Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah.
After King Josiah, king after king fell in disobedience causing death to come to the kingdom of Judah. Jehorakim reigned before the fall of Jerusalem at age twenty five and until age thirty six did evil in Godís sight. He committed many abominations. Johoiachin was eight and reigned three months and ten days and he too did that which was evil in the sight of God. King Nebuchadnezzar made Zedekiah, Johoiachinís brother king over Judah and Jerusalem. Zedekiah was twenty-one years old and reigned eleven years in Jerusalem and he did that which was evil in the sight of God his Lord and humbled not himself before Jeremiah the prophet speaking from the mouth of the Lord. He also rebelled against God and the authority of the one that appointed him king.
God because of our outright and total disobedience loose the enemy to eat of our flesh also. We call him down not God. Itís our sin and neglect of duty to God. How soon do we forget God once we get what we want from Him? The Babylonians took the remnant that was left, will we too be a part of the remnant or are we going to be servants of the Devil until Jesus is coming back again? Sin keeps us exiled from God; disobedience to what God has told us to do bring us into that state of exile and keeps us from flowing like a river. It keeps us from allowing the Holy Ghost free course in our lives. Therefore the fire that comes with the Holy Ghost never comes to burn up the things in our life that keeps us bound. Imaging what the Israelites felt to lose everything they had that was so dear? Can you imagine being forced to live where you donít want to? Have you ever been homeless, mistreated and left for dead? Thatís how God feel when we have EXíD Him out of our mind, heart, soul and spirit and taking our bodies places it should never go. You say how do we do that? When we ignore his Word after hearing it, when we neglect to be on our post when He calls us, when we donít make appointed times to come before Him in prayer, study, and worship without explanation, and when we donít make the sacrifices needed to put him first in our lives.
Evil dominated Godís people when they were captive in Babylon. They became bitter with God when they failed to love him back and obey his Word, do his Will and do things his Way. They were captive and slaves to people that opposed everything good and right. The exile gives a clear picture of human dilemma today. Without God we live as captives to Satanís power in a land far away from God. It is only through Jesus Christís sacrificial death and resurrection that we can live free from sinís chain and flow life a clean river again. Donít drift away from Him as these people did for it will take us away in exile. The state of exile is not a condition we want to be in. It has circumstances and situations that is not conducive to our welfare. Itís a phase in life we donít want to experience. We lose our footing and status in Christ and even in life in most cases depending on the occurrence that takes us away from God.
Just as God has requirements for man to follow so does the world; When we donít follow the set procedures we suffer consequences; how much more God. When we disobey the law itís called committing a crime. When we disobey God it is called sin. Which would we rather be caught up in; both are wrong. God says we are to obey the laws of the land, obey those in authority over us and obey them that have the rule over us. We have a reputation with God and one in the world. If we keep our reputation clean and free of sin with God we will walk circumspectly in the world. We will be found without much fault whereas the world is concerned. The world exile man by putting them in prison and this state of exile from God is like prison. Can we take being denied by God?
We know God loves us if no one in the world does. We know God will supply our need if no one else does. We know God will bring us through when there is no one there to help us. We know God will not allow us to stay in a state of despair and sorrow. He will take away our pain. God will keep our environment clean and maintain us a position in heaven; he have mansions. Our spirit will not be disturbed by worldly activity and we wonít lose heart because of the disappointments that may come our way. Our chances and outlook of greatness as promised to Abraham for generations to come is greater with Christ. We as the body of Christ can do bad in this world without Satan why would we want to suffer here and die and go to hell for eternity? We are in the world but not of the world and the world doesnít love us. Prominence in this world doesnít affirm or promise us that we will go to heaven. This state of exile; the only one we want to have is to be exiled from the world for the sake of Jesus Christ.