So Finally the Israelites, once wandering slaves, settle into the land they were promised. Throw a stinkin party! Deep Breathe. Out of Egypt. They’re home. All is right with the world. King David secures their borders, peace is upon them. The end. And they lived happily ever after. Or not so much..
Solomon comes into power…He recruits forced labor. Forced labor equals slaves. In just a few generations, the oppressed become the oppressors. The people, who once longed for freedom from Egypt, are now building another Egypt.
This group of people fail again.Everything falls apart. The temple is destroyed, many are killed, and those who survive are carried off to a foreign land called Babylon.
And in Babylon, the survivors become slaves. The Israelites are slaves again in a foreign land. It sounds a lot like Egypt. That place that’s anti kingdom, that place that makes us crave being home.
Ever been there? Ever thought you conquered that bad habit, you left that old lifestyle only to return to it? Ever felt like nothing could go wrong, and in a moment the rug is pulled out from underneath you? Ever felt like Paul (a writer of the New Testament)..I do what I don’t want to do. I don’t know why I keep doing it but I keep doing it.
Ps 137:1-4 says..
“By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion (home). There on the poplars we hung our harps, for there our captors asked us for songs, our tormentors demanded songs of joy; …”
The harp was the sound when life was good. It’s that party music you blast when you’re really excited about something. This group of people are so defeated, they hung up their harps on the trees. Nothing was good. Everything that was good was gone. They’re completely defeated.
They weep. They cry out.
But..What happens when people cry out? God hears their cry and does something about it. God always hears the cry of the hurting. Even when we are entirely responsible for getting ourselves in the situation in the first place. Even when it’s all our fault, He hears.
These people are saying..If God freed our people once before, couldn’t God do it again? You see the entire point of the Old Testament, the whole thing, every story can boil down to this, this is Gods big idea, all of these pages is this…
We can’t get it right.
So we blow it.
Then we cry out to God in our mess.
He hears us. He does something about it.
He delivers us from Egypt..and gives us a taste of home.
Then because we’re dysfunctional.
We can’t get it right.
We blow it again.
We screw up bigger sometimes.
Then we cry out to God in our disaster.
He hears us.
He does something about it.
He delivers us from Egypt AGAIN.
Gods promise through Genesis and Exodus and in your life, right now, right here today…He is going to lead all of creation out of Egypt..out of death, out of decay, out of violence. The whole point of the Old Testament is that God is going to lead us home. And there’s no place like home.