Daniel and his friends left Jerusalem...
Jerusalem was the heart of the Land over which God would sovereignly rule through an unprecedented partnership with His people. His spiritual fathers were there, the House of God was there. But a lot had been destroyed for foreign regimes. However God had designed the nation to be the Head of the family of nations. Even jews were taken into exile, nothing was changed regarding God’s eternal agendas. The world will know.
We think they were taken into exile and transported to Babylon? Well, who can take somebody into anything who is in God’s hands and part of His purposes? God arranged it and moved the King of Babylon to do it, and therefore He didn’t intervene or interfere. However God was still fully in charge and responsible for the nation.
The issue was double. The general issue was their repeated disconnection based on a deep autonomous attitude rooted in rebellion, what God called a hard heart and a stiff neck. The specific issue was that they stressed the land, God had given them. They intentionally and consciously ignored the land’s right to sabbathical years, every seventh year. God‘s priority for legacy weighs more than the wellbeing of one generation So He took them out saying something like ‘So you refuse to give the land its rightful rest? I will make sure it happens by giving you a break... in Babylon.’
This is truly insightful for the one who pays attention to the Father’s heart, to the scope of the redemptive of the Son, to the divine Word and the Holy Spirit.
In this article I will mention some issues for your consideration.
I have worked on this for years, even decades and I don’t have all the answers. I have some. And I have facets of answers but not the whole picture. However I do have the conviction that the questions are absolutely valid and only a fool would deny it. The ones who ignore it have complacencxy as the king of their lives. Spirit-monitored exploration is the right thing to do.
Anyways I do know that there are answers, or better: A path on which answers will come into place.
My point is: The church of the 21st century is in exile.
Most biblically educated Christians are familiar with the journey of restoration the global church has been on. From the Catholic Church (both the Roman and the Orthodox) to the Reformation and then to a consecutive series of waves of restoration among those the Baptists and Pentecostals are found. Then came the Revivalists, the Healing Evangelists, the Faith Movement, the Charismatic Movement
There is a wrong tradition to consider the era of the pre-reformation Church as a ‘Dark Age’. It is far from truthful. In this period great things took place in the nations. Dark Age is neither catholic nor protestant, calvinist or methodist. Dark Age is when the Christianity is Kingdom-free.
Is exile a negative situation? Not really because God is still fully in charge.
Both in the egyptian and the babylonian exile God was not taken by surprise but looked after them and led them forward.
“Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, horror and great darkness fell upon him. Then He said to Abram: “Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions. Now as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age. But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.” And it came to pass, when the sun went down and it was dark, that behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a burning torch that passed between those pieces. On the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying: “To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates - the Kenites, the Kenezzites, the Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.” Gen 15,12-21
“God spoke to Israel in the visions of the night, and said, “Jacob, Jacob!” And he said, “Here I am.” So He said, “I am God, the God of your father; do not fear to go down to Egypt, for I will make of you a great nation there. I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also surely bring you up again; and Joseph will put his hand on your eyes.” Gen. 46,2-4
“Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all who were carried away captive, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and dwell in them; plant gardens and eat their fruit. Take wives and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, so that they may bear sons and daughters - that you may be increased there, and not diminished. And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the Lord for it; for in its peace you will have peace.” Jer 29,4-7
About the egyptian exile God said: ‘I will make you a great nation there.’
About the babylonian exile God said: “Increase there and seek the peace of the city.’
And in both cases God has to do a work in their home-land while they were in exile.
In the case of Egypt God has to address the presence of foreign populations in their home-land. The land was defiled by their occupants.
In the case of Babylon the home-land had to rest from Israel’s disrespect for the land’s sabbath. The land was stressed by their inhabitants.
In both cases God took over and ruled the situation.
Is the Church of the 20’s in an identical situation?
I firmly believe so.
Consider the issue and learn.
Philip DuPont (May 2021)