If you follow the history of God’s people, it’s a story on repeat. Over and over, God blesses His people, they prosper, they turn away from Him, and He sends His prophets to call them to repent, they don’t, and then He sends calamity on them, then they see how much they need the God whom they had turned away from and they call out to Him with repentance and pure hearts. He blesses them. Repeat.
We’ll quickly tell the story of one of the most noteworthy of these occurrences.
God’s people of Judah had turned away from Him and were following after idols. He had warned them, but they refused to turn away from these idols. It was not that they didn’t love God and love the fact that they were His Chosen people. They were absolutely proud of this fact! They felt special amongst all peoples because who else could say they had a history of God providing for them in such marvelous ways.
Yet, they didn’t just love God. They also loved their idols. And why would it really matter to God anyways, if they loved both God and idols?
What they did not understand, and refused to hear when they were warned was that God had put His Name on this people and was represented to the world by them. He had told them how to follow Him and they had refused. In reality, they didn’t love God. They hated Him because although He had always mightily provided for them, they refused the simple purity of heart He required.
So He had them conquered by Babylon. He destroyed the very Temple which they had thought represented their people and the might of God Himself!
He had them dragged off from the only home they had known. Some of God’s people were so far gone from God that they quickly assimilated into the new culture and forever lost their identity as God’s chosen people. Others, were stricken by grief and terror and moaned for the days gone by.
But God preserved a remnant during this time, even as He always has. This remnant, He blessed and grew them in wisdom and knowledge teaching them what it meant to be a people of God.
A time came that had been spoken about long before for the people to return to their land. When this day came, the leaders whom God had raised were able to teach and lead His people once again who were now ready to give their pure hearts to God alone.
This is Part 9 in the series Kingdom of God. To continue with this series, click on Pt 10. To use this as a growth tool to better understand your own calling, you might start by reading Part 1, Pt 2, Pt 3, Pt 4, Pt 5, Pt 6, Pt 7 and Pt 8.