Friday, October 6, 2023

Living in Exile

  By: Lauren Thomas 

Have you ever felt, as a Christian, that you don’t quite belong? If so, you’re not far off. In the Old Testament, we see that God’s people experienced a literal exile. But exile is a biblical theme that goes much further back with universal implications. Adam and Eve were exiled from the Garden of Eden. Ever since, mankind has been trying to get back. 


This world is our Babylon. Babylon was the kingdom to which God’s people were exiled for disobedience. But in Revelation, we see a Babylon that is symbolic of our fallen and corrupt world. We may live here, but our citizenship is in Heaven (see Philippians 3:20). When we accept Jesus as savior, he makes that citizenship possible:


He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,

Colossians 1:13 (ESV)


For the believer and follower of Jesus, this world is not our true home. C.S. Lewis spoke to this in his book, Mere Christianity: “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.” This is an echo of Hebrews 13:14:


For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come.

Hebrews 13:14 (ESV)


So how do we live as exiles? How do we wait for our true home?


One of the most popular verses in the Bible gives us a great clue. 


For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare[a] and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)


Fans of this verse often fail to understand its context. This verse was written to God’s people who were living in exile! And it pertains to our exile as well. In Jeremiah 29:4-14 the prophet Jeremiah outlined specific instructions God was giving to the Israelites for their Babylonian exile. They included the following:

·      Live your lives

·      Seek the welfare of the city

·      Seek God

·      Live faithfully and obediently to God


These are instructions to us as well. 


Even if you feel a lack of belonging, or feel discomfort with the culture you live in, you can be sure that God has good plans for you, even as you wait, living in exile. 


How does knowing the context of Jeremiah 29:11 change your perspective of this verse?

How have you experienced what C.S. Lewis addressed with the quote shared above?


No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for stopping by, we love hearing from you. Please feel free to contact us with any prayer requests or questions by commenting below or emailing us at the About Us page.