in which there is Exile and fullness of time

by Craig on August 12, 2011

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So Israel was in Exile. (the little known story of the Exile began here, yesterday)

They weren’t in POW camps, neither were they hounded nor persecuted.

But they were a proud people, now humiliated.

And yes, they had freedoms in Babylon but lost a certain level of self-determination.
They had a place to live, but they lost their home.
All of their economic, social and religious institutions were invalid,
and they had to build from scratch.

The war of a tiny nation against a juggernaut was lost before it began…
and there was death and hardship in the battle.
From the outside it seems that would have been the worst part.
And in a way it was.
But having to carve out a new identity, new ways to replace the old,
and deal with the guilt of having been given so much – and thrown it all to the winds…

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…that was maybe the harder part.

It was a time of intense questioning.

What kind of a future was possible for a people who traced their unique election to a God who had just lost a war to other gods? What kind of a future was possible for a people who had so alienated God that categorical rejection was his necessary response?

And this isn’t all just history to me. I have experienced it. Number one on my 100’s list is, “I have been crushed, and pieced back together by a God who never once delighted in the crushing, and who knows where every piece belongs.” I know of defeat and Exile.

I know of how they felt in this strange new land: the loss, the guilt, the embarrassment, the destruction, the limits placed on freedom and control. And I’m familiar with what sent them into Exile. Yes, it was Babylon, but the real enemy was their irresponsibility, immaturity, and infidelity.

And so Israel was in Exile.

There would be no more idol worship.
There was no temple – but now there were synagogues.
And because trampling on the law of Moses brought them to this point,
they created Pharisees to remember and protect the law.

Doesn’t that paint the Pharisees in a different light than we’re used to?

In the context of the “fullness of time”…
if Our Lord had come before the Exile I think maybe Israel would’ve accepted him…
or maybe they would’ve disregarded his words like they were prone to do with their prophets.

But they wouldn’t have crucified him…
and we would not now be Christian.

So much weaving of history that God did to get to “the fullness of time”.

The Exile of Israel was a “must have” thread for the tapestry.

There is more…

please come back.

and if you hearted this at all,
or if you think others might find it useful,
would you consider sharing it in one of the ways below?ツ

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Dawn August 12, 2011 at 9:10 am

If Jesus had come before the Exile…they wouldn’t have crucified Him? Why not? You lost me here, Craig.

Dawn

BTW I love your exile narrative because it’s a perfect description of the lost sinner when brought down to the personal level.

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Craig August 12, 2011 at 9:23 am

of course Dawn, this is just a theory. We know they would’ve crucified him because crucifixion was an invention of the Roman – and they weren’t even a glimmer in the eye of history yet. Maybe they would’ve stoned him. But there were a number of reasons why I think things would’ve been different. Because of the exile they were looking for political Messiah to reestablish the kingdom – he wouldn’t have disappointed them so much in this way before exile. A spiritual kingdom – established, in person, by God – as man – It might’ve made so much more sense pre-Exile. But after exile – they had been looking for a different kind Messiah – for 500 years. And the Pharisees who led the charge to the crucifixion – without exile it would have been none. They had decided that he was a threat not only to their power – but to the law of Moses. He was a blasphemer and a false messiah and needed to be silenced. There were reasons other than the ones we’ve come to traditionally know – as we point accusing finger at them. There are other reasons too – they probably would read a whole post. But I hope this helps. And remember it’s just an opinion – it might be an educated opinion – but it’s not the only one – and it’s not spoken from Sinai. Thank you for questioning such a bold statement – thank you Dawn for making me defend it. I really, REALLY, really do appreciate it. It was an excellent question – and I am glad you asked. I hope this answer helps – if you need more – just throw another question mark out there and I’ll be happy to think about it more – and give more. I hearted this comment! And thank you for your kind words at the end – it’s a proof of the love of God in your heart that you would seek after asking the question that might not be taken in the spirit in which it was given – that you would seek to immediately say something that would make me feel better – just in case. Whether it was my intention – or just by nature – it makes me smile. God bless and keep you Dawn.

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A. August 12, 2011 at 12:19 pm

Interesting reading your comment to Dawn. Yes, we have our theories and it is good to consider them. Hearing other theories enlarges and challenges my thinking. I have even changed my mind on some things after considering another theory.

I really like your #1 on your 100’s list. The way you say that God did not love the crushing, yet it was needed, and He knew just what to do and where. That speaks so much of His kind of love, Craig.

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Craig August 13, 2011 at 9:12 am

it’s His kindness that leads us to repentance. If there is one person I trust to plot out or redirect the course for me it’s God. Thank you A. And God bless you

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Martha Orlando August 12, 2011 at 2:29 pm

I, too, liked your “God did not love the crushing, yet it was needed”. This reminded me of the tough-love some parents have to give to particularly errant or disrespectful children; they don’t enjoy it, but it is required for their edification.
Once again, thought-provoking post, Craig!

God bless!

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Craig August 13, 2011 at 9:15 am

thank you Martha, I know, I just know that I know, that he doesn’t like to discipline us. He knows that it hurts. But we invite the discipline when we invite a loving Heavenly Father into our life. And as Peter says, nobody likes the discipline when it’s going on – but after we can see the results. Still, it’s better not to need so much discipline. And as you put it, I needed the discipline because I was “a particularly errant and disrespectful child”. it’s not a title that I cling to proudly. Thank you for your kind, and also piercing, words Martha, and God bless you.

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Andrea Dawn August 12, 2011 at 8:31 pm

Froofy is beautiful . . . and so blessed to have been rescued and loved by you. Wounded healers . . . healing each other. And no masks is always better (not necessarily easier). Psalm 85:10 says “Mercy and truth have met together” . . . we find mercy when we are in truth. As you continue to be vulnerable and reveal your true self you are truly endearing yourself to your readers . . . and I hope that silences another voice . . . the one that says “if people knew the real me, they would __________ (fill in the blank). I was reading in Proverbs yesterday and found this treasure. Chapter 10, vs 21, says “The lips of the righteous feed many . . .” As I was thinking on that, many of my blogging friends came to mind.The words that you and so many others release into Blog-land truly do feed many. I am just one of them and I am blessed.

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Andrea Dawn August 12, 2011 at 10:58 pm

Oops . . . slight glitch in the comments . . . this should be on your Deep into Love post. I will copy and paste into the right place.

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Craig August 13, 2011 at 9:19 am

And Froofy – he was a lifesaver. I saved him – he saved me. He was a miracle. And keeping that mask off – it is by far the better way – but we always want other people to think we are better than we are. I used to think it was just me. I think it’s everybody. And there’s no judgment in that statement – it’s just – I think – fact. I can’t judge when my first impulse is to reach for the mask – can I now? And I’m with you – I get fed so well by so many bloggy friends – what I read so often brings me right in line with our Lord. So true. So true. Thank you Andrea Dawn, and God bless and keep you.

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Debbie August 13, 2011 at 2:50 am

Thank you for sharing your well thought out theory with us! I would never have thought about this, but you have a great mind and communication skills, and bring it to us here.
God bless you. I’m so glad God pieced you back together just the way He did. :)

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Craig August 13, 2011 at 9:22 am

the mind, Debbie, isn’t so great – it was a lot more agile before the sleep thing – but it still thinks a lot – about a lot of different things. And I do heart words! And the piecing back together – I’m not sure it’s done – but if I stay true – and on course – there shouldn’t be a need for any more heavy discipline. It’s better to not need the discipline then to benefit by it. No? God bless you Debbie.

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Dawn August 13, 2011 at 1:07 pm

Dear Craig and Andrea Dawn,

In light of your conversation, I have to post here what Danelle at http://www.heseesme.wordpress.com says about her rescued dogs.

I have two dogs that are rescues. I thank them for rescuing me from a life without dogs. They are called by their first and middle names, as all southern dogs should be.

I LOVE that! Like Danelle, I thank my dogs for rescuing me from a life without dogs, too, albeit I have the northern kind, called only by their proper first names when I MUST get their attention.

By the way, I wonder what they’re doing?
Bye all, Dawn

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Craig August 13, 2011 at 4:23 pm

i saw three dogz on mi walkz with kreg – wun wuz yelo an barky and ran aftur mee – i hissed
wun wuz barky frum insyde windo an i doent lyk him
wun wuz nise and lukd at mee thru windo – sum dogz r nise

laska the luv kitee ^.^

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Debra August 13, 2011 at 5:50 pm

This addresses both the personal exile we experience when other gods have stolen our hearts. And it also speaks of where America is right now. I know you don’t deal with national problems here Craig, but I can’t help but see the parallel between Israel’s downfall and America’s – if we don’t turn our hearts back to God before the same happens here.

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Craig August 13, 2011 at 6:21 pm

Debra, I think there are similarities – we didn’t start out – no matter what anyone says – as a Christian country. There were no Muslims, there were barely any Jews – but then – the Jewish/Christian connection covers the few Jewish people that there were any way – there weren’t any Buddhists – there weren’t any Hindus. People can argue about the depth and variety of the Christian beginning of the country – but not that it was Christian. Sadly, I think we stopped being a “Christian” nation a long way back. we are always so enamored with Europe – but Europe stopped being Christian long before we did – and it’s a cesspool over there – an absolute moral cesspool – and has been for a long time. I’m not sure if “exile” would apply to us should we fall – but I’m with you – we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in if we actually were a “Christian” nation.

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