Sunday, January 17, 2010

17 January 2009

Jeremiah 24: 1-10

So I will regard those exiled from Judah, those whom I have sent away from this place, to the land of the Chaldeans for good.

This is a message that we don't always find. It is good to be exiles? This is kind of a reverse to our way of thinking. Of course part of the reason that it is good is the kings and rulers of Judah are going to be destroyed, but there is more implied here. In the New Testament, we are told that all things work together for the benefit of those who love the Lord, we just do not always see it that way.

For example, in our first lesson today, Jacob runs away from this brother, but comes back with 11 sons, and wives and concubines and sheep. His exile was a blessing for him.

The exile in Babylon was a blessing in another way. The dispersal of the Jews meant that their ideas spread. Would the Magi have known about the coming Messiah if Daniel had not trained the wise men of Babylon? The love of God, righteousness, and the belief in one God were spread by the Jewish diaspora.

We are told in the Psalms of Solomon, Chapter 9, that the dispersion of Israel among every nation was according to the word of God. And we note, after the final dispersion of the Jews in 70 AD, that the Christians (who were Jews) went with the Jews to various Jewish colonies of the world. In Acts, we see the Apostles and others going to Samaria, and Damascus. Paul everywhere he visits, visits the Jews first. Peter visits the Jews in Babylon, St. Thomas started his trips to India at Jewish colonies, as did St. Joseph of Arimathea in his visit to Britain. In other words, these dispersions, while apparently bad things were not. They worked to the spread of the Kingdom.

Likewise, we can look at the disaster in Haiti as an opportunity. An opportunity to spread God's word, and opportunity to rebuild. We need to not only be helping Port-au-Prince with donations, but with our prayers,and sending Godly people there. Haiti had been bound for spiritual chains for many a year because of the massive massacres that occurred during independence, and the Voodoo which pervades the society.

We need to be praying for the spiritual rebirth of the nation.

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