We’ve looked at the reasons for the Exile before. But let’s use today’s Bible reading* to look at the purpose of the Exile.
Again, the reasons were that God’s people had turned from God to follow the gods of the nations around them. From the kings to the common people — except for a few — the divided kingdom of Judah and Israel left God and broke their end of the covenant.
Through the prophets, God told the people that if they didn’t turn back to Him, He would use foreign kings to punish their nations. And today’s readings describe King Nebuchadnezzar’s triumph over God’s people. He took the sacred objects out of the Temple and took all of the soldiers and elite individuals to Babylon (in modern-day Iraq).
But why? Why did Nebuchadnezzar take the people to Babylon? What was the purpose of the Exile?
In order to completely destroy the nations of Israel and Judah, King Nebuchadnezzar removed the people from their culture and immersed them into a different culture. We’ll see more of this indoctrination in the coming days’ readings.
All of this was to destroy the Jewish culture and cause the people to adopt the Babylonian culture. Perhaps Nebuchadnezzar wanted to eliminate the people’s desires to ever return to the land promised to Abraham and his descendants. He hoped that by taking the boy out of the country, he could take the country out of the boy.
Right now, we see a similar situation in Afghanistan. The Taliban has taken control of the nation and is imposing Shariah Law on the (former) citizens of Afghanistan. Girls over the age of nine will no longer be able to go to school, unless it’s with other girls. (Question: Who will build schools for the girls?) Women have been killed and blinded for not covering themselves according to Islamic Law (more than covering their heads, some Taliban radicals are requiring full face-coverings, with only eye-slits to see). I read Thursday that Taliban fighters are going door-to-door, confiscating Bibles and searching cellphones for Bible Apps and other evidence of Christian commitment among the people.
Just like in our readings, godless, evil people are attacking God’s people and others who are hostile to the new regime. Why? The same reason as I’ve explained above: to obliterate the culture of God’s people and bring about complete submission. Oh, if you weren’t already aware, “submission” is the definition of the word “Islam”.
So what are we to do? Take a few minutes to follow the links below to get a little more insight into Afghan Believers’ situations and outlook. And spend a few minutes praying for your persecuted brothers and sisters on the other side of the world. And pray that the Taliban (and other Afghanistis) come to faith in Jesus Christ.
The Taliban’s Return Is Awful For Women In Afghanistan (Note: This links to an external website)
Afghan Pastors Ask for Prayer (Source: 9Marks)
How Afghan Pastors Reflect on God’s Sovereignty (Source: The Gospel Coalition)
How To Pray For Afghanistan – And The Taliban (Source: The Gospel Coalition)
* Chapters covered in today’s reading:
2 Kings 24
2 Kings 25
2 Chronicles 36:1-21