By the curse of exile, the paradigm was set – for us who believe, Christ became a curse, the true object of lament, so that as we pass his Cross, if we are ever asked “does it mean nothing to you” our response is this: “His pangs and wrath are the most significant event to and for us” – the impaling of God’s Son means a permanent end to exile for the penitent believer-by-grace, who can never be cast out.
I’ve just been thinking a little about the dispersion and return of the Jews to and from Babylon.
I couldn’t help notice, too, that the Jews were not the only tribe to be dispersed – after confusion of Babel, every nation was far-flung to four corners of God’s earth.
It struck me forcibly, also, how while Jews later returned with their feet, most had yet to return with heart – there we some pious folk, but not, it seems, a lot.
No doubt, that explains why Haggai and Zechariah, to name but two, protest at the lethargic state of the church which remained largely, it seems, Pharisaic or Sadduceeic in spirit.
In light of all, in Biblical Theological terms, in the purposes of God there were several reasons, at least, for the outcast of the Jews:
First, this was a punishment for their idolatry, immorality, infidelity and injustice that riddled the original Kingdom and post-schism northern and southern church.
Secondly, exile also fulfilled the Word, uttered centuries before by Moses (a threat later repeated, on record, by Joshua and Solomon) that sin would lead to curse.
Third, sanctifying imprisonment in Assyria, Babylon, Persia, and far-flung parts of Empires, kindled spiritual desire, fueled penitent prayer and created idol disgust.
Fourth, the hearts of the faithful- of men like Daniel – studied the Scriptures, saw the time was near, and interceded for return, after the completion of 70 years.