Have you ever had a crisis moment? This seems to be an inevitable part of every person’s story. Sometimes these crisis moments are external and beyond our control. A person’s health, for example, can change in a moment and alter present and future decisions. In our Scripture reading today, we find a crisis moment that challenged the identity of God’s people. However, unlike the external causes of a crisis, we see this moment was initiated by the sinful actions of Israel and Judah. The Northern Kingdom, Israel, was already taken into captivity by Assyria while the Southern Kingdom, Judah, remained. Babylon would later take over Assyria and absorb them into their ranks. Babylon would then march on to Judah and take them into exile.
Read 2 Kings 25:1-30
The whole matter is concluded in the statement, sin will take you farther than what you want to go. C. S. Lewis wrote in Mere Christianity that humanity was created to run on God. Anything else and humanity begins to break down. The nation reaped the consequences of their actions. Choosing to live without God had its accompanying ramifications. However, their sin also brought the judgment of God on them, called the exile.
As a pastor, I’ve witnessed the breakdown of families and individuals because of sin. These moments entirely change the identity of people. However, we are hopeful in Israel’s story because there was hope of returning from exile. And, while most nations were utterly absorbed in captivity, Israel survived because of a few who remained undoubtedly faithful to God and their identity as His people. God can redeem and restore those that have become broken.