DAY 268- BIG PICTURE IN A YEAR - THE EXILE
Reading: 2 Kings 25:30; Jeremiah 52:31–34
Continuing our history lesson from yesterday…after the fall of Jerusalem, Nebuchadnezzar 11 pillaged Jerusalem and its Temple and took King Jeconiah and his court and other prominent citizens (including the prophet Ezekiel) back to Babylon.
Later, there were two other deportations of Jews to Babylon, it didn’t all happen on one day. In Nebuchadnezzar’s 18th year, in 587 BC, Jeconiah's successor, Zedekiah, and many other Israelites, were deported to Babylon and then 5 years later, another batch got sent out of the land to Babylon. Judah became a Babylonian province, called Yehud Medinata. This effectively put an end to the independent Kingdom of Judah.
Life wasn’t all that bad in Babylon. We have two resources that tell us this. Firstly, according to the Bible, King Jeconiah was given special treatment. Secondly, archaeologists have recently discovered ancient tablets in Babylon that tell of the lives of ordinary Jews in a place called JudahTown (āl-Yāḫūdu). The Al-Yahudu Archive picks up the story where the Bible leaves off. These 2 500-year old tablets detail transactions and contracts belonging to Jews. The tablets also record other events from the daily lives of the exiled Judahites, such as tax payments and rental agreements. From these records it is evident that the 1500 or so Jews who were moved to Lebanon, Syria and southern Iraq, were not held as slaves but were allowed to become merchants and administrators in order to economically strengthen the growing Babylonian empire.
Even in Exile, God had a purpose for His people. Yes, it was judgment, but like all God’s judgments, it had redemptive purpose. Have you noticed that in your own life?
Thank You, Lord that You are always about redemption in my life. I trust You.
FOR THE FAMILY
Explain, in an age appropriate way, that the people of God insisted on disobeying God and this led to them being taken capture and removed to Babylon. Then watch this video together.
Watch this…it will be especially meaningful for older kids