God is No Tribal God of Christendom (Exile)
Updated: Nov 2, 2019
When Jerusalem was destroyed, and the Temple left in ruins, many people in Judah were taken into exile in Babylon. It was then that those who lived in exile began to reassess their understanding of God. Was God only the God of Jerusalem; and the God who resided in the Temple; or was God much more than that? Could they sing the songs of the Lord in the strange and foreign land of Babylon? Could God speak to them, help them and be with them in Babylon? Or was God no more than a tribal god whose power was confined to the boundaries of the nation they had left-behind?
It was in moving beyond the agony and anguish of exile. Feeling the pain of exile to the depth of their being, yet not being defined by it that they were enabled to sing the Lord’s song in the strange and foreign land of Babylon. It was in understanding that God was much bigger than they ever imagined that they began to seek the welfare of the city, the welfare of Babylon. It was in trusting God to take care of them and be with them in exile that they discovered that Lord was the God of the whole earth. It was in this context that they finally understood that God was no tribal god. That God was bigger than Jerusalem and the Temple, which had been left behind.
I wonder if those still holding on the remnants of Christendom, need to experience something
similar to deep pain and anguish experienced by Jews of the exile. Maybe then they will be able to move on and learn anew how to sing the Lord’s song in the strange and foreign world of post-Christendom. Then perhaps they will be enabled to seek the welfare of the post-everything world in which we now live. And then maybe they will understand afresh that God is no tribal god limited to the old world of Christendom.