It is hard to believe but we are at week 18! A lot happens in Scripture following the time Adam and Eve took that bite of the tree that God told them not to eat from. As a result, they attempted the first cover up. But since their leaf apparel was not very practical, God sacrificed an animal to clothe them. The pair was then banished from the Garden and began life anew as exiles away from their homeland.
It wasn't the only time God's people lived as exiles. They spent a few summers in Egypt. Then more wandering in the wilderness of Sinai. Later, as we have read, the Babylonians captured the nation of Judah and deported its people to captivity and all because of sin.
The first group that was deported included the young, elite men who would be trained as leaders. In the group were Daniel and his friends Hananiah, Shadrach, and Azariah. They were as you learned Sunday, given the Babylonians names of Belteshazzar, Shadrach, Meschach, and Abendnego.
While in exile these young men lived powerful, purposeful, prayer-filed lives. They remained on a diet that helped them find more energy than other workers. They prayed to their God when they were told not to. They were bold to do what was right regardless of the obstacles placed in their path. And they made a difference.
It may be difficult to put yourself in their shoes, but according to 1 Peter 2:11-12 those who follow God today are exiles too. Peter writes, "Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the Gentiles that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day He visits us."
You may have days when you just don't seem to "fit" in this world and that's a good thing. It's simply because as a child of God you don't. You were made to live with Him. Until we are home in heaven, you and I are exiles. Until then, we have things to do. We can add some good to this life so that others can get a glimpse of who God is. We CAN make a difference.
According to Peter there will be a day God will "visit" us. That's when the exile will end. And that's when you and I will truly "fit" in.
See you Sunday and have a great rest of the week!
Pastor Tim Asbill Jr.