One of the most significant events in ancient Jewish history is when the Isrealites were conquered by the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar in 597 B.C. Sadly, many of them, including the Hebrew king, his family, the governing officials, and 7,000 young and healthy fighting men, were carried off to the city of Babylon, which was 2,700 kilometers away from Israel. While that may not seem like much to us today, back then, it was basically the other side of the world; in fact, it would have taken many months of travel to get there. As thousands of God’s people were forced to shift their existence away from the Promised Land, their discomfort must have been immense. In today’s terms, it would be like leaving a small midwestern town to settle in New York City. Besides just being gargantuan, it was full of diverse groups of people, huge structures, loud noises, pagan religions, and tons of idols. Being uprooted and transplanted to this strange place must have had these God-fearing people throwing up their hands in confusion and possibly even despair. What were they supposed to do now? Their stuff had been ransacked, they were separated from their families, and everything they knew had changed. It was unjust, unfair, and no doubt left many of them angry and despondent. Yet the Lord was in the middle of it.
My friend, God is in Babylon! Though you may feel as if you are living in a foreign place, especially with the challenges and changes you’ve experienced in the past few months, the Lord is with you. He has allowed this current season to happen so it can accomplish something in and through you that would have been impossible in the land of safety and comfort you left behind. Yes, you are being stretched, and the feelings of fear, anger, and sadness you are experiencing are completely natural, but you can find treasure in the unfamiliar places. All around you lie new discoveries, new relationships, and new pathways to growth; your role is simply to seek them out and embrace them. Don’t shy away from the struggle or give up in defeat — remember that your Savior has placed you right where He needs you to be to bring His Kingdom to earth in a time such as this!