Monday, August 02, 2010

Exile as Promised Land

"Signs and wonders" come to a nation when it is being judged and destroyed. Egypt is the great example of this. Yahweh multiplies His signs and wonders in the land of Egypt in order to destroy Egypt and bring His armies out of the land. And throughout much of the rest of the law "signs and wonders" repeatedly refer back to what God did in Egypt. However this changes under the prophets, Isaiah and Ezekiel in particular, who become "signs and wonders" in Israel (Is. 8:18, 20:3, Ez. 12:6, 12:11, 24:24, 27).

This implies that by the time of the prophets Israel has become an Egypt, and Yahweh is once again on the move to free His enslaved people. This is why obedience to Yahweh eventually means defecting to Babylon. "Staying in Israel" when the prophets call the people to submit to Nebuchadnezzar is equivalent to "staying in Egypt." The kings and priests of Israel are no better than pharoah and his magicians. Following the prophets and going with the Spirit of God into exile is the historical equivalent of going into the Promised Land. Where the Spirit of the Lord is; there is freedom.

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