In order to understand the overarching story of the Old Testament, you really only need to know 2 words, and both of these words start with the letter E:
Exodus & Exile
Exodus – the Hebrews, who were slaves in Egypt, are led to freedom by God through the parted waters of the Red Sea and the wilderness in an exodus to the land of promise.
Exile – the Hebrews are defeated and taken into exile in Assyria and Babylon, returning many years later to re-establish Jerusalem and the Temple, their home.
Even in our Scripture readings for this coming Sunday, we hear about Exodus and Exile. In Jeremiah, the prophet tells how his people have been taken away from Jerusalem into daily life in exile in Babylon. In the Psalm, the words sing of the awesome deeds of God in the exodus, turning “the sea into dry land, so that they went through the water on foot (66:5).”
How has God led you on an exodus journey on dry land - into the freedom of a promised land of grace and love? How has God delivered you from the exile of your sins and shortcomings - carrying you back to Jerusalem, our spiritual home?