DAY 04 | HANNAH M
What does living in exile mean? As we read through peter it becomes apparent that we are not living in Zion (which Is God’s kingdom on earth) instead we are living in Babylon (a society which actively goes against the word of God) so in Exile as we are for however long this period of time is living away from God in this society which is similar to Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness, we are tempted by society to veer away from God and his morals and live completely against God.
Can living in exile be beneficial? Though living in Babylon essentially seems daunting and a place so far away from God you can’t see him In fact this idea of being in exile can only make us stronger as Christians as the danger of conforming to the Babylon standards instead have a prime opportunity to enhance our faith and grow until we manage to get back to Zion.
Where can we see Babylon and Zion in the bible? We see them as both a physical and a metaphorical place to us so living in this exile can be mentally and physically a reality. One of the places in the bible we see these two images are in GENESIS. This is because we see a garden, which is a reference to Zion, and God tells us we are FREE. As we are then given the choice, and in this the tree of forbidden fruit, we chase against God so exiled to Babylon. The tree represents humanity’s choice, to build Zion or build Babylon.
What is the importance of worshipping Jesus? Jesus is our living hope and Peter shows us all the suffering he endures just so our relationship with God can we as close as ever, this divide we made between the cities of Babylon and Zion can begin to close. Jesus is our saviour and we should trust him and God while heartly. He is the good news we can share with people to improve Babylon. Peter tells us to be holy as he is holy, and this will give us something to live for.
What does Peter encourage us to do? Whilst we live in Babylon we should ABSTAIN, SUBMIT AND LOVE. We will always be exposed to someone else’s versions of the truth rather than Jesus and this can cause problems as this may lead to conforming to the norm and the danger of that is that we then stray from God’s truth and love. What is true is a good idea and these are the enemy that has the ability to distract us from what is true so Babylon strips us of our true potential by taking up our time with other things.
How can we reduce the anxiety of Babylon? This is by saying no and abstaining from the things which distract us this could be by having a digital free evening and read a book or have an early night. This will allow us to have control and that this world perhaps a digital Babylon doesn’t dictate to us what we should do and we have the control again.
How can we love people regardless of what they have done? People are children of God and we are told in peter to love people an example of this is the good Samaritan, this is similar to someone saying the good trump supporter etc, meaning that we live in a cancellation society where if somebody does one thing wrong (support the wrong person, say the wrong thing) there is no route back into society, and we should find a way to love those people regardless of what they have done.
So, what is living in exile to us today? It is the things in our culture and society which may drag us to conform to the ‘social norms’ which may not be what we believe hence living in temptation/ exile. We have ample opportunity to turn from God and Jesus yet as Christians we follow the example of Jesus, who didn’t conform and didn’t cave we listen, learn and love and continue to follow Christ in our journey to Zion through our time in Babylon.
Come on, this is it. Hannah has written a more succint and personal summary of this series than I ever could, and helped ask me questions I hadn’t thought of before. I especially love the phrase ‘reducing the anxiety of Babylon’. Well worth the read.