Let me tell you a secret, you may find this one hard to believe, but… nothing lasts for ever. Has that changed your life? Probably not, we all know it deep down. Things change. I’m typing this on a computer that was being built just over a year ago. I’ll upload it to the Internet that didn’t exist in its current form less than twenty years ago. And this post will be promoted via Twitter, which is only in its eighth year.
Of course, technology changes, that is its nature, it progresses, it develops. But so does everything else in the universe we inhabit. From stars to planets, continents to nations, the universe changes.
The book of 2 Kings marks a major change and development for the Jewish people. The book follows the accounts of the now divided nations of Israel and Judah. First we see Israel fall and then Judah, with the most talented and gifted people taken into exile. The once great nation under the rule of David and Solomon is gone. Yes, there are remnants and the nation will attempt to rise from the ashes of the fallen and ruined Jerusalem over the next centuries, but there will be one major difference.
God will not be with the people.
At Christmas we can easily be fooled into thinking that we have always been a consumer driven society, striving for the best bargains on the high street, to buy presents for people we don’t really appreciate the rest of the year. Christmas may have been a permanent festival for Christians for many centuries, but the excess we now have is a very recent phenomena. Despite the cry every year for people to remember the real meaning of Christmas, we still seem stuck in the current cycle.
God will not be with the people, until…
Jesus was born and we celebrate that event at Christmas. God with us. It is not until Jesus comes, that God once again tabernacles (John 1:14) with his people. Now God’s people are not limited by ethnic or national lines – despite the attempts of some over the years to enforce them.
Nothing lasts for ever. Except, perhaps, the love for the universe God created. A love that led to a child being born around 2,000 years ago, in a country that longed for a return to the past. We can’t return to the past, because the past is something that can’t last for ever. Like Israel, like Judah, like the reigns of the Kings before the exile, nothing is permanent.
To find permanence we need to step outside the temporal existence of the universe, or reach out to the one who stepped in.
God is with the people, God is with us.
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