We are living during very trying times lately and for several years now. I found an interesting introduction to Lamentations written in the Message Bible by Eugene Peterson that might have a parallel application to 'what in the world is going on anyway??' I will copy one paragraph:
"There are two polar events in the history of the Hebrew people: the Exodus from Egypt and the Exile into Babylon. Exodus is the definitive story of salvation into a free life. God delivered his people from Egyptian slavery (in about 1200 B. C.). It is a story of freedom. It's accompanied by singing and dancing--an exuberant experience. Exile is the definitive story of judgment accompanied by immense suffering. God's people are taken into Babylonian slavery (the fall of Jerusalem in 587 B.C. marks the event). It is a time of devastation and lament. It is a terrible experience. The two events, Exodus and Exile, are bookends holding together the wide-ranging experiences of God's people that fall between the exuberance that accompanies salvation and the suffering associated with judgement."
We hear the Exodus story a lot in churches but rarely hear about the Exile. 2Kings 23 shows how bad things became in Israel before the judgement of exile. The way things are becoming in this country and world, are we ripe for judgement or exile ourselves?
This is kind of a negative posting, but it is something i just noticed this summer while reading and a light went on and it had to be written to remember it... Seventy years after the exile God was gracious and let a few go back to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple and the walls (Ezra and Nehemiah). Yet those who went back to the promised land were slaves and had to give their harvests to foreign kings. (Nehemiah 9 and check out v. 36, 37.) Maybe these difficult days can be explained by the exodus AND the exile story.