Elect Exiles

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ: To those chosen, living as exiles, … May grace and peace be multiplied to you. (1 Peter 1:1-2)

To those chosen, living as exiles. Do you find yourself feeling out of place where you live? If so, you are not alone. But the Apostle Peter addressed us this way 2,000 years ago. The fact is that this world is not our home. We are exiles. I am preaching through the book of Daniel right now in my pulpit ministry, so this concept of exile is fresh in my mind. Daniel and his three friends were young Jewish men who were taken from their home and placed in a foreign land. That time became known in the history of redemption as The Exile. To be in exile is to be away from home and in some sense not able to immediately return.

We are living in times the prophet Isaiah described, with a rebuke: Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness, who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter (5:20). If you are sanctified in Christ Jesus, then you will not feel at home in such times. It is disturbing to observe morality being turned upside down. It is frightening to see evil and good being not only confused, but subverted. And it is sad to see the very things that would bring flourishing being substituted for things that will only bring pain. Paul describes this vividly and graphically in Romans 1:18-32.

Jesus has gone to prepare a place for his people that where he is we may be also (cf. John 14:1ff.). But in the meantime he has sent us the Spirit of truth. He also reminded us to be of good cheer in the midst of tribulation because he has overcome the world. And as one of our favorite Christmas carols reminds us, Jesus came to make his blessings flow as far as the curse is found. So even as you feel disoriented these days, do not lose your compass, the Word of God. God has prepared us for such times. Peter also said, Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your cares on him, because he cares about you (5:6-7).

PRAYER: Dear Lord, sometimes I feel lost. Thank you for your Word, the lamp for my feet and light for my path. Please write it upon my heart and help me to hunger and thirst for righteousness. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About Joseph V. (Josh) Carmichael

Board Certified Chaplain. Ordained Minister. Adjunct Professor. Writer. Husband to my dear wife. Father of six young men. (PhD, SBTS; MDiv, RTS; MBA, UA)
This entry was posted in 1 Peter, Devotion, John, Romans and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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