A Plan for Patriots in Exile

We’ve had 24 hours to absorb the shock from the sucker punch delivered to us on Tuesday.

Today, we pick ourselves up from the ground, wipe away our tears, and spit the bitterness out of our mouth.

Today, we start fighting back.

This post is about how.

How do we start fighting back? What do we do to preserve and take care of ourselves in the next very difficult four years? How do we collectively and individually get ourselves into fighting shape?

We can start by heeding the counsel of Grassfire’s Steve Elliott, who compares our present circumstance with the ancient Hebrews who, 2500 years ago, also found themselves in exile, having been pushed out of Jerusalem and forced to live under the tyrant Nebuchadnezzar.

The Flight of the Prisoners, by Tissot

The Hebrews wanted to recover and restore Israel. A prophet named Hananiah said their time of exile would only last two years, but he turned out to be a false prophet.

Then a real prophet, Jeremiah, told the exiles the truth. Instead of two years, their exile would endure for 70 years:

This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you …” (Jeremiah 29)

Though in exile, the Hebrews are assured they have not been abandoned:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 28)

The Hebrews received, in Jeremiah 29:4, the Lord’s specific instructions on how to conduct themselves in exile:

  • Build houses and settle down.
  • Plan gardens and eat what they produce.
  • Marry and have sons and daughters.
  • Marry off your sons and daughters so they can have children.
  • Increase in number; do not decrease.

But doing the above is not enough. People in exile must do something else — they must be a blessing to the land:

“Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”

Historians tell us it was during the Babylonian captivity that the Israelites moved from a Temple/Jerusalem focused society to a synagogue and community focused society. Simply put … It was the lessons learned during their time in exile which enabled the Jews to survive their subsequent, even longer years in exile — the 2,500 years of the Jewish diaspora. But not just survive — but to thrive and become the most prosperous, most successful and most innovative people group in the history of civilization.

In our time of trial and exile, we too must rebuild; plant and garden; marry and have children and grandchildren; increase in number via biological reproduction and via teaching and converting.

And through it all, we are to bless the land with our goodness and right behavior, and pray, pray, pray:

“Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:12-13

Like our readers, FOTM writers also must step back, reflect, and reevaluate. Some of us have allowed our other obligations — to home, family and our selves — take a back seat to the urgency of the 2012 election. We must now attend to them, and so the daily number of posts on FOTM will diminish. But that doesn’t mean our commitment to the cause is diminished even one iota.

Speaking for myself, I need to attend more to my household and garden. I need to get myself into better fighting shape by losing at least 5 lbs. and exercising more than the minimum recommended 3 times a week.

Anyone want to join me? We can start a self-help group to encourage and cheer each other on, in achieving the goals we’ve set out for ourselves. I welcome your ideas and suggestions!

In closing, like the ancient Hebrews, we should not despair because God is with us:

“And I will utter my judgments against them touching all their wickedness, in that they have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, and worshipped the works of their own hands. Thou therefore gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak unto them all that I command thee: be not dismayed at them, lest I dismay thee before them. For, behold, I have made thee this day a fortified city, and an iron pillar, and brazen walls, against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, against the princes thereof, against the priests thereof, and against the people of the land. And they shall fight against thee; but they shall not prevail against thee: for I am with thee, saith Jehovah, to deliver thee.” (Jeremiah 1:16-19)

Update:

In an essay on Facebook, “Wretched” places the blame for Obama’s reelection squarely on America’s churches (h/t Sage_brush):

“Obama is a problem, but he is not the problem.  THE problem in America today is the church.  Permit me to persuade you.
  • If a liberal church focusses on the environment, who are they inclined to vote for?
  • If a progressive church defines marriage as “anyone who is committed to another person,”  do you suppose they will vote red or blue?
  • If a prosperity church focusses on healing and free money from God, who do you think they will pull the lever for?
Surprise, liberal, progressive and prosperity churches voted overwhelmingly for Barak Obama. Why? They are bad churches with bad teachers delivering false teachings resulting in heretical beliefs which inspire wrong actions that deliver horrific consequences. [...] if we want to reclaim America we had better reclaim the churches first.
The result of strong, healthy, Biblical churches is strong healthy faith which changes rotten thinking into righteous thinking which produces holy behavior generating good consequences.  If you don’t like the results of this election, don’t blame Mitt, the Republican Party or Chris Christie.  Blame the church.
[...] Instead of abandoning ship, doing home church or church shopping every Sunday, dedicate yourself to a local church to: fix it, serve it, fund it, cleanse it, help it, support it or reform it if necessary.  If we focus less on Washington and more on our local churches, the nation will be better off.”

~Eowyn

15 responses to “A Plan for Patriots in Exile

  1. I agree, we need to attend our households, our family, get fit and strong, mentally and physicially, get right with God. We need all the strength for the trials ahead. Those who don’t will struggle and their shock at theri situation will be great, when they realize that it’s their behavior (voting for the wrong person) is what is hurting them. How many times must they be knocked over the head by the evil doer, before they realize it.

  2. 2 Chronicles 7:14

    Viewing the King James Version. Click to switch to 1611 King James Version of 2 Chronicles 7:14.

    If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

    – King James Bible “Authorized Version”, Pure Cambridge Edition

  3. AMEN!

  4. Beautiful post, and badly needed after the past year’s events. I feel like I’m the one who ran for office ;-). I’m with you; my list of self-improvements is a mile long. Limit one hour of TV news a day (maybe less). Trying to get at least 6 hours of sleep a night. And lots more.

  5. I would love to join in…this post is exactly what my husband and I talked about last night. The Holy Spirit is truly roaming our nation and helping those who listen in faith.

  6. Thank you…long time fan of this website. Btw, when we get to a point in time, I did a thorough study of Ezra where the Israelites come back to rebuild Jerusalem. I wrote a lot of commentary regarding, “What can we, as Americans, learn about leaving a pagan/syncretized life and embark on a more holy one?” This book gives quite a bit of advice on what that transition looks like…this will be invaluable wisdom when the lost members of our nation turn back to God…as did the Israelites.

  7. Thank-you, dear Eowyn, for some inspiration.

  8. Wretched is right! The Progressive Church is a problem, if not THE problem. Take a break. Maybe, we all should join a Progressive Church and wait and pray with these folks. Then if there are enough of us we can begin to change the tide with some of the laity and maybe even the clergy. I am member and a leader in a Progressive Church. It is a delicate operation to get people to see things from a Conservative point of view. I choose my battles. I have kept my mouth shut quite a few times, when I just want to scream and shake them awake. Their minds are closed to conservative ideas. They all read the same books, same newspapers, and same magazines. The clergy, too, have received a thorough indoctrination in their seminary schools. They are like the Pharisees; sure that their way is the right way. In their case, it is the way of Social Justice through wealth redistribution. I have come to believe that we need to pray with them. We need to show them that we are not the monsters that we are painted to be and that our ideas work. After the election, I was ready to quit my Progressive Church and find one that is Conservative. Wretched gave me some renewed hope that maybe what I’m doing is the right way to go. It’s just such a slow, slow process; one step forward and two steps back.

  9. Thanks, that’s encouraging to think about.

  10. Great great great. Concerning your comment about the church, the body of Christ that is, perhaps the “problem” as you put it might be the attitude of some of its’ members which resembles the way that the brother of the prodigal son behaved when their father was rejoicing
    over his brother’s return home. The oligarchs know how to divide and conquer us, so they wind us up with their same sex marriage agenda etc., so as to mess with our
    heads I read an article yesterday called something like
    “America has changed but God hasn’t” So there it is.
    Jesus taught his disciples the truth and it set the world free indeed. To believe anything else is to crucify him afresh.

  11. Me too… plus I’m going to start working out next week…

  12. Dennis H Bennett

    While my Synod developed a robust program to help educate our members over the incursions into our religious liberties, it was never really pushed to the grass roots in my church.Why, I don’t know. I presume it was not to create “conflict” because we live and worship in the deep South where being Democrat is a part of family identity. For whatever reason, I view it as an abdication of faith to cowardly appeasement. Much like not calling homosexuality for the sin that it is. When our leaders don’t want to stir the masses, they become the apostle of compromise and no truth at all.
    Apostasy in the church for partisan appeasement. Disgusting

  13. I believe the Lord is more concerned about His kingdom than about our nation. If our nation falls under the weight of its own corruption, then we must realize that our first allegiance is to the Kingdom of God.

  14. I’ve been searching for evidence that “prosperity” churches voted for Obama. I’ve found nothing. Please, if you make assertions like this, back them up with evidence and not hearsay.

    I don’t attend a “prosperity” church, but I know some people who do, and have seen nothing to make me think they voted for Obama.

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