Imagine the following: The northern kingdom of Israel has been dominated by the Assyrians for more than a hundred years. There is no northern kingdom any more. Now the world is shaking, because the previously powerful Assyrians are losing more and more of their power to the Babylonians. One small part of this clash of ancient superpowers is that Judah, the southern kingdom of Israel with its capital Jerusalem, is anticipating the arrival of the Babylonians, who want to expand their power at the expense of Judah’s territory. If there is no help from the outside for Judah, there will be no southern kingdom any more. So, Judah is looking for help. They are asking the Egyptians, and they are asking gods other than their own God. But none offers help. And as history will show, the southern kingdom does fall, the temple is destroyed, and people are sent into exile. A question comes to mind: “Where was the Lord?”
In this miserable situation, God is there, still speaking to them. God’s speech comes in an accusation that the people have forgotten God. And God’s speech shows what is expected from the people in their desperation. God does not ask for praise. God is not demanding that they completely abandon their fear and simply believe that everything will be okay.
It is one single question that God wants his people to pose: “Where is the Lord?”
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