2 Chronicles 34-36…Exile.
Exile — the loss of one’s homeland and forced deportation to a foreign country — was a horrific reality for the ancient Israelites, and it remains so for displaced peoples today. Unlike other exiles, however, Israel’s exile teaches a theological lesson when considered in relation to the exile from Eden. God made Adam, put him in a beautiful garden, and promised to bless him if he kept covenant (Gen. 2). But Adam was faithless, refusing to live in grateful obedience to our Creator, and he was cast out of the garden — exiled from the Lord’s blessed presence. God made Israel, gave the nation a good land, and promised to bless His people if they kept covenant (Deut. 11). But though there was a faithful remnant in Israel, the people as a whole were faithless, refusing to heed the prophets and honor their covenant Lord, Yahweh. Consequently, they were exiled from God’s blessed presence in the Promised Land (2 Chron. 36:1–21).
Even though the citizens of Judah returned to the Promised Land beginning around 538 BC, the restoration did not take place as God had foretold — on account of impenitence. Hundreds of years after the return, He sent His one and only Son to initiate the restoration of all things. Since that day, God has been working to renew creation, using His church to bring the gospel to bear on all of life and proclaim the coming of His kingdom.