Homeward Bound – a meditation

“Home, home on the range,
Where the deer and the antelope play;
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word
And the skies are not cloudy all day.”

I thought I would begin by giving you a Quick burst of the official song of the American state of Kansas just to introduce the theme of Home.

“There’s No place like HOME” “Home is where the heart Is”

Home – “a place where a family lives” – place of safety and Security and COMFORT.

In the sixth Century BC two generations of the people of Israel found themselves a long long way from home! We saw last week how the Babylonians overran and completely destroyed the Holy City of Jerusalem. We saw how the vast majority of God’s chosen people were wiped out and just a few thousand remained to be taken away into captivity in Babylon. And we saw that this was God’s hand of judgment on Israel for their complacency, for taking their salvation for granted, for worshipping idols, for neglecting the Law and for neglecting the poor and needy.

But God’s judgment on Israel had a purpose. God’s intention was never to abandon his chosen people, but rather to refine and purify Israel. He never destroyed them completely – he kept a faithful remnant alive. In the middle of their exile, God gave his chosen people hope – the hope that one day they would return and reclaim the promised land – the hope that they would go home. And the story of Israel in captivity has given hope to God’s people throughout the ages strength and hope. When Life seems tough. When the whole world seems against us. When we feel like WE are exiles in captivity in a foreign land the hope is always there – one day we will be home!

So the hope which that remnant clung on to in exile has been an inspiration to believers through the ages. It is a picture for us of our salvation as we experience it now as aliens and strangers in a world which has rejected God. And it is a picture too of the home which awaits us in glory forever.

It was the so-called Major Prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel who encouraged God’s people in Exile and they have so much to say to us as well. So let’s hear how they hold out the promise of hope to the captives. Let me read the Scriptures which encouraged those exiles so much and let those promises encourage our hearts tonight.
The promise of going home

Jeremiah 31:1-8, 17
Isaiah 43:3-7

Isaiah 49:8-9, 13

Isaiah 52:7-10


Where is Home for you? What will it mean for you to return home to God?


Isaiah 52:12-14

Isaiah 35:10

Isaiah 55:12-13

Isaiah 61:7, 10


Where does your joy come from? Consider the joy which comes from being at home in God’s presence.


Isaiah 40:28-31

Isaiah 11:6-9

A FEW MOMENTS FOR MEDITATION: In what areas of your life do you need peace?
Light into darkness

Isaiah 60:1-3, 18-20

A FEW MOMENTS FOR MEDITATION: Invite the light of God to shine into your life and drive out all darkness

Water in a thirsty land

Isaiah 35:3-7

Isaiah 43:18-21


Are you thirsty? Let the Holy Spirit of God satisfy your thirst

We may not experience all these blessings of joy and peace and cleansing and new life fully yet. We aren’t home yet!
So how can we experience more of these blessings???

Jeremiah 29:10-13

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