What does it look like to experience exile, and how do we return home again?
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Compare the first exile in Genesis 3:9-24 with the next in Genesis 4:6-16, when Cain was exiled east toward Babylon. Take note of repeated ideas and words. Why do you think the land suffered in each situation? Why were the humans driven from their homeland?
Babylon is the place where people chase power to make a name for themselves (Genesis 11:4). But Abram is invited to leave Babylon when God tells him to move to a land he would show him. Read Genesis 12:1-3. What does God promise to do for and through Abram?
Centuries later, Abraham’s family became the people of Israel. They entered the homeland God promised, but they failed to trust God and were exiled. But even in their exile, God made a way for them to return home (see Deuteronomy 30:1-6). What does this say about God’s character and the nature of his promises?
Jesus is the way back home for all humanity. Jesus invites us back into God’s presence and the Eden ideal. Read John 14:1-6 and 14:16-23. Based on this passage, how does Jesus make a way for us to be at home in God while we live on Earth? How does Jesus make a way for God to be at home within us?
Take time to discuss other themes, questions, or key takeaways from what you learned together.