“You survivors of the sword, go, do not linger! Remember the LORD in a distant land, and let Jerusalem come into your mind: We are put to shame for we have heard insults; dishonor has covered our face, for aliens have come into the holy places of the LORD’s house. …. But Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried into exile some of the poorest of the people and the rest of the people who were left in the city and the deserters who had defected to the king of Babylon, together with the rest of the artisans. But Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard left some of the poorest people of the land to be vinedressers and tillers of the soil. …. So Judah went into exile out of its land. …. In the thirty-seventh year of exile of King Jehoiachin of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the twenty-fifth day of the month, King Evilmerodach of Babylon, in the year he began to reign, showed favor to King Jehoiachin of Judah and brought him out of prison; he spoke kindly to him, and gave him a seat above the seats of the other kings who were with him in Babylon. So Jehoiachin put aside his prison clothes, and every day of his life he dined regularly at the kings table. For his allowance, a regular daily allowance was given him by the king of Babylon, as long as he lived, up to the day of his death.” Jeremiah 51:50-51, 52: 16, 27c, 31-34
A remnant is left in the kingdom, the poorest of the poor. Their purpose is to keep the grape vines alive and the soil prepared for planting – this is holy work. God gave Adam the same tasks Genesis 2:15, “The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it.” The remnant left for a long-long time, caring for a kingdom whose king was in prison. Even after being released from prison the king remained in exile. But there is a glimmer of hope! Look for the glimmer of hope even when it seems dark. God’s Over-the-Horizon Promises require Over-the-Horizon Faith. Keeping and tilling the vines and the land for a long period of time demand Over-the-Horizon Faith to keep at it. The king will return; will the kingdom be ready? Our King is coming back; will we be ready?