“There’s no place like home.” In The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy is transported to the magical land of Oz, where she embarks on an adventure to find her way home. After facing many obstacles, and with a little bit of help from a good witch and new friends, she finally returns to her home in Kansas. Her story finishes with a joyful reunion of family and a newfound appreciation for the comforts of home.
The people of Judah experienced this same kind of joy when they were finally able to return from exile into Jerusalem. After seventy years, they were finally going home. There was a lot of work to do, including rebuilding the temple and the city wall, but they were back in the land that God had promised to them. They were able to worship and sing God’s praises again. God had fulfilled His promise.
God has also promised a homecoming for us. While we live on earth now, Jesus tells us that it is not our permanent home, and that we are looking forward to our eternal homes in heaven. In heaven, there will be no suffering and we will sing praises to God forever. All of this can happen because God loved us so much that He would give Jesus to die for us. God loves us and forgives us, and He is preparing to welcome us back into heaven with Him.