Adam In Exile
The theme of exile of God's people runs through the Bible. When Adam sinned, God sent him out of Eden into Exile. Then He guarded the way of the tree of life, the only means of escaping the death and exile into which Adam found himself.
Exile means "enforced removal from one's native country". Adam's life was supposed to be lived in the Presence of God. However, the sin and the death entered the world through Adam's transgression (Rom. 5:12) and the result was his expulsion from the garden. Since that time, man lived in exile (separated from God through the sin, Isa. 59:1-2) with no escape or atonement for his sin.
God began to teach man about the horrors of exile (separation from God) through many experiences in the lives of the patriarchs and the nation. Throughout history we have lessons of the pain of exile.
Israel in Exile
During the Exodus, Israel was oppressed by the Egyptians fulfilling the prophecy of Gen. 15:13-14. In exile they were afflicted and cried out to God because of their bondage, (Ex. 2:23-24). God heard them and as promised delivered them from Egypt to their own land, ending their period of 215 years in exile under the rule of Pharaoh who oppressed them. After 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, God rolled away the reproach of Egypt and the people entered into the land, were circumcised and ate the first Passover in their own land, (Josh. 5:1-12).
The end of exile is a time of rejoicing when God wipes away the tears shed during the years of affliction and oppression.
Adam is Personified in the Nation
God gave Israel the law at Sinai, just as he gave the law to Adam in the garden. Israel upon entrance into Canaan (the national paradise) had choices of life and death before them as did Adam. They chose to eat the bitter fruit of sin, neglecting God's sabbaths, oppressing the widows and the poor, and committing idolatry and harlotry. God brought the Assyrians against the northern tribes and he removed them from the land sending them into exile into Assyria.
Judah, the southern kingdom, committed the same sins and worse (Jer. 2-3) yet God did not bring their kingdom to an end as he did the north, because of the promised Messiah (Gen. 49:10). However, as they persisted in sin, he sent them into exile in Babylonian captivity in 606 BC, destroying their temple through the hands of Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BC. They were to remain in captivity (exile) for 70 years.
Israel Wept In Babylon
The Babylonians required of Israel a song of Zion during their captivity and as they wept, they said, they could not sing a song of Zion while fettered in Babylonian "chains of captivity and oppression". Through the prophet Isaiah, God promised to deliver them from death (national captivity) and wipe away all their tears. These are tears from oppression and captivity, not the tears of common and every day life.
Like the slaves during the middle passage exile from the African continent and the Cherokees' exiled from Georgia, they formed a trail of tears across the Atlantic and 800 miles across the U.S. respectively. A similar exile in progress today with the Palestinians and the Nakba leaves millions scattered as refugees in exile by forcible removal from their land. Israel's trail of tears led from Palestine to Babylon. This difference was Israel had disobeyed God, and like Adam they were subjected to divine discipline. In contrast, the Africans, Cherokees and Palestinians were the subjects of human greed, evil and deceit.
Common in each case are the tears shed from broken families, abuse, destroyed homes and possessions, harassment, sickness, death, and subsistence in life essentials of water, food and economic depression.
When God gave the decree through Cyrus to allow Judah to return to their land their sorrow was turned into joy and singing. The tears of exile were wiped away. For the rest who oppress and afflict others, God's long-suffering always runs it's course until the cup of iniquity is full. Then comes his wrath unless their is genuine repentance.
God's Ultimate Promise of No More Tears
The true exile however was yet to be overcome. Men were yet under the power of "the sin" as a result of its entry into the world through Adam. They were not "born in sin" per Calvinist doctrine, but they were born into a world into which "the sin" had entered and passed upon all men because all men sinned, (Rom. 5:12-14).
As a result, men were yet in bondage, under the oppression of Satan. Jesus came to deliver man and save him from this fate of death and captivity (Heb. 2:14-15) to live in the new heavens and earth, through the giving of a new covenant were sin would no longer be remembered (Heb. 8:6-13). Isaiah prophesied that God would create a new heaven and earth where the voice of crying and weeping would no longer be heard. He would create his people a rejoicing and a joy. (Isa. 65:17-19).
This is deliverance from sin. It is the end of Adamic death for those who believe in Jesus Christ. The exile has ended for those who place their trust in Christ. It is the fulfillment of Isaiah 25:8-9 which results in salvation in the new heaven and earth, i.e. in the holy city new Jerusalem which came down from God out of heaven.
The tabernacle of God is now with men. There is no more crying, sorrow, death and pain for truly those who mourned because of exile in the sin are now comforted. (Rev. 21:1-4)