When the captivity of God’s people is truly restored, when God “brings back the captivity of His people” (Ps. 53.6), then joy and rejoicing will characterize His people, and the salvation of God will come roaring out from their midst to turn the world right-side up for Jesus.
Neither of these outcomes was much in evidence during the period following the return from Babylon—at least, not consistently or for very long. It would not be until the book of Acts that we see the outcomes David envisioned in Psalm 53. Neither of these outcomes is particularly evident in our day, either. Like the people returning from Babylon, we deceive ourselves if we think our true captivity is at an end. That will only be so when we are wholly, entirely, jubilantly, and obediently captive to Jesus in all our ways. How we can get from where we are to being restored from our present captivity is the theme of this series, “Return from Exile.”