God Is All You Got

Lindsey Zarob, Content Manager, Central Ministries | June 28, 2024

The king of Assyria deported Israel to Assyria and settled them in Halah, in Gozan on the Habor River and in towns of the Medes. This happened because they had not obeyed the Lord their God, but had violated his covenant—all that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded. They neither listened to the commands nor carried them out.
2 Kings 18:11-12

He brought up against them the king of the Babylonians, who killed their young men with the sword in the sanctuary, and did not spare young men or young women, the elderly or the infirm. God gave them all into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar.  He carried to Babylon all the articles from the temple of God, both large and small, and the treasures of the Lord’s temple and the treasures of the king and his officials. They set fire to God’s temple and broke down the wall of Jerusalem; they burned all the palaces and destroyed everything of value there.
2 Chronicles 36:17-19


If you’ve been around church for any amount of time (and if you haven’t, don’t worry, soon you’ll hear), you’ve probably heard, “God works out all things for the good of those He’s called” (Romans 8:28). It’s a sentiment that sounds lovely until you’re in the thick of something and wondering, is what I’ve been told true or just the Church’s version of a greeting card? It’s especially hard to think that sentiment might apply to you if you’re the reason you’re dealing with a crummy situation—in other words, if your sin is what landed you in this difficult place. 

In today’s Scripture passages, that’s where we find the people of God. The Northern Kingdom of Israel had 19 evil kings in a row. Judah alternated between kings who followed God and those who did not. Since God’s people had repeatedly broken the Mosaic Covenant (beginning with the golden calf incident in Exodus 32), the time for exile finally arrived. First, in 722 BC, the Northern Kingdom of Israel was exiled to Assyria. In 586 BC, the Southern Kingdom of Judah was exiled to Babylon. Romans hadn’t been written yet, but I wonder if they thought similarly—will God forgive us and rescue us? Sometimes it seems that the only way up is to hit the bottom first. 

This was the case for a man named Kyle Hebert. In his early 30s he was arrested for the 98th time and this time for attempted murder. His addictions, coupled with his anger, had finally gotten the best of him, and now he was facing prison time. In a wild chain of events that could only be called providential, Kyle ended up at Angola—a prison in Louisiana typically reserved for seemingly worse offenses than attempted murder—the ones who receive life sentences. Kyle received a 40-year sentence.  God, in His “Only-God” ways,  brought Kyle to the one prison in Louisiana that is an extension campus of a seminary. It was here, in his exile, that Kyle earned his college degree and his master’s degree. He became a chaplain and worked within the prison to minister to the men whose lives seemed hopeless. 

Of his conversion moment in jail, Kyle said, “You don’t know who God is until God is all you got.”

Sometimes God takes us into exile—whether from our own sins or the sins of others—to pave the way for full restoration in Him. 

Next Steps

Have you experienced a time when life, as you know it, was shattered by your sin or the sins of others, yet later, God rebuilt it into something better? Maybe you feel like you are in a season when you’re hoping God will rebuild what was broken. This is what we know to be true, He will never leave us or forsake us. Take some time to pray as you stand in faith on that promise. 

If you’re interested in hearing more about Kyle’s story, you can listen to these two podcast episodes: