“Diaspora” means “dispersion” or “scattering” of Jews outside the land of Israel. Throughout the Jewish history Jews got invaded and lost its nations and they became scattered all throughout the world many times. It happened during the Babylonian Captivity which happened around 600 BC and also it happened again by the Roman Empire when it captured Jerusalem and all the Jews got scattered around A.D. 70. All these dispersion or Diaspora happened to fulfill the prophecy of the bible. Again and again God warned his people that he would destroy them and scatter them because they did not listen to the laws of God.
Deuteronomy 29:25 And the answer will be: “It is because this people abandoned the covenant of the Lord, the God of their ancestors, the covenant he made with them when he brought them out of Egypt. 26 They went off and worshiped other gods and bowed down to them, gods they did not know, gods he had not given them. 27 Therefore the Lord’s anger burned against this land, so that he brought on it all the curses written in this book. 28 In furious anger and in great wrath the Lord uprooted them from their land and thrust them into another land, as it is now.”
In the time of Jeremiah, this words of God was fulfilled by the Babylonian Captivity. God warned his people to keep the covenant of God and not to worship the idols, but God’s people did not listen to the messages of God sent by Prophet Jeremiah. So they fell into the Babylonian Captivity and sent into Diaspora, living in the land of Babylon for 70 years as slaves to them.
Jeremiah 16:12 But you have behaved more wickedly than your ancestors. See how all of you are following the stubbornness of your evil hearts instead of obeying me. 13 So I will throw you out of this land into a land neither you nor your ancestors have known, and there you will serve other gods day and night, for I will show you no favor.’
Diaspora can be used to describe the spiritual condition of God’s people. Just as the physical Jews got scattered because of their sins and wickedness, the spiritual Jews, the true people of God got dispersed from heaven to this earth because of their sins in heaven. The bible testifies that we were once beautiful angels or the sons of God, but because of our rebellion against God we were cast down to this earth, the land of slavery of sin and death. Through the Diaspora of Jews, actually God was teaching the story of heaven. God’s people got separated from each other and scattered among the nations of this earth. Even though they were once glorious angels, they now lost the memory of the heaven and are living on this foreign land, going through many pains and suffering without knowing their origin.
In Korea there are stories of family reunion. Recently there was a movie describing the life of the generation who went through the cataclysmic times in the modern Korean history: the Korean War, the reconstruction period after the war, and the Vietnam war. The movie Gukjesijang or International Market illustrated the life of Koreans who lived through the painful times in the Korean history. It is a story of man who lost his father and sister while they are travelling to south to escape the Korean War in 1950. Finally, he arrived at Busan and started his new life in Gukjesijang, a famous market place in Busan as a teenage boy. To feed himself and his family he volunteered to go to Germany as coal miner and met his wife who was working as nurse there. He became crippled during the Vietnam war.
This is not just a story of Deoksoo Yoon who was the main character of the story; rather it was a story of all the Koreans living through the turbulent time. More than 25 % of Koreans were living the life of a diaspora like him, separated from his family members. Their life was harsh and difficult, and they had to put their lives in danger many times to feed the remaining family. Finally, at the end of the movie, we can meet a scene which is working as moment of “catharsis” through which all the pain and suffering built up throughout the movie can find its vent to produce a emotional purification with a lot of tears and joy. This was the moment of climax of the movie: the family reunion. This was what actually happened in Korea.
To commemorate the 30th year of the Korean War, KBS, a broadcasting company in Korea prepared a program for the scattered family members: “Finding Family Scattered.” They planned this program for the families who lost their family members during the war. This program was a great hit and so many people came to KBS to tell their story through the program that the company had to extend the five-day program into 4 month project for about 138 days. The number of families who could find their lost family members were 10198 families. For 138 days all the Koreans had one mind with the families who were telling their stories: where they lived, who they lost, how they looked like, what their name were, all the information they could remember of their lost family. Family after family told their stories, and when there came a phone call to the studio from a would-be lost family member or his relative, all the people in Korea waited silently to see the result. Through the phone call they checked every bit of information they could remember even about small scar or mole they had on them and if they turned out to be the family, they wept and called each other’s names loudly. All the things happening in the studio was directly sent to all the people who were watching the program. When a family got united and wept out of joy, all the Koreans wept too. This was truly a great moment of reunion after a diaspora.
Jeremiah 12:14 14 This is what the Lord says: “As for all my wicked neighbors who seize the inheritance I gave my people Israel, I will uproot them from their lands and I will uproot the people of Judah from among them. 15 But after I uproot them, I will again have compassion and will bring each of them back to their own inheritance and their own country.
Ezekiel 34:11 11 “‘For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. 12 As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness. 13 I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land. I will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in all the settlements in the land.
Jeremiah 50:4 4 “In those days, at that time,”
declares the Lord,
“the people of Israel and the people of Judah together
will go in tears to seek the Lord their God.
5 They will ask the way to Zion and turn their faces toward it.
They will come and bind themselves to the Lord
in an everlasting covenant
that will not be forgotten.
According to the bible, God’s people who were in Diaspora would gather together to Zion in the last days. Now Father and Mother are calling their children to come back to Zion. We must listen to the voice of God and with the tears of repentance and tears of joy let us return to God in Zion and keep the new covenant with God.