“Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.” When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt, and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, “Out of Egypt I called My Son.””
Matthew 2:13-15 NKJV
Twenty twenty one has been the year of the refugee, as our world continues its downward spiral toward oblivion. Great migrations of people are moving from place to place, trying to leave dangerous lands, in the hope of finding a safer place. Even in the United States, people are fleeing blue states, made virtually unlivable by godless policies and laws.
Many in the place where people are landing, feel a deep struggle, as many new people enter communities, causing unwanted changes in the fabric of those nations.
As I consider Christmas this year, I am reminded that we are all refugees, as we are descendants of Adam and have been negatively affected by his sin in the garden of Eden. Because of that sin, Adam and Eve were evicted from the garden, made refugees into an unknown world, one absent of the knowledge of God and filled with death.
He did not leave the situation where it was, but began working a plan to redeem humanity, and reconcile them unto Himself. He chose a lightly regarded people, the children of Israel, to show His glory.
Through much of biblical history, the Jews were refugees, moving from place to place, looking to God forward to the promise made to Abraham, that he would one day be a great people, and inherit a vast land. He also promised Abraham, that through him, all nations would be blessed.
“Then the Angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time out of heaven, and said: “By Myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son— blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.””
Genesis 22:15-18 NKJV
The promise of a people was both earthly and heavenly, as God was creating people who would come to him by faith. This morning, I read the nativity story in Matthew and saw how even the Lord Jesus was a refugee. He had come into the world of His creation, not fleeing, but in pursuit, seeking to save what was lost.
Even as a small Child, forces were against Him, seeking His death. God sent an angel to instruct Joseph to take his family into Egypt. Egypt, the nation once defeated by God for enslaving the His chosen people, were now being used to shelter the coming King. Oh, what grace! In the millennium to come, Egypt will get its just reward for sheltering Jesus.
“And the Lord will strike Egypt, He will strike and heal it; they will return to the Lord, and He will be entreated by them and heal them. In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian will come into Egypt and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians will serve with the Assyrians. In that day Israel will be one of three with Egypt and Assyria—a blessing in the midst of the land, whom the Lord of hosts shall bless, saying, “Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance.””
Isaiah 19:22-25 NKJV
Brothers and sisters, we too are refugees in a foreign land. We are the spiritual descendants of Abraham, whose numbers are as vast as the stars. We have been grafted in thanks to Jesus, who came and died for our sins. We have been made aliens here on the earth, as we no longer can be counted amongst the earthbound, as our hearts and minds are guided from on high.
“This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.”
Ephesians 4:17-18, 20-24 NKJV
Typically refugees are to become assimilated into the greater culture, we however are called to be apart from it, and persisting in sharing the message of the Good News, that we make more refugees. Unlike any other refugees in the history of the world, our King is coming for us, to establish the world according go His righteousness and justice. Through Him, the whole world will be assimilated.
“Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.””
Revelation 21:1-5 NKJV
THE PRAYER CHAIR IS OPEN! Send me your requests!
I thought about taking a break for Christmas, but the Lord never stops, nor does the devil.
Have a merry Christmas!