I have been thinking about refugees a lot recently. Partly because we had some Ukrainians in our church community for a year, and partly because of the current events going on in the Middle East. I spoke on the subject last Sunday in Watford on the topic “what would Jesus do with refugees?” You can find out on my YouTube channel. But what’s the relevance for our times of quiet with God?

Let’s begin with considering what a refugee is. A refugee according to the 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees is: “A person who owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it.”

35 million worldwide, over 108 million forcibly displaced.

Jesus was a refugee
“When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”” Matthew 2:13-15
Jesus was a refugee, he and his family understood what it meant to flee from danger, live in a foreign land, risk everything for survival.

We are refugees
“Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.”
‘Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry.’
(In the context of loving money) ‘But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.’
“Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”
(1 Corinthians 6:18; 10:14; 1 Timothy 6:11; 2 Timothy 2:22 NIV11)

We are ‘on the run’ from things that would capture us, enslave us and kill us. Part of the reason we have times of quiet with God, is to reflect on our greatest temptations. That’s one of the reasons we pray, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. ’” (Matthew 6:13 NIV11)

Why not spend some time contemplating what God wants you to flee from?

Next time we will go on to talk about what can strengthen us in our flight from danger.

Please add your comments on this week’s topic. We learn best when we learn in community.

Do you have a question about teaching the Bible? Is it theological, technical, practical? Send me your questions or suggestions. Here’s the email: malcolm@malcolmcox.org.

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“Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” (Psalms 100:2 NIV11)

God bless, Malcolm