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A Refuge for Refugees

Elise Cooper - Monday 22 February 2016

There are many stories about displaced people in the Bible and the way God spoke into their lives and circumstances. My particular favorite is the story of Hagar and the way in which God sought her in the desert. She wasn't involved in the main plot in the way that Abraham and Sarah were but was drawn into the story as a result of their impatience and choice to subvert God's commands. Hagar was manipulated and abused by those in power and sent away from her home. As she turns away from her son unwilling to watch him die of thirst and hunger, we see God intervene as the Angel of the Lord calls to her: “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.” Genesis 21:17

It's not just an empty platitude without any practical implications either because God then opens her eyes to see the well of water that allows her to give Ishmael a drink.

Stories like these must have an added dimension for refugees who can identify in many ways with the circumstances of Joseph being sold to slave traders and taken far from his home or with Daniel as he refuses to compromise his beliefs to please the whims of capricious King Nebuchadnezzar while exiled in Babylon. Surely, they would understand better than I - the sacrifice Ruth made when she elected to remain with her mother-in-law Naomi rather than return to her own people and with the Israelites wandering for 40 years in the wilderness seeking their promised land. Perhaps they would relate to the flight of Joseph and Mary as they flee their home in order to save their baby from King Herod's cruel regime.

GRN are currently developing scripts to specifically address the needs of refugees. Pray that through these scripts refugees may find refuge in God, that they may find in Him 'refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.' (Psalm 46:1)