Being a Refugee

We have Jacob being away from home (a refugee) in Haran, as some of you Brothers and Sisters are away from your own countries.  As we read in Gen.27:41-45, Esau held a grudge against Jacob because of a blessing his father had given him.  He said to himself, “The days of mourning for my father are near; then will I slay my brother Jacob.” You are away, Brothers and Sisters, because of your belief in the Son of God, as the Esau of today they have held a grudge against your belief and faith in Jesus.

When Rebekah was told what her older son Esau had said, she sent for her younger son Jacob and said to him, “Your brother Esau is consoling himself with the thought of killing you.  Now then, my son, do what I say; flee at once to my brother Laban in Haran, stay with him for a while until your brother’s fury subsides.  When your brother is no longer angry with you and forgets what you did to him, I’ll send word for you to come back from there: why should I lose both of you in one day?”

In Gen. 28:3-4 we read, “May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and increase your number until you become a community of people; may he give you and your descendants the blessing given to Abraham, so that you may take possession of the land where you now live as an alien (refugee), the land God gave to Abraham.”  But, Brothers and Sisters, no one has sent you in the way Jacob was sent and blessed by his father, you have just run away from your homeland because of your belief and faith in the Son of God; Jacob went away because of a blessing.

Verse 20, “Then Jacob made a vow saying, If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear, so that I return safely to my father’s house, then the Lord will be my God. And this stone that I have set up as a pillar, will be God’s house, and of all that you give me will I give a tenth.”  And I know that you are saying similar words in your way in an unknown land.

Brothers and Sisters in Christ, I know wherever you are going you don’t know who will welcome you – like Jacob, as we see in Gen. 29:13-14, “As soon as Laban heard the news about Jacob, his sister’s son, he hurried to meet him.  He embraced him and kissed him and brought him to his home, and there Jacob told him all those things, then Laban said to him, “You are my own flesh and blood.”  To you Brothers and Sisters who are on the run to unknown lands, who is welcoming you and saying, “You are my own flesh and blood”?  I know the Lord God is always with you.

In Gen. 29: 15-20, Laban said to Jacob, “Just because you are a relative of mine should you work for me for nothing?  Tell me what your wages should be”.  The wages of Jacob was Laban’s daughter.  Wherever you are today what are your wages? Gen 32:9-11.  Then Jacob prayed, “O God of my father Abraham, God of my father Isaac, the Lord who said to me, Go back to your country and relatives, and I will make you prosper; I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness you have shown your servant. I had only a staff when I crossed the Jordan, but now I have become two groups.  Save me, I pray, from the hands of my brother Esau, for I am afraid he will come and attack me and also the mothers with their children”  If the Lord God saved Jacob from the hand of his brother Esau is He not going to save you in the same way? In Gen. ch.33 we see how the Lord’s hands work: Jacob looked up and there was Esau, “And Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him: and they wept.”  (vs 1-4). Brothers and Sisters, one day those who are looking for your life to kill you, the same Lord whose hands saved Jacob will do the same to you.

Verses 10 and 11, “No, please, said Jacob, If I have found favour in your eyes accept this gift from me.  For to see your face is like seeing the face of God now that you have received me favourably.  Please accept the present that was brought to you, for God has been gracious to me and I have all I need.”  And because Jacob insisted, Esau accepted it.  One day you will go back to your own countries and you will say the same words as Jacob said to his brother and will give a gift to your own people who are hunting you and your gift will be the goodness of our Lord Jesus the Son of God.

Bro. Harris Mulongesha (Ndola, Zambia)

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