Resettlement of our Refugee Brethren
Mention was made in the previous issue, of the complexity of the above undertaking greatly challenging our trust in God's promise of being a God unto us, and the requirement for the strength and encour- agement provided in his Word.
Thinking of this, I recall the daunting challenges which the Jews returning to Jerusalem faced in building the temple (Ezra 1 6). Following the command of King Cyrus of Persia, appointed by God, to build the temple in Jerusalem, the Jews commenced this work, but were later forced by King Artaxerxes to stop. As most likely we would have also concluded, the Jews felt that the time had not come for them to pursue this work, and they then focused on making themselves comfortable in ceiled houses. Then God sent them a strong message by his prophet Haggai to consider their ways and urging them to continue the building of the temple. This required great effort as they were commanded to go up to the mountain and bring timber for this purpose. I don't suppose that they had the luxury of the heavy machinery to facilitate this operation, that we have. The effort required would have demonstrated their interest in God's work, just as God's sacrifice of his only begotten son for us clearly reveals his great love for us. Yes, God's commandment pointed to the priority of placing his work above their own interests, even in the face of great obstacles, and further emphasized that he would be with them in this project as Sovereign Lord Almighty with all the wealth of the universe which he possessed, above the seemingly powerful adversaries.
I suggest this message is for us in our situation with our Brethren in the refugee camps in their clearly dire need of assistance. God could have built the temple, but he assigned this project to his people, and could similarly bless us with this honour, to rescue our brethren from their distressing situation. He used Cyrus, a Gentile king to spearhead the building of the temple in Jerusalem, who in turn delegated this task to God's own people, which seems to be pointing to the fact that God wants us, his own people, to work with his suffering children. Just as this project was not a walk over for them, similarly resettling our brethren will present some formidable challenges to us. Despite these difficulties, he wants us to persevere on the basis of his all-powerful presence with us as we seek to honour Him by obeying his great commandment of loving our neighbours as ourselves. Let us therefore, commencing with earnest prayers to him, arise to this great commission.
Sis. Esther Worrell