The Depth Of Our Feelings For Our Brethren In The Refugee Camps
As I read the scriptural account of the severe famine that ravaged Egypt and the surrounding countries, I try to relate this to the grave financial crisis now threatening the developed and other countries all over the world. The many ongoing reported job layoffs and loss of homes are bound to adversely affect many families. Organizations assisting the jobless and homeless are feeling the squeeze, with shrinking charitable donations. Governments are desperately working on appropriate measures to resolve this accelerating frightening situation. No wonder the famine cows in Pharaoh’s dream were described as lean and ugly. The lean times are on us, and will be bringing some ugly baggage in tow. No doubt this will severely affect occupants of the refugee camps who are dependent mainly and solely for sustenance on these now struggling nations.
With regard to Egypt, God saw well ahead the approaching famine, and being mainly concerned for the comfort of His people Israel, began His plan for resettling them, revealing this in the account He has given us of Joseph’s early life and onwards. As He moved Joseph into the position where he could bring his family out of the approaching difficulties, note the great concern and care Joseph revealed for his brethren in Genesis 45: 10,11– “And thou shalt dwell in the land of Goshen, and thou shalt be near unto me, thou, and thy children, and thy children’s children, and thy flocks, and thy herds, and all that thou hast: and there will I nourish thee; for yet there are five years of famine; lest thou, and thy household, and all that thou hast, come to poverty.” Having personally experienced the hardship and misery himself, as a slave and prisoner to foreign people, he could not be comfortable with the knowledge that his brethren would suffer likewise, and he used the power that God made available to him to gather his family closeby to resettle them comfortably. God then followed up Joseph’s action (Genesis 46: 1 - 4), by encouraging Jacob in a dream to accept his son’s invitation to Egypt, assuring him of His abiding presence and continuation of the outworking of His purpose with His people. Note that it was God who coordinated this entire event, starting years ahead of its occurrence, using Joseph as His servant in this operation.
Today our brethren are forced to seek shelter in refugee camps. Their living conditions, compared with ours is just about unbearable. I see Joseph’s example as a direct pointer to the move we should take. Jesus, who also himself experienced the hardship and distress of poverty, identifies with the least of his disciples in their distress, and when he returns in his glory will warmly welcome in his Kingdom those who make the required sacrifice to lovingly ease their burdens. In his sacrifice, we are all included in his present mission of freeing us all from the burdensome weight of our sinfulness to resettle us in his Kingdom. Let us also strive, making a start, in this direction with our brethren, focusing on the critical cases – families who are bringing up their young children in a horrible environment - by initiating a planning program, to critically examine each situation with a view to resettling them in a satisfactory state, asking God to lead and empower us through to what he desires of us, and he will do so for the sake of His suffering children.
“ Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20,21.)
Sis Esther Worrell (Canada)