I Have Been A Sanctuary To Them
Ezekiel 11:16 “Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: Though I removed them far off among the nations, and though I scattered them among the countries, yet I have been a sanctuary to them for a while in the countries where they have gone.’”
Sanctuary refers to a sacred place because of the presence of God. But sanctuary also refers to a place of safety. Sanctuary laws and cities in modern times are rules that limit small jurisdictions within countries from enforcing immigration rules and therefore become safe places for immigrants. Right of sanctuary is the right of a person being protected by a foreign country when running away from their own country where they face injustice. Animal sanctuary are places where endangered species of animals are protected from extinction. Therefore sanctuary not only refers to a sacred place of worship but also a place of safety.
God speaks through prophet Ezekiel to the captives of Israel in Babylon. He tells them that it is Him God who let them go to captivity. In captivity as slaves they did not have rights and were at risk of torture and death. There was a risk of the entire nation of Israel being wiped out in the seventy years captivity. Seventy years captivity would easily eradicate not only lives but also cultures and beliefs. God speaks to them and tells them that He was aware of the risks they faced, therefore He became a sanctuary for the people of Israel.
The Promised Land that God gave Israel was a sanctuary land protected by God. Because of sin, they were kicked out of the sanctuary land and taken to the jaws of death in the foreign land of Babylon as slaves. God tells them that while they were out of the Sanctuary land, He God became a temporary sanctuary for them, while they were away from the sanctuary land. I have been a sanctuary to them.
Hasn’t God been a sanctuary to us too? While traveling using dangerous means and routes, hasn’t God been a sanctuary to us? While living and working with people who hate us for good reasons and no reasons, hasn’t God been a sanctuary to us? While transacting business with swindlers who wouldn’t mind reaping us off of everything, hasn’t God been a sanctuary to us? While sitting exams and going through studies that very few excel, hasn’t God been a sanctuary to us? When illness threatened and medical care faced failure in our cases, hasn’t God been a sanctuary to us?
I have been a sanctuary to them declares the LORD. While engrossed in fear and worry over our welfare and safety, unknown to us, God was our sanctuary. We have survived many things miraculously because God has been a sanctuary to us. We can’t explain our progress and success amidst present challenges until we realise that God has been a sanctuary to us.
How did we survive loneliness, losses, pain, worry and rejection? God has been a sanctuary to us. How do we survive hard economic times with low incomes, with joblessness, with poor future prospects? God has been and is a sanctuary to us. How do we survive shame, gossip, being negatively thought of, and negative publicity? God has been a sanctuary to us.
May God be our permanent sanctuary today and forever more, in Jesus name, Amen!(c)firstname.lastname@example.org (do not delete any part of this post, including this. You are free to share these posts, but do not edit the content or authorship…thank you and be blessed!)