According to my Random House College Dictionary…
ref•u•gee, n. a person who flees for refuge or safety, esp. to a foreign country, as in time if war.
reb•el, n. a person who refuses allegiance to, resists, or rises in arms against the government or ruler of his country.
My question is what is the difference? Am I a rebel or a refugee?
Psalm 5:7, 8, 10, 11
But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love, will enter Your house…
Lead me, O LORD, in Your righteousness…
Make them bear their guilt, O God… because of the abundance of their transgressions cast them out, for they have rebelled against You.
But let all who take refuge in You rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread Your protection over them, that those who love Your name may exult in You.
The rebel has been described pretty consistently so far in the Psalms.
The rebel is a wicked, scoffing sinner (Psalm 1).
The rebel plots against God’s King, and will not bow or “kiss the Son” (Psalm 2).
The rebel is like a son turning on his own father, as Absalom turned on David (Psalm 3).
The rebel’s heart finds its highest joy in vanity, lies, food, and wine, rather than God (Psalm 4).
Finally, in Psalm 5, we see the final state of the rebel is to be cast away from God, as the preceding Psalms describe—as chaff, shards of pottery, broken teeth, men without peace, sleep, or safety.
We are born rebels.
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
BUT GOD, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by Grace you have been saved—and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages He might show the immeasurable riches of His grace and kindness in Christ Jesus. For by Grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Do you see how rebels become righteous?
They enter God’s house through His abundant and unchanging love. They go from being rebels to refugees.
The only Refuge is the Lord Jesus Christ.
If you have felt the weight of your rebellion, repent. Turn from your sin and kiss the feet of the Son of God.
Worship Him as LORD, He is not a demigod. He is truly God. He is truly man. He is the Refuge.
In Him you have the righteousness of God as your protection. His grace is your shield.
May your faith rest completely in the King of Zion, dear refugee. Flee from the wrath to come. Jesus took your wrath and conquered sin and death on the cross. Rising from the dead and reigning as King of Kings. The One who conquered death gives life as a gift.
And by this gift, God’s refugees will ever sing for joy. Loving and knowing Christ.
Rejoice dear refugees in Christ!
Again, I say “Rejoice!”