Dear Friend of Insight for Living:
Who comes to mind when you think of a refugee? The person I envision isn't someone who travels across an ocean to find freedom from an oppressive government. I'm thinking about a person who is broken or guilty . . . bleeding with heartache . . . burdened with anxiety. I mean a person who needs a place of refuge.
The caves at Engedi, Israel, served as a place of refuge for David (1 Samuel 24).
Back in the days of Joshua, the Lord set up entire cities devoted to being places of refuge. People in danger—including those who accidentally took a human life—could escape to one of those "cities of refuge" and find a place of protection, of personal assistance where nobody would punish them. They could admit their faults and not be threatened by pious looks or caustic sermons from prejudiced lips.
Some things never change. Joshua's "cities of refuge" represent a timeless principle that applies to today's spiritual refugees. When the bottom drops out, people need a place to cry . . . a person to care . . . a few words of encouragement to help them take the next step.
They need a refuge.
Stop and think. Where is your refuge? Perhaps your first thought is your family and close friends. Then maybe your church. And after that?
I hope Insight for Living comes to mind.
I've read letters from listeners who found our broadcast when they were broken, hurting, and burdened. Their marriages, families, and personal lives — even their eternal destinies — have been transformed as a result of the refuge they found through what they heard on Insight for Living. I love that!
Let me share some of the stories I've had the privilege of reading. Perhaps one of them is yours.
- A man falsely accused and unfairly treated gets support from someone who understands—just like David received from his friend Jonathan in 1 Samuel 23:15–17.
- A single-again woman finds refuge in God's protection and provision—like Ruth received from Boaz in Ruth chapter 2.
- A child from a dysfunctional, godless home chooses to break the mold and obediently follow the Lord—like King Josiah did when the Book of the Law that was found in the Lord's temple was brought to him in 2 Kings 22:1–23:25.
- A businessman trusts in God to vindicate his integrity on the job—just as Nehemiah did in Nehemiah 13:1–14.
These applications of timeless principles are just a few of many ways we can put the Old Testament to use. In fact, our ministry team and I have just completed a volume that highlights these very principles—and hundreds more. It's titled Insight's Bible Application Guide: Joshua–Esther. This is the second and latest in a five-volume series that will draw a single application from every chapter of the Bible. Oh, how we all need that truth! It's similar to our common need for places of refuge when the bottom drops out of our lives.
Our hope is for Insight for Living to continue to be a twenty-first-century city of refuge. Why? Because we believe that authentic Christianity includes touching the lives of those in need.
As long as there are those with needs, there must also be those who meet those needs. We're committed to that. But we can't do it alone. For this reason, I urge you to be generous this month in your financial support of Insight for Living. We depend upon the faithful gifts of many friends just like you every month to meet those needs. And when you send in your gift, I invite you to request a copy of Insight's Bible Application Guide: Joshua–Esther. I would love to send it to you in appreciation for your financial support this month.
Together, we can point people to the refuge found only in our Savior.
Charles R. Swindoll