Contributed by James Tissot Collection (Brooklyn Museum)

Do evil people live longer lives? Former president Robert Mugabe, initially celebrated as a progressive anti-colonialist ruler of Zimbabwe, committed genocide against approximately 20,000 Ndebele people.

Social scientist Rhoda E. Howard-Hassmann wrote there was ‘clear evidence that Mugabe was guilty of crimes against humanity’,* and Uganda-born John Sentamu criticised his ‘unjust and brutal regime’.**

Mugabe lived to the ripe old age of 95. There are many others like him. Job 21:7 expresses frustration at this: ‘Why do the wicked live on, growing old and increasing in power?’ It doesn’t seem just.

Whenever we feel infuriated by the power of seemingly untouchable tyrants, remember Jesus, who was also the victim of an evil dictator.

Joseph had no choice but to flee that very night, seeking asylum in a foreign country. The holy family lived as refugees for several years (vv13 -15).

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In this way, Jesus would come ‘out of Egypt’, like the Israelites (v15). The original Hosea passage described God’s frustration with Israel as a wayward son, but Jesus would be a true Son of God, who walked in parallel ways with Israel except with faithfulness to His Father.

Nevertheless, this experience took its toll on Joseph and he lived in fear. He waited for Herod to die before returning.

As we consider today’s violent rulers, let’s ask God to remove them from power. Pray, too, for refugees and asylum seekers: ask God to be with them, protect them and bring them to safety.


A Prayer To Make:
‘Lord Jesus, who fled from a murderous leader, be merciful to those who flee today. Amen.’

An Action To Take:
As you take in the news, notice any fear or powerlessness you feel. Ask our powerful and compassionate God to direct your prayers.

Scripture To Consider:
Exod. 1:15–2:10; 1 Sam. 20:12–41; 2 Cor. 4:7–12; Rev. 6:9–17

Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.