Thursday, June 13, 2013
No Danger for the Stranger
Exodus 22:21-28 NASB
"You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. You shall not afflict any widow or orphan. If you afflict him at all, and if he does cry out to Me, I will surely hear his cry; and My anger will be kindled, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall become widows and your children fatherless. "If you lend money to My people, to the poor among you, you are not to act as a creditor to him; you shall not charge him interest. If you ever take your neighbor's cloak as a pledge, you are to return it to him before the sun sets, for that is his only covering; it is his cloak for his body. What else shall he sleep in? And it shall come about that when he cries out to Me, I will hear him, for I am gracious. "You shall not curse God, nor curse a ruler of your people.
Exodus 23:3, 6, 9 NASB
nor shall you be partial to a poor man in his dispute. "You shall not pervert the justice due to your needy brother in his dispute. "You shall not oppress a stranger, since you yourselves know the feelings of a stranger, for you also were strangers in the land of Egypt.
Exodus 23:10-11 NASB
"You shall sow your land for six years and gather in its yield, but on the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, so that the needy of your people may eat; and whatever they leave the beast of the field may eat. You are to do the same with your vineyard and your olive grove.
Banner says, "PKK is not a terrorist organisation"
Immigration is a hot issue. Some people prize their national identity pretty highly. There's no shame in seeing the benefits of your nationality; in the Bible it is recorded that the apostle Paul used his Roman citizenship to protect himself at least a couple of times. But God is concerned for the vulnerable, and along with orphans and widows, he instructed his people not to wrong or oppress the stranger.
A few Bible translators translate the word 'stranger' as 'foreigner',
as in Exodus 22:21 NCV (New Century Version):
“Do not cheat or hurt a foreigner, because you were foreigners in the land of Egypt."
Here in verse 21 it is clear that God was talking about people not considered local. Interestingly, God's people the Israelites had been living in Egypt for nearly 450 years. You'd have thought that would make your family local enough. It doesn't. The people in power get to decide who is local and who is a stranger in God's own land. Today there are people groups all over the world who have spent as much as a millenia living, working, building and contributing in one location and are still not considered local.
God does not want his people to perpetuate that mindset. In fact, it seems God is more concerned about fair treatment of the foreigner that the abolition of slavery.
What is your opinion of the immigrant? Jesus was an immigrant of sorts here on earth. And if you make it to heaven you'll be one in God's kingdom.
Makes the golden rule hit home.
- Spoken Word