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The Stranger Who Sojourns Among You

Daily Reading: Leviticus 19

Scripture Focus: When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God. (Leviticus 19.33-34)

Devotional Thought: Donald Trump was not the first American President who had to figure out what to do with refugees and foreign nationals. Nor is that problem new to our day and culture. It has been around for at least 3500 years – from the time God gave Moses the book of Leviticus. As we consider what God told Moses to do, I think we can learn about our approach to refugees and foreign nationals.

First, let me say that God did not countenance ‘illegal immigration.’ He was very strict that those who were coming into the culture would not do the culture more harm than good, leading the Israelite people away from the worship of the one true God. In other words, the spirituality, safety and sovereignty of the nation had top priority. That, however was not to be used as a justification to deny or mistreat foreign nationals.

Israel was to treat the “stranger who sojourns with you” in the following way:

  • Do him no wrong. We should not take advantage of or abuse the human rights and dignity of foreign nationals. I believe that we have a lot to learn from that fact.

  • Treat him as a native among you. On the flip side of #1, a foreign national should be expected to uphold the duties of citizens. If they are to have the rights of the native, they must have the responsibilities of them, too.

  • Love him as yourself. All people are created in God’s image. While we must protect our safety and sovereignty, a secular government must ensure that all are treated equally within the parameters established by safety and sovereignty. (Israel also had a filter for spirituality, but we cannot.)

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you that you have adopted us into your family. We are strangers – foreign nationals and refugees – in the kingdom of God. Help us to love the stranger as you have loved us. May you keep America safe as we receive the stranger who sojourns among us. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: 16 For he did not remember to show kindness, but pursued the poor and needy and the brokenhearted, to put them to death. 17 He loved to curse; let curses come upon him! He did not delight in blessing; may it be far from him! 18 He clothed himself with cursing as his coat; may it soak into his body like water, like oil into his bones! 19 May it be like a garment that he wraps around him, like a belt that he puts on every day! 20 May this be the reward of my accusers from the LORD, of those who speak evil against my life! (Psalms 109:16-20)

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