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We Are All Sojourners

Daily Reading: Exodus 22

Scripture Focus: You shall not wrong a sojourner or oppress him, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt. You shall not mistreat any widow or fatherless child. If you do mistreat them, and they cry out to me, I will surely hear their cry. (Exodus 22.21-23)

Devotional Thought: Was your heart moved by pictures of Central American immigrants atop trains? Were you somewhat conflicted? I was. Today's immigrant and refugee crises are complicated. We are torn between national security and compassion.

That is not a new dilemma. Even in the Bible, there were distinctions made (sometimes not successfully! See Joshua 9...) between 'sojourners' and those who would threaten the godly heritage of the faith community. Those ungodly influences were a national security threat to Israel. We see that played out vividly in the books of 1 and 2 Kings.

The undisputable fact, however, is that God is for the disenfranchised and the vulnerable of society. Further, he wants his people to champion the cause of these defenseless victims of powers and principalities. We saw that yesterday in God's concern for the unborn. Today, we see it in his concern for the sojourners.

Sojourners are literally 'strangers.' These are the different, the new, the unknown among us. Human nature, when motivated by fear, will naturally react against that which is 'strange,' oftentimes in oppressive ways meant to afford protection. God says, however, that we are not to mistreat them for he will hear their cry.

Back to refugees and immigrants. There is not an easy solution, but vetting out dangerous elements certainly is not illegitimate. Read the New Testament in regards to protecting the flock. But it is a principle that God is for the true sojourner. All of us are in reality sojourners, passing through this world on temporary visas. Let us react in love and compassion to the unknown among us.

Prayer: Father, thank you that you loved me while I was a stranger to your grace. Help me to love the sojourner and to be a voice for the neglected quarters of society. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: 10 Then I said, "I will appeal to this, to the years of the right hand of the Most High." 11 I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your wonders of old. 12 I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds. 13 Your way, O God, is holy. What god is great like our God? 14 You are the God who works wonders; you have made known your might among the peoples. 15 You with your arm redeemed your people, the children of Jacob and Joseph. Selah (Psalms 77:10-15)

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