Do Not Oppress A Stranger
God’s word says in Exodus 23:9, “You shall not oppress a stranger, for you know the heart of a stranger, because you were strangers in the land of Egypt.”
I remember reading about how mistreated the Israelites were in the Bible. They were slaves in Egypt. Their lives were nothing short of miserable. What would we have done if we had been the Egyptians? Would we be part of the mindset that would have treated them as slaves, outcasts, foreigners? Or would we have pitied their plight and maybe helped make their lives easier. I would hope so, but when we look at our culture today, we are not much better when we consider how difficult we tend to make life for those who aren’t like us, who weren’t blessed to be born in the United States. Can we ever learn from history? What does God call us to do with immigrants, dreamers, foreigners… those who want a slice of the great American dream?
Once again, there are no easy answers or we would have figured it out by now. There’s just something in our sinful, selfish nature that says, “Protect what we have. Don’t let anyone else in. We’re already too crowded. They have their own land.” Well, what if the shoe were on the other foot? What if we, as Americans, needed to flee our land, that things got so bad, we were so oppressed, had no food, no money, no home, that we needed to find refuge someplace else, in a foreign land? In particular, what if our children’s lives were at risk? I would hope that another land would give us sanctuary, perhaps temporary, maybe permanent. But I think sometimes we lose sight of how blessed we are as a nation. Our hearts need to be wide open to share our bounty as we can, as is legal, moral and ethical. We need to find ways to be like Jesus.