Welcoming the Stranger
Leviticus 19:33-34 // Immigrant: a person who comes to live long term in a foreign country. This is the definition of the word but in our culture it has become much more. National security. Political positioning. Cultural Identity. Walls. Fear. Immigration is now a buzzword in our society. But what does God’s Word say about it?
“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
We may have never seen the word immigrant in Scripture, but many times we see the terms sojourner, alien, stranger in Scripture. All of these come from the Hebrew word ger. The meaning of this word in Hebrew is “a foreign-born inhabitant of Israel, a newcomer lacking inherited rights.” This word occurs 92 times in the Scriptures, and the command to welcome the stranger is one of the most repeated in the Old Testament.
As we look at the command to welcome the stranger in Scripture, may we look for practical ways to love our neighbors, protect the vulnerable, and welcome the stranger.
The Lord watches over the sojourners;
he upholds the widow and the fatherless,
but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.