Exodus 22 - Steve Wiggins Daily Devotional

“You must not exploit a foreign resident or oppress him, since you were foreigners in the land of Egypt.” Exodus 22:21

As most of you know, (these devotions are sent worldwide), I live in Southern California. Riverside, California, to be exact. My town is comprised of a myriad of people groups, but the dominant ethnicity is Mexican. 48% Mexican, to be exact. Without reigniting the debate over who originally owned this land, let’s just say that race relations can be a sensitive topic around here, on occasion. This is especially true when it comes to illegal residents.

As a matter of policy, whenever any country borders another country, the issue of immigration is sure to cause a debate. It is safe to say this is an ages-old issue. We know this because 40 years before Israel entered the Promised Land, G_d outlined how the Israelites should treat foreigners, once they finally entered-in and took possession.

Of all the ancient cultures, only the G_d of Israel was as compassionate towards the weak, meek, needy & lowly. I believe G_d’s gracious attitude towards humanity is due to the fact that He created all life on earth, and that from before time began, He had a plan to redeem mankind through Messiah Yeshua. (1 Peter 1:20 ; Revelation 13:8)

All men are G_d’s creation; hence all men deserve dignity. That’s not to say all men honor G_d…I am simply saying that nobody knows who will eventually repent and follow Him, regardless of nationality. Individuals from all nationalities are going to become members of G_d’s family, but who knows who will respond to the Gospel? We might as well treat them all with dignity, especially in remembrance of how we were merely sinners, saved by G_d’s grace.

For a moment, let’s assume the “identity” of Israel. Consider “foreigners” as those who are yet to trust Messiah. How do you respond when a non-believer enters your “believing/Messianic” culture? That is, how do you treat non-believers when you are around a group of your “believing” friends?

Do you show grace and compassion, where others may seek to distance themselves from “sinners”? Do you remember how it felt before you knew the L_rd? How was the person who led you to Messiah different from other “believers” you had met before; so different, that you decided to follow Yeshua? Be THAT person for the non-belieers in your life.

Not only is it possible to lead people to the L_rd, standing firm in Biblical convictions, while displaying a gracious and merciful demeanor. It is essential!

~Steve Wiggins, Associate Leader, Worship Leader
Shuvah Yisrael
Daily Devotional, Sunday, March 23, 2014