For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who is not partial and takes no bribe. He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and he loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing.

Deuteronomy 10: 17, 18

 

It does seem interesting to me that as God was restating His essential desires for the way that His people would live that the Lord would include this specific instruction about the way that the weak and the disadvantaged among them would be treated and that He also enfolds foreign visitors and travelers into this call to justice. Although it is not especially noble to care for those who are at your mercy, it is very Godlike to do so. This is what He has been doing from the earliest of days in our history. When our first ancestors were caught in the shame and the weakness of sin, God granted them grace, mercy, and comfort. He hasn’t stopped doing this since.

 

At this point in the journey that Moses was leading the nation of Israel on God was providing clear instruction about the form and the character that He wanted His people to adopt as their own. This national character would set them apart in the world. It would make them examples of the way that the one true God wanted people to be treated. In doing these things and holding these attitudes, God ‘s people would reveal Him to others and they would open doors of understanding and create opportunity for others to enter into the grace and the salvation of a relationship with God. At the same time, the people who were extending this mercy and hospitality would be changed. They would become more like their God.

 

It is my belief that this part of God’s ancient code is just as applicable today as it was in the days of Moses. Whereas it was applied directly to a nation then and to the individual people by process of living in that nation, now it applies directly to each of us who follows Christ. Now we are to be the ones who influence our communities and nations to become places where institutional justice prevails. God calls upon His people to be just. He wants us to care about those who cannot take care of themselves. His mercy is to flow through us to people who are often seen as burdens on our society. The Lord wants us to embrace the foreigner so that His love, grace and mercy are made apparent in our actions. Specifically in our world followers of Christ are called by Him to care for widows, orphans, refugees, and other disadvantaged people; for this is one very powerful way that Christ is made known to our world.

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