Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | June 24, 2014

“I was a stranger, and you invited Me in” – “come with us and we will do you good”

Today’s devotion comes from Numbers 10:11-36.  Here is a link to this Scripture – http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Numbers+10&version=NASB

I quote the following verses.

“Then Moses said to Hobab the son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses’ father-in-law, “We are setting out to the place of which the Lord said, ‘I will give it to you’;  come with us and we will do you good, for the Lord has promised good concerning Israel.”  But he said to him, “I will not come, but rather will go to my own land and relatives.”  Then he said, “Please do not leave us, inasmuch as you know where we should camp in the wilderness, and you will be as eyes for us.  So it will be, if you go with us, that whatever good the Lord does for us, we will do for you.”  Numbers 10:29-32.

——————

Hobab was not a stranger to Moses, being Moses’ father-in-law, but he was an alien.  He had his own land and his own relatives.

We will use today’s Scripture to consider how to treat, in the language of Scripture, those aliens sojourning in the land with us, those strangers.

How do we treat strangers? 

“‘When a stranger resides with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong.   The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt;  I am the Lord your God.”  Leviticus 19:33-34.

“9 The Lord protects the strangers;
He supports the fatherless and the widow,
But He thwarts the way of the wicked.
10 The Lord will reign forever,
Your God, O Zion, to all generations.
Praise the Lord!”  Psalm 146:9-10.

And, there is much more.

“25 As He says also in Hosea,

“I will call those who were not My people, ‘My people,’
And her who was not beloved, ‘beloved.’”
26 “And it shall be that in the place where it was said to them, ‘you are not My people,’
There they shall be called sons of the living God.”  Romans 9:25-26.

And so, as Israel itself was aliens in the land of Egypt, we should also consider that as Gentiles, we were aliens, strangers;  “remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.”  Ephesians 2:12.

“But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.”  Ephesians 2:13.  “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.”  Ephesians 2:19-22.

“Opening his mouth, Peter said:

“I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him.”  Acts 10:34-35.

There is certainly other Scripture to consider such as Proverbs 13:20:  “He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will suffer harm.”

“We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone.”  1 Thessalonians 5:14.

But, we should not shut out strangers, just because they are strangers.  We should not wrong strangers, just because they are strangers.  We should not be aloof to strangers, just because they are strangers.

In conclusion, we will consider Jesus’ words in Matthew 25:31-46.

“31 “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; 33 and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.

34 “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 38 And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39 When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’

41 “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; 43 I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ 44 Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”  Matthew 25:31-46.

Generally, let us welcome and do good to strangers.

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