“You must neither wrong nor oppress a foreigner living among you,
for you yourselves were foreigners in the land of Egypt.”
Up until now, we were told about those acts requiring the immediate destruction of the offender, which were sorcery, copulating with an animal, and idolatry.
However, from verse 21, the content of Exodus chapter 22 takes a sharp turn as we are given a list of instructions reflecting God’s concern for those groups who are the most helpless and vulnerable in society.
He starts by targeting the foreigner living among Israel.
In Hebrew the word for “foreigner” or “gentile” is GER.
Israel is told to welcome, respect and treat kindly the foreigner who lives within their borders.
However, from a spiritual perspective, there is a more important principle at work here that I want to bring to your attention.
This command is not just about putting a smile on your face and displaying polite superficialities to the gentile in your midst.
No, this command goes far beyond that.
The spiritual possibility actually being contemplated here is that the foreigner or gentile will eventually become a full-fledged member of Israel.
As we move forward in the Torah, we will see this idea further crystalize as it becomes clear exactly how a foreigner becomes a part of Israel and how they are to NOT be considered a second-class citizen but on equal standing with the natural-born Hebrew.
In fact, gentile Christianity is based on this very concept.
However, where the modern church has erred greatly is thinking that somehow the gentile church has replaced Israel and it has not.
There is nothing that irritates me more than to hear a Christian say, “Well, a Jew has to accept Christ so he can join us (the church).”
Man, what a blasphemous arrogant statement!
Israel does NOT join the gentile church.
It is the gentiles who MUST be grafted into Israel.
Never forget that the Covenant of Christ or the New Covenant was given ONLY to Israel.
Yeshua said, that by means of their “faith”, foreigners or gentiles could participate in that covenant, as well as all the other covenants given to Israel.
The gentile has to be grafted into Israel, NOT the other way around.
One final point.
I’m sure there are some who will use this verse “you must neither wrong nor oppress the foreigner” to justify accepting Muslim immigrants into our nation.
Well, if we are to adhere to the pattern established in Scripture as our guide, I think there is one important point being overlooked.
Although the Torah does allow for the foreigner to become a full participating member of Israel, it ALWAYS includes the caveat that the foreigner must obey the Laws the of Israel.
A group of Muslims wouldn’t be allowed to just parade into Israel with their own Sharia Laws and keep their own rules in defiance of the legal code of their host nation.
You can’t have your cake and eat it too in this case.
If you become a member of Israel, you become subject to the Laws of Israel.
And by the way, the same principle applies to the gentile Christian as well.