Do not exploit strangers

Last updated on November 24, 2021

You shall not oppress a sojourner. You know the heart of a sojourner, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt.” (Exodus 23:9, NIV)

In many places in the Bible, God mentions sojourners or strangers along with the fatherless and the widow. These groups were especially vulnerable in society. Therefore, they were particularly protected by God. “He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing” (Deuteronomy 10:18).

God repeatedly reminded the people of Israel that they had lived as sojourners in the land of Egypt themselves. They had been exploited and abused by Pharaoh, and therefore knew “the heart of a sojourner”. They should never take advantage of refugees or strangers in any way, but show empathy and treat them the same as their own citizens.

In many societies, immigrants have the low-paid jobs — or no job at all. This is partly due to a lack of diplomas, work experience or language sufficiency. But often, it also has to do with their position as “outsiders”. Being a stranger makes it hard to find your way in society.

Even if we don’t “know the heart of a sojourner” ourselves, God’s commandment is clear. How could you help to give strangers a fair chance and to show them love?

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