All throughout history, foreign people (or sojourners) have always been a part of society.
The people of Israel themselves were foreigners in Egypt, albeit under rather unpleasant circumstances.
Because foreigners are a part of our life, Elohim saw fit to instruct us on how we should treat them.
Warning: I want to state upfront that this is not intended to be a political post. I’ve done my best to avoid allowing any of my personal beliefs to interfere with my interpretation of the scripture.
It is not my intention to offend anyone one way or the other.
My only mission in this post and in all other posts for that matter is to teach Torah as it is written.
What the Torah says about how to treat foreigners
The Torah tells us that we are to love the foreigner because we were foreigners (native Israel and those grafted in through Yeshua) in the land of Egypt.
You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.
Love the sojourner, therefore, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt.
It also tells us that we should not treat a foreigner badly. For the same reason.
You shall not wrong a sojourner or oppress him, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt.
This is pretty straightforward and lines up perfectly with the principles taught in the rest of the Torah to love everyone as we love ourselves. And to do so both outwardly and in our hearts.
Therefore, we of course should be treating everyone with the same respect and kindness regardless of where they come from.
Nothing groundbreaking so far…
Who is the foreigner?
I believe there are two categories of people who would be considered a foreigner in our lives:
1. The physical foreigners in our society – Here we are talking about individuals who come from other countries and cultures.
Maybe they’re a different skin color or speak with an accent. In other words, someone who is different from the native-born.
2. The spiritual foreigner – These are the people who have not joined the house of Israel.
Those who are not native-born (believing Jews and unbelieving Jews) and those who have not been grafted in through belief in Yeshua.
So in other words, we’re talking about spiritual gentiles.
Both physical foreigners and spiritual foreigners are no doubt different from us. But we must love them the same.
Do not pervert justice
The Torah teaches us that the law of the land should not show favor for or against someone just because they are a foreigner:
You shall not pervert the justice due to the sojourner or to the fatherless, or take a widow’s garment in pledge
In times past, the issue would have certainly been to pervert justice against the foreigner which was wrong according to Torah
But the issue today seems to have flipped. In many cases, certain laws are not being enforced against certain groups of foreign peoples. This includes taxes, border and immigration laws, etc.
And this also is wrong according to Torah.
But it’s important to note that for the common citizen what is done at the judicial or legislative level of our government is not our responsibility according to Torah.
Commandments with regard to enforcing judgments and justice are called “mIshpatim” in the Torah and are not our direct responsibility.
So while many of those who are in authority (the lawmakers, judges, police etc.) are in violation of their duty of not perverting justice for or against the foreigner, generally speaking, we citizens are not.
In summary, the Torah’s teaching of loving others as we love ourselves is consistent throughout.
We are to love not only our friends and family and those who love us in return. But also the stranger, the foreigner, and everyone else for that matter.