Friday, July 17, 2015

For You Were Strangers

But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
—Philippians 3:20
The Lord, in listing citizens,
notes, "They were born there, too!"
The choristers and minstrels sing,
"My springs are found in you!"
—Psalm 87:6-7
Suggested tune (Brent):
For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who is not partial and takes no bribe, who executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and who loves the strangers, providing them food and clothing. You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.
—Deuteronomy 10:17-19
The people of Israel knew what it was to be exposed to the envy of the natives, where they had few friends and many enemies. But especially observe the words of Lev. 19:33-34, for there you have this great law repeated: When an alien resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the alien. The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.

What you would have done to yourself, do to the stranger. Why? For you were strangers in the land of Egypt. They knew how burdensome it was to their souls to be under the yoke, how grievous a thing oppression was. Now suitably it concerns all those which have lain under defamation, slander, and oppression: they should be very careful about how they speak of others, and what they do to others. They who have been servants themselves, and have felt the burden of heavy tasks and short allowance, hard and unmerciful usage from their overseers, they should not exact all their labors, nor deal cruelly with servants when they are themselves the overseers; for not only the law of God, but their own experience, will rise up in judgment against them, and increase the sting of their conscience.
—Thomas Manton, alt.
Gracious Lord, in whom are laid up all the treasures of knowledge and wisdom, direct me in the ways of life; remove from me the ways of death. Give me a soft and meek spirit, that I may help the helpless, and comfort the comfortless. O my dear Lord, pardon me for the neglect of this duty, and make me to redeem the time with a cheerful constancy. Amen.
—The Penitent Pilgrim, 1641

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