Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Called by God to Help God's Protected Ones

The bishop where my brothers Tom and Jimbo live has a little article, Called by God to Help, defending God's protected, the gerim, the alien living among us, in today's New York Times. [of course, registration's required, but it is in the free access section of the site].

Just in case it's been forgotten, God has made His preferences perfectly clear:

Exo 22:21-24 "Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner; remember that you were foreigners in Egypt. Do not mistreat any widow or orphan. If you do, I, the LORD, will answer them when they cry out to me for help, and I will become angry and kill you in war. Your wives will become widows, and your children will be fatherless."

Lev 19:33-34 "Do not mistreat foreigners who are living in your land. Treat them as you would an Israelite, and love them as you love yourselves. Remember that you were once foreigners in the land of Egypt. I am the LORD your God."

Deu 10:17-19 The LORD your God is supreme over all gods and over all powers. He is great and mighty, and he is to be obeyed. He does not show partiality, and he does not accept bribes. He makes sure that orphans and widows are treated fairly; he loves the foreigners who live with our people, and gives them food and clothes. So then, show love for those foreigners, because you were once foreigners in Egypt.

Deu 24:17 "Do not deprive foreigners and orphans of their rights; and do not take a widow's garment as security for a loan."

Deu 27:19 " 'God's curse on anyone who deprives foreigners, orphans, and widows of their rights.' "And all the people will answer, 'Amen!'"

Jer 7:5-6 "Change the way you are living and stop doing the things you are doing. Be fair in your treatment of one another. Stop taking advantage of aliens, orphans, and widows. Stop killing innocent people in this land. Stop worshiping other gods, for that will destroy you."

Zec 7:8-14 The LORD gave this message to Zechariah: "Long ago I gave these commands to my people: 'You must see that justice is done, and must show kindness and mercy to one another. Do not oppress widows, orphans, foreigners who live among you, or anyone else in need. And do not plan ways of harming one another.' But my people stubbornly refused to listen. They closed their minds and made their hearts as hard as rock. Because they would not listen to the teaching which I sent through the prophets who lived long ago, I became very angry. Because they did not listen when I spoke, I did not answer when they prayed. Like a storm I swept them away to live in foreign countries. This good land was left a desolate place, with no one living in it."

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Karen, thank you for the article and the biblical reminders. It helped me think more clearly (and kindly) on this issue which, by the way, is huge here in Colorado.
Peg in Denver