Devotional

Widows, Orphans, and Foreigners

Thursday, January 24, 2019
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Scripture: For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God and awesome warrior who is unbiased and takes no bribe, 18who acts justly toward orphan and widow, and who loves resident foreigners, giving them food and clothing. 19You, therefore, love the resident foreigner because you were foreigners in the land of Egypt. (Deuteronomy 10:18 NET)

Observation: In these verses - from 10:12 to 10:22, we find an exhortation to love God and love people, which the two principles on which the ten commandments are also based.  In fact, we could safely say that most if not all of what the Bible is about is those two guiding principles – love God and love people, for God’s sake.  In the verses for today, God declares His greatness and reminds the Israelites that because they were delivered from Egyptian bondage they should treat the foreigner kindly.  These passages also remind them that God is Judge and He will not overlook mistreatment of the widow, the orphan, or the foreigner.

Application: Several years ago we helped a dear friend of ours get relocated from Florida to Wisconsin where the opportunities for work were better for her, her daughter, and her mother.  The Lord blessed us as within a couple of weeks we found her employment, an apartment, and a car.  A couple of months later, they invited a lady to come up from Florida so they could help her as well, and they also asked me to see if I could help this lady, particularly since she was a member of my church (Adventist); since my friends were not Adventist they though I would be more inclined to help their friend if they told me she was Adventist, although I would have help anyway.
     When her friend arrived from Florida, she went to live with my friends.  We helped her to find employment and we saw that she had transportation to church every Sabbath.  One Sabbath she came to me crying because of how she was being treated by my friends.  They were charging her for the rental of one room more than they were paying for the rent for the entire apartment.  I became furious and confronted them with this unjust treatment after we had helped them, at our cost, and without asking them for anything.  Their response was basically, “it’s not your business; we’ll take care of this problem ourselves.”  When things got worse, we helped this lady find another place to live and even had to go to the police because my friends were holding some of her things.
     My personal experience, sadly enough, has been that many times those who receive the blessing of coming to America where they have been helped by others, instead of helping others, particularly newcomers to the United States, will mistreat, take advantage of,  or abuse their own countrymen or other foreigners.  Inasmuch as I was angry with this injustice, God is even more angry that foreigners, orphans, or widows are treated unjustly and will see that His justice is passed against all offenders.  But doesn’t that also mean that when we don’t act correctly toward our wife and children is as if we are abusing the orphan and the widow?  Instead of caring for those we should love we’re neglecting them or mistreating them even though God calls us to love them?  Let’s make sure that our wife and children are not emotional or physical orphans and widows; love them, treat them kindly, and take good care of them.

A Prayer You May Say: Father, thank You for treating us better than we deserve.  Bless us that we may be a blessing to others, those nearest to us, but also those who don’t have someone to show them our love.

Used by permission of Adventist Family Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.


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