For the Lord your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward: He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment. Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt (Deuteronomy 10:17-19)
We can glean from our passage this week, at a minimum, two things. Our great and mighty God…….
1. Regardeth not persons
God is impartial in his justice. He is not swayed by external appearance, wealth, circumstance, etc. All are judged by the same measure. Moses emphasized to Israel their very own election: God “had a delight in thy fathers to love them, and he chose their seed after them, even you above all people, as it is this day” (v. 15). It God’s sovereign election only with which Israel could attribute their favor, not anything in them that would sway his decision.
2. Takes no bribe
God cannot be bought or bribed. Moses demonstrates this in stating that God executes righteous judgment for those who cannot offer anything; namely three defenseless groups in Israel: The fatherless, the widow, and the stranger (v. 18).
These three groups were without covenantal representation (no father, no husband, no tribe or legal status in the assembly). However, God steps in as their legal representation. He executes righteous judgment for the fatherless and widow, and loves the stranger. He gives them protection and care in his Law (gleaning for example (Deut 24:19)), and God’s people have a duty and privilege to see that justice is given to the orphan and widow and love shown for the stranger. Why? Because they (Israel) were once strangers themselves in the land of Egypt. They were once weak and oppressed and God delivered them, therefore they are not to oppress the weak.
Christians, we also were once strangers….alienated from the life of God (Eph 4:18). We were by nature “dead in trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1) with minds at “enmity against God” (Romans 8:7), and slaves to sin (Romans 6:20). We should be overwhelmingly grateful to God that he regardeth NOT persons! We were without a saving covenantal head (Jesus), and instead with a condemning one (Adam).
Given the grace and forgiveness shown to us, without respect to status or ability to bribe, this should motivate us, in accordance to God’s word and command, to love the stranger, the alien, and as the body of Christ making sure that we are standing with the orphans and widows, and those weak and oppressed.
Are you looking for opportunity to love strangers? Do you know of any orphans or widows that you can reach out to; in your extended families, your communities, in your churches?