In Deuteronomy 10:17-19, we find these words, “For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe. He administers justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing. Therefore, love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.”
The Children of Israel were strangers in the land of Egypt for 430 years. When they first came to the land, Joseph was the governor of all Egypt. There were only 70 people in the family of Jacob and they needed a safe and protected haven to grow and multiply. And Egypt was that safe haven. Egypt was the womb to bring forth God’s nation. Israel started multiplying like mice and soon, they became a huge multitude. Then a pharaoh rose up that did not know Joseph and what Joseph had done for Egypt. In their fear, they started oppressing the Children of Israel and that’s when the birth pangs began.
The Children of Israel were greatly oppressed and subjugated, and in their distress, they cried out to the Lord. This is the travail. Then God sent them a deliverer, Moses, and in the 430th year, on the exact day itself, through the blood of the Passover Lamb, the Children of Israel walked out Egypt as free men, and not a single person among them was feeble. A nation was birthed after intense labour and travail. But Israel was never to forget that she was a stranger in Egypt and how the Egyptians took care of them. And they were to replicate that hospitality to others.
In 1996, I attended a conference where David Demian was speaking alongside my spiritual father, Dr. Brian Bailey. Now, David of course, is of Egyptian heritage, and he spoke first. After he spoke, Bro. Bailey got up to speak. As his custom was, Bro Bailey will always say something nice about the preceding speaker. As he was waiting on the Lord about this, the Lord said to Bro Bailey: “Tell him that I’ve not forgotten what they (the Egyptians) did for My Son.” I will never forget that for the rest of my life because it taught me something wonderful about the God I serve, that He’s a God who does not forget whenever you extend kindness and grace.
The nation of Israel was shown kindness by the Egyptians and they were strangers in a foreign land. But it was not just Israel, if you recall, Joseph and Mary brought Jesus to Egypt and there for two years, they were shown hospitality until it was time to return to the land of Israel. God never forgets that. And now, here in this Scripture, the Lord is commanding His people to love the stranger because they too were strangers in the land of Egypt.
The Word of God tells us that we ourselves were once strangers. In Ephesians 2:12-13, the apostle Paul declares that we were once strangers and aliens from the Covenant of Promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now the blood of Jesus has brought us who were once far off near.
As Kingdom Invasion 2017 draws near, God is once again giving us the opportunity to remember the stranger and to extend kindness to them. This weekend, we’ll be looking at a great door to blessings, which if we can learn to unlock, will release amazing benefits and blessings in our lives. May the spirit of hospitality sweep through the whole church.