Compensation and restitution were the rules of ancient Israeli justice. If someone was caught stealing your DVD, he, or his extended family, had to pay you back double. Financial liability meant that extended families policed their own members. We don’t get this standard of justice today!
“You shall not wrong a sojourner or oppress him, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt.”
“You shall not oppress a sojourner. You know the heart of a sojourner, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt.”
The general meaning of the word “sojourner” is someone who resides for a time (or temporarily) in a place.
Israel were in Egypt for around 400 years.
It can be hard for us to link the idea of temporary with that many years. We are so bound in time, it is so important to our existence, that anything past our lifetime can seem very _not_ temporary.
But their time in Egypt was temporary.
And so too is ours on this earth.
We should all know the heart of a sojourner. Not because we treat our time on earth with any less importance or weight. We are not to be so heavenly minded as to be of little good on earth.
A fundamental truth is that our life here is finite. We are mortal. God has allotted for us our days and our time on this mortal coil is temporary.
So let us remember this as we walk through life and interact with people. It is good to have a heart for those who are physically sojourning in a place, and for those mentally sojourning too.
But over and above these, our spiritual reality needs to be that we are all looking forward to glory. When the Lord shall appear, and we will see Him face to face, to know Him truly as He is.
What a day that will be!
“They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.”
* Dear Lord God,
Please fix within us a desire to see Your face. Please may we have the heart of a sojourner, not set on the things of the world, of this earth, but on the things of glory – The things of You.