As for the foreigner who does not belong to your people Israel but has come from a distant land because of your great name-for men will hear of your great name and your mighty hand and your outstretched arm-when he comes and prays toward this temple, then hear from hear from heaven your dwelling place, and do whatever the foreigner asks of you, so that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your own people Israel, and may know that this house I have built bears your Name.
1 Kings 8: 41-43 NIV
May 16, 2011
At one time or another all of us can trace back our lineage and learn we are foreigners in this land. We may trace back all the way to the first pilgrims, but that does not negate the fact that your family started out as foreigners. It is important for us to keep that in mind for today’s devotional. Today’s devotional is for all the foreigners who come to this country legally.
The foreigners in our land can be some of the poorest people in our country and that may anger you because they are taking advantage of our government systems. Still, I want us to remember that before they are foreigners they are people, people who are just trying to do the best they can for their own families. Not all of them are criminals and not all of them are on welfare. The percentage of them being on welfare is lower than the poor who are born in this country. Please keep that in mind and don’t rush to judge them.
In today’s Scripture we learn a very important truth. The reason foreigners come to this country is because of our countries great name. They hear about the land of the free and they want to be free themselves. We cannot blame them for that. They come here to flee the oppression in their own land. This is what made our ancestors flee and come here. All of us want to live freely and with the same opportunities to succeed.
They get here and they find it hard to get started and they find themselves faced to face with Americans who are nasty and hateful. They get shouted at to go back to their own country or get a job. Getting a job is what they are trying to do. They will do lawn service, become cooks, clean bathrooms, work in nursing homes and tend to the sick or handicapped. They will take on jobs that no American would dream of having, even if they are desperate for work. No one wants to take a job they consider beneath themselves. The foreigners do that all the time and instead of us being thankful for the service they extend to us we become cynical and critical. We pass judgment on them and think they stole a job from an American. HA! Again, no American wants that job, they think they are too good for menial labor.
Children of God, God is shouting to us to STOP. We need to teach this world how to love and take care of each other. The foreigners who come to our country do so because they hear of how great we are and they want to be a part of that. They get here and we treat them with contempt like they bring with them diseases.
All of us are foreigners in this land. This is America and we do boast of being a wonderful country and the land of the free. People from other countries hear us and they want to be a part of us and this freedom. When they get here we snarl at them, we trap them in welfare, we berate them and we treat them with hatred. Now had they stayed in their land and just prayed for a tsunami or an earthquake to hit them we would have tripped all over ourselves to take care of them. We would rush there with food, medicine and housing supplies. We would work diligently and served them where they lived.
This is America and we open our arms up wide and we embrace and try to take care of the world. We just don’t want to invite them over to our house. Why? Have you ever asked yourself why?
Lord forgive us, we really do go out of our way to be hateful people and sometimes we are Your worst enemy by the way we act. Forgive us Father and change us. Help us to be more like Jesus. This I do pray in His Name. Amen.