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October 31, 2012

These days the term “aliens” refers either to extraterrestrials or illegal immigrants. We find it easier to believe in the former, than deal with the latter. Human beings have a great capacity to see what is not there, while ignoring what is.

The Mosaic Law made provision for aliens, i.e. non-Israelites living among the Chosen People. These might be merchants passing through; war or drought refugees; outcasts, like lepers, from neighboring tribes or nations; widows or orphans seeking shelter and provision; criminals hoping to evade justice in a foreign land; and strangers whose reason for sojourn was simply unknown.

Hebrews were instructed by the law to care for the strangers in their midst. Amazingly, these former Egyptian slaves were instructed even to care for alien Egyptians. Why? Because the Hebrews, themselves, had once been aliens in Egypt (Deut. 23: 7).

Christians can feel like strangers, aliens in their own country, and not always welcome. Ours is an outsider’s view. Our viewpoint is different because our perspective is different. We see the world from a biblical vantage. Things that others may find amusing or acceptable, we find appalling.

That is not by any means to say we are perfect. Far, far from it. But we know what non-believers do not. That the stay here is temporary. That the things of this world are passing away.

For we are aliens and pilgrims before You [God], as were all our fathers…” (1 Chron. 29: 15).

A fact Christians would do well to remember when confronted by any who may seem “alien” to us.

READERS CAN FIND MY VIEWS ON ABUSE AND ABUSE-RELATED ISSUES AT ANNA WALDHERR A Voice Reclaimed, Surviving Child Abuse  http://www.avoicereclaimed

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