Summary: Guard our hearts and attitudes, to avoid becoming an illegal alien (spiritually) - i.e., tresspassing against God’s character and alienating ourselves from the heart of God.
60 years ago, after the PT 109 boat was destroyed and the 11 survivors swam to a nearby island, young JFK Walked back out into shark infested waters with a battery-powered strobe to try to signal for help and rescue.
As we lift the strobe of God’s Word today, this sermon ventures out into some shark infested waters. Pray
I. ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION (High Sensitivity - We Are A Nation & Church of Immigrants)
A. What Would Jesus Say To Us? - Honestly, I’m Not Sure! Reasons I’m Not Sure. I find my thinking…Muddied, Unclear, Tainted, Clouded, Confused
1. Muddied by much political controversy surrounding the present issues
2. Muddied by my past experience and present experience
3. What I’ve also seen that disturbs me is what I see in myself - growing resentment, stereotyping and prejudice
4. Before you judge me, judge yourselves - I’m already judged / I’m already guilty
5. I stand before you with honest, open, tarnished – not whole heart
B. What Would Jesus Say To Me?
1. Reality says to me - it’s not an issue that’s going to go away anytime soon - no matter how it’s handled in the political arena, the controversy & consequences are not going away
2. In many ways I feel powerless to do much about it
3. Yet certain things are within my control
4. Above guarding your borders, guard your heart & spirit
5. Above guarding your economy, guard the economy of your mind & attitudes
6. Above guarding your official language, guard your tongue
7. Here’s The Risk - If you don’t guard heart, run risk of becoming an “alien” yourself – illegal – trespassing against God’s character - alienating yourself from the heart of God
II. THIS IS AN ANCIENT PROBLEM
Ex 22:21 "You shall neither mistreat a stranger nor oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.
Lev 19:33-34 ’And if a stranger dwells with you in your land, you shall not mistreat him. The stranger who dwells among you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
Deut 23:7-8 "You shall not abhor an Edomite, for he is your brother. You shall not abhor an Egyptian, because you were an alien in his land.
C. “Stranger” meant “Foreigner”
1. “gare” – foreigner, alien, sojourner, stranger
2. Israel’s had problem with strangers - because she failed to do everything God originally commanded
3. As an infant nation, she would be a nation of the rule of God & His law & His order
4. Now, part of that rule of law was compassion to the “stranger” or foreigner
D. What That Didn’t Mean For Ancient Israel
1. Didn’t mean stop guarding the gates of the city (the boarders & boundaries)
2. Didn’t mean abandon the rule of law to accommodate the stranger
E. What It Did Mean For Ancient Israel
1. Don’t mistreat the stranger or take advantage of them – rip them off, cheat them, hurt them
2. Treat them humanely – give them basics - food & clothing if needed
3. Policy summed up as “Compassion, without Compromise”