The Sojourner Among You
Today we have many people coming to America, they have left their country to come to ours to make a better life, but we see this in the Exodus story.
Exodus 12:38 says this, “ A mixed multitude also went up with them, and very much livestock, both flocks and herds.”
God told the people in Exodus 19:4 this, “You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings, and brought you to Myself.”
Well, the Egyptian people also saw what God did, and because of that, many left with Israel on the day of their redemption to follow the One true God.
Different versions of the Bible call these people by different names, such as sojourner, alien, or even stranger, later in Scripture they were referred to as God Fearers, and they made up a variety of different nationalities. Either way, you will be surprised at what God speaks about the sojourner.
Many times God reminded the people that they should treat those among them fairly because they too were sojourners as Exodus 22:21 tells us, “You shall not wrong a sojourner or oppress him, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt,” and in Exodus 23:9, “You shall not oppress a sojourner. You know the heart of a sojourner, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt.”
Leviticus 19:10, “And you shall not strip your vineyard bare, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the Lord your God.”
Leviticus 23:22, “And when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, nor shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. “You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the Lord your God.”
Leviticus 25:6-7, “The Sabbath of the land shall provide food for you, for yourself and for your male and female slaves and for your hired worker and the sojourner who lives with you, and for your cattle and for the wild animals that are in your land: all its yield shall be for food.”
Leviticus 25;47-49, “If a stranger or sojourner with you becomes rich, and your brother beside him becomes poor and sells himself to the stranger or sojourner with you or to a member of the stranger’s clan, then after he is sold he may be redeemed. One of his brothers may redeem him, or his uncle or his cousin may redeem him, or a close relative from his clan may redeem him. Or if he grows rich he may redeem himself.”
Deuteronomy 10:17-18, “For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who is not partial and takes no bribe. He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing.”
Ezekiel 47:23, “In whatever tribe the sojourner resides, there you shall assign him his inheritance, declares the Lord God.”
So we see that these people did well living among the Israelites, for God provided for them and even protected them. But God said many other things about the sojourner regarding His statutes that you may find interesting, like this in
Exodus 20:8-10, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates.”
Leviticus 24:21-22, “So the one who kills an animal shall make restitution, but the one who kills a person shall be put to death. There shall be only one standard for you; it shall be for the stranger as well as the native, for I am the Lord your God.’”
Numbers 9:14, “And if a stranger sojourns among you and would keep the Passover to the Lord, according to the statute of the Passover and according to its rule, so shall he do. You shall have one statute, both for the sojourner and for the native.”
Numbers 15:14-15, “ And if a stranger is sojourning with you, or anyone is living permanently among you, and he wishes to offer a food offering, with a pleasing aroma to the Lord, he shall do as you do. For the assembly, there shall be one statute for you and for the stranger who sojourns with you, a statute forever throughout your generations. You and the sojourner shall be alike before the Lord.”
Deuteronomy 16:13-14, “You shall keep the Feast of Booths seven days, when you have gathered in the produce from your threshing floor and your winepress. For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who is not partial and takes no bribe. He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing.”
Here are a couple of Scriptures that tell us about the God Fearers in Yeshua’s day.
Luke 7:3-5 tells us this, “When the centurion heard about Yeshua, he sent to him elders of the Jews, asking him to come and heal his servant. And when they came to Yeshua, they pleaded with him earnestly, saying, “He is worthy to have you do this for him, for he loves our nation, and he is the one who built us our synagogue.”
Acts 10: 1-8, “At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment. He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly. One day at about three in the afternoon he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said, “Cornelius!” Cornelius stared at him in fear. “What is it, Lord?” he asked. The angel answered, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God. Now send men to Joppa to bring back a man named Simon who is called Peter. He is staying with Simon the tanner, whose house is by the sea.” When the angel who spoke to him had gone, Cornelius called two of his servants and a devout soldier who was one of his attendants. He told them everything that had happened and sent them to Joppa.”
We have only looked at a small portion of Scriptures speaking about the sojourners of the Jewish people. Throughout history people have attached themselves to the Jewish people, and to their God. Paul tells us this in
Romans 11:17-18, “If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you.”
As people grafted into the tree of Israel, and into the God of Israel, as God Fearers, we too, must sojourn with Israel, and keep God’s ways, and laws, and Appointed Times, because we have seen from the beginning that this was the will of God to make the sojourner, the alien, the stranger, the God Fearers, all part of Israel, all believing in the one true God of Israel, fulfilling what He said to Abraham, You shall be the father of many nations. One people, one flock, one God, one Spirit and one Lord over all. Ephesians 4:3-5