The goodwill of strangers

"Show me and the land where you are now a stranger the same benevolence that I have shown you" (1, Moses 21,23).

How should a country deal with its strangers? And more importantly, how should we behave when we are foreigners in another country? After 1. Moses 21 lived Abraham in Gerar. It seems that he was treated well despite the deception Abraham made against Abimelech, king of Gerar. Abraham had told him a half-truth about his wife Sara to protect himself from being killed himself. The result was that Abimelech almost committed adultery with Sara. Abimelech, however, did not repay evil with evil, but returned Sara, Abraham's wife, back to him. And Abimelech said, "Behold, my land is before you; live where it is good in your eyes! "1. Moses 20,15 In this way he allowed Abraham free passage throughout the kingdom. He also presented him with a thousand silver shekels (verse 16).

How did Abraham answer? He prayed for Abimelech's family and household that a curse of infertility would be taken from them. But Abimelech was still suspicious. Maybe he saw Abraham as a power to consider. Therefore, Abimelech reminded Abraham how he and his citizens had treated him with benevolence. The two men made a covenant, they wanted to live together without aggression and hostility in the country. Abraham gave the assurance that he no longer wanted to act fraudulently. 1. Moses 21,23 and show appreciation for the goodwill.

Much later, Jesus said in Luke 6,31 "And as you want people to do you, do them as well!" This is the meaning of what Abimelech said to Abraham. Here is a lesson for all of us: Whether we are locals or strangers, we should be friendly and benevolent to one another.


Dear Father, please help us to be friendly with each other through your mind. In the name of Jesus Amen!

by James Henderson

pdfThe goodwill of strangers