Loving the Alien- Directions for God’s People (Deuteronomy 10:17-19, 14:28-29, 16:14, 24:17-22)
In Deuteronomy, God laid out the laws, festivals, and directions He had for His people. Woven throughout are reminders of God’s love for the foreigner residing among His people! God makes it clear the He shows no partiality. Foreigners were to be included in the joyous celebration of the Jewish festivals. God also made sure they were provided for. Every three years, God’s people gave a tithe to provide food for the Levite priests and the foreigners. The people were also commanded to leave behind what remained in their fields for the foreigner to glean. God desired that His people love, provide and reach out to those around them who did not know Him.
Bible: Read Deuteronomy 10:17-19, 14:28-29, 16:14, 24:17-22 with your family.
Family Activity 1:
Teaching Time: 1 hour
Materials: school supply lists
Today’s foreigners are immigrants and refugees who have moved from other countries to live in our communities. Demonstrate the concept of providing for the foreigner by giving out of our excess. Explain to your children that when immigrant and refugee families first arrive in our country, they do not have many of the things needed to begin their new life. For children, this means starting school without pencils, paper, or crayons. When you take your children shopping for school supplies, put a new spin on the BOGO concept. Rather than buy one/get one, aim to buy one/give one. Buy double and donate the extra supplies to a Christian ministry in your area that is serving refugee and immigrant populations.
1. In Old Testament times, what were two ways God used His people to care for the needy foreigners living among them? (see Deuteronomy 14:28-29 and 24:19-22)
2. How could our family help immigrant and refugee families in our community?
Family Activity 2:
Teaching Time: 15 minutes
Materials: book/movie on Passover
Find a picture book or movie about the Jewish Passover at your local library or bookstore. Read/watch the story with your children. Explain that Passover is one of the Jewish festivals in which foreigners would have been included. Discuss what this festival could teach them about the God of Israel.
1. What is one celebration of Jesus that our family observes every year? What could someone who did not know Jesus learn about Him by participating in this celebration with us?
2. What are practical ways we could include a family from a different culture or religious background in this celebration?
Ask God to give your family His compassionate heart for immigrants and refugees in your area.