And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him. But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
Sojourn means to dwell with temporarily or for a period of time. A sojourner is a temporary inhabitant, a newcomer lacking inherited rights. A sojourner is someone who you don’t have an established relationship with. The Bible says we are not to vex a stranger that is sojourning with us. We are not to vex them or we are not to oppress, suppress, treat violently, maltreat, vex or do wrong to them.
We are not to treat someone wrong or take advantage of them just because we don’t know them. The LORD reminds them that they themselves spent time as strangers sojourning in a foreign land. While Israel was in bondage they were vexed, taken advantage of and used for slave labor. All to benefit Egypt and increase their goods and cities. So the LORD is saying, remember how you were treated and how it made you feel. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Even strangers.
When we suffer hardship and abuse at the hands of others it changes us. However we have a choice as to which way that change affects us. We can either allow it to cause us to become bitter and hard or we can allow it to cause us to become kind, merciful and understanding of others pain.
He said to Israel, at the end of verse thirty four, “I am the LORD your God.” The hard taskmaster whipping you is not your God. The LORD is your God. The LORD delivered them from bondage and paid them for all their labor and service in the land of Egypt. Likewise the LORD will repay you for your kindness and service to the stranger. Don’t vex the stranger but treat them with kindness, showing the love of Christ to them, remembering how you were delivered by the LORD God.
We sometimes look down with disdain at someone trapped in bondage by the things of this world, thinking how ignorant they must be to ignore God and give their lives in bondage to addiction or the pursuit of pleasure and money. We are forgetting how we too were in bondage until Jesus Christ saved us and delivered us from the things of this world. Let us not vex the stranger but rather do unto others as we would have them do unto us.