If a foreigner resides with you in your land, you must not mistreat him. The foreigner who resides with you should become to you like a native among you; and you must love him as yourself […]
The commandment here given stands in stark contrast to the violence going on in and around present-day Israel.
History books and modern politics would lead us to believe religion and war go hand in hand.
Both political and religious leaders have used God’s word as a disguise to dress themselves “in sheep’s covering, but inside they are ravenous wolves,” (Matt. 7:15).
Jesus applied the aforementioned law in his parable of the good Samaritan.
He made the parable more remarkable using irony in that it was the foreigner who was kind toward the Jew, and not his own religious leaders as one would expect (Luke 10:30-37).
Jesus was essentially restating Leviticus 19:18 when he instituted the following principle as the basis of conduct for his new followers: “All things, therefore, that you want men to do to you, you also must do to them. This, in fact, is what the Law and the Prophets mean,” (Matt. 7:12).
Acknowledging the hypocritical breach of integrity characteristic of many leaders, Jesus also instructed his followers: “[…] All the things they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds, for they say but they do not practice what they say,” (Matt. 23:3).
It is important, then, to not blame God’s Word for religious or political conflict, because unlike men, God does not contradict himself.
Leviticus chapter 19 holds many interesting points relating to what it means to be a just person.
If you would like to build character, I invite you to meditate on the following:
Showing compassion toward the less materially fortunate- Lev. 19:9,10
Avoiding white collar crimes- Lev.19:11-13
Avoiding cruelty toward the disabled- Lev. 19:14
Keeping the criminal justice system fair- Lev. 19:15
Avoiding gossip- Lev. 19:16
Cultivate forgiveness- Lev. 19:18
Organic is better- Lev. 19:19
People who do not have equal rights should not be held equally accountable for their actions- Lev. 19:20
Superstitious behavior is unholy- Lev. 19:26
God’s view on self-harm/self-mutilation- Lev. 19:28
Pimping women is an abuse of power- Lev. 19:29
Honor the elderly- Lev. 19:32
Keep commercial transactions honest- Lev. 19:35,36