Once You Were Foreigners, Now You Are Mine (Exodus 22:21-23:9)

  • by

Worship Your God:
Once You Were Foreigners, Now You Are Mine (Unpacking Commands 9 & 10)

Exodus 22:21-23:9

Pastor Jose Lam

Order of Service


Welcome >> Worship in Songs

Announcements >> Congregational Prayer

Scripture Reading >> Sermon 

Response Song >> Benediction

Sermon Outline

Worship Your God: Once You Were Foreigners, Now You Are Mine (Unpacking Commands 9 & 10)

Exodus 22:21-23:9

1. Blessing to All Nations
2. Dignity and respect for all people (22:21-31)
3. Justice for all people (23:1-9)


God’s people must look to the interests of those on the fringe of their community, and even to the interests of those outside of their community. Not in order to show favouritism to them, but to ensure that everyone who is part of God’s people may expect equal treatment under the law, fairness and justice is to be provided to all regardless of their status.


This was to be part of the way by which God would bless all the nations of the earth; by ensuring that even foreigners within the Israelite community could enjoy equal and fair treatment under the law and so come to know the justice of Israel’s God.


This section begins and ends with instructions concerning foreigners, not to mistreat or oppress them. The reason given is because ‘you were foreigners’ (22:21) and ‘you yourselves know how it feels to be foreigners’ (23:9).


We might broadly categorise Exodus 22:21-31 as unpacking the command ‘Do not covet’, and Exodus 23:1-9 as unpacking the command ‘Do not bear false witness’. We must acknowledge that this would mean that once again (just like last week) the commandments are being unpacked ‘out of order’. Regardless of their ordering, there is much practical wisdom for us to work out what it means to apply these commands as Christians today living in a fallen world.


Consider that this passage begins and ends with commands concerning foreigners, not to mistreat or oppress them. Also consider all the different types of people that are addressed by the commands in this passage. What does this imply about how ancient Israel was to apply these laws in their society?

(Everyone regardless of their social status would be treated fairly and equitably under one law, applying to both the native-born Israelite as well as the foreigner; from the most privileged to the least)


Consider the laws in Exodus 22:21-31 that broadly unpack the command ‘do not covet’? (specifically v.21,22,25,28,29,31). What are these trying to uphold and protect?
(We protect and uphold the dignity and respect that is inherent in all human beings created in the image of God. We should not with a covetous heart seek to deprive others or ourselves of the dignity and respect that God has endowed us with)


Consider Exodus 23:1-9 that broadly unpack the command ‘do not bear false witness’. Similar to question 2, what are these trying to uphold and protect?
(God’s people should speak and judge as God does; in accordance with God’s truth and not in accordance with what we want or what other humans may want that is contrary to the truth)


The NT letter of James has a passage which ties together the concepts of ‘do not covet’ and ‘do not bear false witness’ (James 1:27-2:7) and paints a picture of what that might look like for followers of Jesus. In light of your responses to question 1-3, a) what therefore might ‘do not covet’ and ‘do not bear false witness’ look like in our church, and b) why?

re: do not covet – We seek to uphold and protect the dignity and respect of all who become connected to our church community regardless of their status within our community, especially looking after the ‘orphans and widows’ of our community – whether they be long-time members, people on the fringe, or unbelievers. We ought not treat certain people in our community better than others because we may knowingly or unknowingly covet what they have for ourselves.


Re: do not bear false witness – Under God, everyone whether rich or poor (and whether Christian or not) is ultimately subject to the same call of God each day – repent of your sins and believe in Jesus. Do not show favouritism because favouritism implies that God has one set of rules for some, and another set of rules for others. But under God, everyone needs to take hold of the same grace of Christ each day; the Christian is no better and no different than the non-Christian in this regard.


Why do these things? James 2:5 – these are an expression of the gospel we have received by faith in Jesus. Just as Israel were once foreigners in Egypt, we were once poor and far-off from God. But by God’s grace through faith, we have received mercy and riches by being brought near to God by the blood of Christ)



Individuals wishing to baptized or confirmed should get in touch with Ps Jose and must apply in writing to the ESCCC Board of Elders (


Individual classes for men and women wishing to be baptised or confirmed at ESCCC are run as needed throughout the year. These cover the matters of personal faith, church membership and public testimony over the course of three sessions.


All baptism and confirmation candidates also participate in two group sessions in the two weeks leading up to the baptism and confirmation service, presenting their testimonies and learning about the baptism and confirmation service liturgy

Prayer Meetings

Every Friday night from 8-9pm we meet over Google Meet and Sunday morning 9:00-9:30am over Zoom or in-person at church.

Community Groups @ ESCCC

For visibility and if you would like to join a group, the details of all youth, community groups and prayer meetings can be found here.

ESCCC Mailing List

Email to be added to the church’s email list to be notified of various things happening around the church.

Missions Support

In support of God’s mission, we encourage all members to give regularly to the ESCCC Missions Fund, according to your means. The EFT details can be found on the Giving and Offerings page.


The Missions Fund will be allocated by the Missions Committee to bless ESCCC and our Mission Partners in missions work.

Electronic Giving

We give to what we love. Due to the restriction of our physical Sunday meetings as a loving precaution against the spread of COVID-19, we will not be able to collect a cash offertory as usual. Electronic giving instructions can be found on the Giving and Offerings page.

Prayer and Praise

Next Week 2 April 2023

Fasting as a Spiritual Discipline: Fasting For God's Kingdom

Mark 2:18-22

Pastor Jose Lam


We long to see the Church being loved like Christ loves the Church.
As such we strive to care for people with the love of Christ and to prepare people to love like Christ.

The Pastors and Elders would love to serve you and help you to belong to God’s community here at ESCCC.


Please direct all questions, comments and concerns to:
Please visit for more details and the church’s calendar.

Contact Us

Contact Us for any information.

Subscribe to our mailing list to