There Are No Strangers
3 Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to the LORD, speak, saying, The LORD hath utterly separated me from his people: neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree. 4 For thus saith the LORD unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant; 5 Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off. 6 Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant.
In Old Testament Israel, those who "kept the sabbath" referred only to flesh and blood Israelites. God made the keeping of the sabbath an identifying sign of His people. Gentiles were, according to the law, to be treated like everyone else but they were still considered "strangers" and unclean. "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." (Leviticus 19:34)
The Messiah would change all of that. "Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby." (Ephesians 2:11-16)
Under the reign of Christ, there is neither Jew nor Greek, male nor female. We are all joined together in one body, which is the body of Jesus Christ. "Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God." (Ephesians 2:19) All people are welcomed into the household of God as fellow citizens with the saints, if they repent of their sins and submit their lives to Christ.
The same proposition is made to the eunuchs. "Primarily and literally, a eunuch is an emasculated man...The barbarous practice of self-mutilation and the mutilation of others in this way was prevalent throughout the Orient. The religious disabilities under which men thus deformed labored under the Mosaic law had the effect of making the practice abominable to the Jews as a people. The law excluded eunuchs from public worship, partly because self-mutilation was often performed in honor of a heathen god, and partly because a maimed creature of any sort was deemed unfit for the service of Yahweh." (The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Eunuchs)
The Law says, "He that is wounded in the stones, or hath his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD." (Deuteronomy 23:1) But, the Messiah receives even those unfortunates into His kingdom, if and when they repent and receive Him as their Lord ad Savior. The big discussion about whether homosexuals and other perverts should be allowed into the church is decided right here. Even after they have had a sex change operation and have so mutilated themselves that it cannot be corrected, they are treated by God like every other sinner who repents and seeks the Deliverer.
God is love. No matter who you are or what you have done, if you will join yourself to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, and to make yourself obedient to all of His laws, you will be treated to a place in the kingdom of heaven and to a name, which are better than any son or daughter deserves or could imagine. No Christian should ever think of himself as a stranger or as being separated from the other saints in any way. No Christian should feel either superior or inferior to any other Christian, for we are all Christ.
When you become a member of the household of God, however, you become a stranger to the world. "These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city." (Hebrews 11:13-16)
Are you seeking that heavenly country where God is not ashamed to be called your God? Join yourself to Him today and commit yourself to His service in full obedience to His commandments. Stand before Him holy, without a fault, in love. Jesus Christ is the only way to the Father. No man comes to the Father except by Him. When you are there, you will find that there are no strangers in His kingdom.
Before The Throne:
Pray about your self esteem. When I first became a Christian, I was often intimidated by pastors, deacons and even my Sunday School teacher, but everyone in the kingdom of God is equal. Therefore, pray for the self-confidence that you need to fulfill God's plan for you. Learn to accept the fact that, no matter what you have done, you have been completely forgiven. You have put on the Lord Jesus Christ, which means that you are now as righteous as He is. Let the Spirit of the Lord fill you with the boldness to share His gospel with many other people.
For Further Study:
(v.3) ** the son: Num 18:4-7; Deu 23:1-3; Zec 8:20-23; Mat 8:10-11; Act 8:27; 10:1-2, 34; 13:47-48; 17:4; 18:7; Rom 2:10-11; 15:9-12, 16; Eph 2:12, 2:22; 1Pe 1:1; ** joined: Jer 50:5; Zep 2:11; 1Co 6:17; ** The Lord hath: Mat 15:26-27; Luk 7:6-8; ** neither: Isa 39:7; Jer 38:7-13; 39:16-17; Dan. 1:3-21; Matt. 19:12-30; Act 8:26-40;
(v.4) ** choose: Jos 24:15; Psa 119:111; Luk 10:42; ** take hold: Isa 27:5; 55:3; 2Sa 23:5; Jer 50:5; Heb 6:17;
(v.5) ** will I: Mat 16:18; Eph 2:22; 1Ti 3:15; Heb 3:6; ** and a: Isa 62:12; Joh 1:12; 1Jo 3:1; Rev 3:12; ** better: 1Sa 1:8; * that shall: Isa 55:13; Rev 3:5;
(v.6) ** join: Isa 44:5; Jer 50:5; Act 2:41; 11:23; 2Co 8:5; 1Th 1:9-10; ** to love: Mar 12:30-34; Rom 8:28; 1Co 16:22; Gal 5:6; Eph 6:24; Jam 1:12; 2:5; ** every: Isa 58:13; Rev 1:10;