Whenever Egypt is mentioned in the Bible, it’s either referred to in one of two ways. First, there’s the physical place that is called Egypt. This is the literal use of Egypt in the Bible. The second is figurative and refers to the state of bondage the Israelites were in when they lived in Egypt. However, even when there’s the literal reference to Egypt being made, there’s still an underlying current of the figurative we should be aware of. Today, for the most part, if we refer to Egypt, we are speaking in the figurative sense as the time when we were in bondage to sin. Before we were saved.

Let’s look at these two verses from Deuteronomy that refer to Egypt and see how they are referring to Egypt and what it means to us.

18 He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. 19 And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt.

Deuteronomy 10:18-19 (NIV)

Verse 18 is, for the most part, straightforward. The fatherless are orphans, and widows are women whose husbands have died and they haven’t remarried. Otherwise defenseless people. Foreigners are comprised of anyone who isn’t an Israelite, and this verse tells us that God loves them. Verse 19 tells the Israelites they are to love foreigners because they were foreigners in Egypt. They were strangers in the literal land of Egypt.

Verse 19 is basically telling the Israelites to love strangers because they know what it was like to be a stranger since they were strangers in Egypt. If we consider this use of Egypt only in the literal sense, then we would be missing the point behind it for us. For example, I currently reside in Sacramento, California, and have never been to Brazil. Therefore, if I went to Brazil, I would be a literal stranger to the land. I’d hope in my visit not to be treated as a stranger but welcomed. Something I should do for those people who are strangers to me here in Sacramento. This is good. To love each other. However, the underlying premise here is how the Israelites were treated in Egypt. They were slaves. Therefore, Egypt is being referred to in these verses as both the literal place, and their condition while they were in that place. This is where the figurative comes in for us.

Before we were saved, we lived in a state of bondage in the world. We were in slavery to sin. As Christians, Egypt represents our place in the world before Christ. When we read Deuteronomy 10:18-19 and place ourselves into the position of the Israelites figuratively, the orphans and widows are the same, but the foreigner is different. The foreigner is the person we used to be when we were in the world. The unsaved person.

Can we apply Deuteronomy 10:18-19 to us? It was written to the Israelites, wasn’t it? What does Jesus say, when he was asked about the greatest commandment?

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.

Matthew 22:36-40 (NIV)

Jesus was then asked to define “neighbor” and then tells the Parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:29-37. I’m not going to cover that here, but if you’re not familiar with it or wonder, then I invite you to read about it. In this parable, the Samaritan isn’t an Israelite. The man he helps probably wasn’t an Israelite either. This parable shows us how two Israelites treated a stranger to them. They left him for dead. The Samaritan helped the man. Jesus asks, “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” (Luke 10:36 NIV). The Samaritan was the neighbor. Therefore, our neighbors are those who are strangers to the Gospel. Unsaved people.

We already need to love other Believers. We are also to love those who are unsaved. Therefore, we can apply Deuteronomy 10:18-19 to us.

Do you know God? God knows you, and He loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, right now, and He wants you to know Him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, be freed from death, and live eternally with Him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that you died on the cross, were buried, and on the third day, God the Father raised you from the dead. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart, and I receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.