Deuteronomy 23:7, 8
You shall not abhor an Edomite; for he is your brother: you shall not abhor an Egyptian; because you were a stranger in his land.…
The sting in God's curse is its irreversibleness. The bitter draught is dashed with mercy when we have prospect that it shall cease.
I. THE CONDUCT OF SOME MEN IS A STRANGE ADMIXTURE OF GOOD AND BAD. There were some fine traits in Esau's character commingled with coarse and selfish obstinacy. Light was interfused with darkness. The treatment of Israel by the Edomites was not the most friendly, nor was it decidedly hostile. It was marked by haughty reserve rather than by malignant hostility. So also the Egyptians were not wholly antagonistic to Israel. For more than four hundred years the Hebrews had found sustenance and shelter in Goshen. If the last Pharaoh had oppressed them with bitter bondage, a former Pharaoh had blest them with unusual kindness. From desolating famine, Egypt had shielded them. This shall not be forgotten; it shall temper chastisement. The remoter peoples shall be admitted to God's kingdom, while those nearer at hand shall be excluded.
II. SUCH CONDUCT RECEIVES DUE MEASURE OF CHASTISEMENT. It is impossible to entertain the best feelings of affection towards such persons. Yet we are to be just in our estimate of them. We are not to fasten our eyes only on the dark side of their characters. As far as it is possible we should be generous in feeling. "Thou shalt not abhor them." The present generation of such, and their children, shall be excluded from the privileges of the righteous. But there the ban shall terminate. If children of wisdom, we shall endure such chastisement with patient resignation -
"For patient suffering is the link
That binds us to a glorious morrow."
III. THE INHERITANCE OF BLESSING IS IN REVERSION. "Weeping may endure for a night: joy cometh in the morning." The night is temporary; the day will be eternal. However dark be their present lot under the frown of Jehovah, the light of hope shines beyond - lights up the future. We live in our children. It alleviates our present burden when we are assured that our children shall be exempt. More often should we stand in awe of sin, if we did but perceive the miseries we were entailing on posterity. The revelations of the future are a valuable guide for the present. - D.
Parallel VersesKJV: Thou shalt not abhor an Edomite; for he is thy brother: thou shalt not abhor an Egyptian; because thou wast a stranger in his land.