God’s Immigration Policy:
Strangers and Foreigners
Nations face many dilemmas as they try to establish policies dealing with an influx of immigrants. God had provided wise guidelines for his nation to follow. To deal judiciously with resident aliens, God taught that there was to be “one law” for all. Multiculturalism was not a part of the national covenant with God. There was one God and only one way to worship God. God’s love for all people meant that he wanted them to come to know him — the Creator of all people. The nation was to be a safe haven for all who wanted to find their refuge in God.
A Message to Christians
From the beginning, God’s message was to love “our neighbour” as ourselves. And yet in a world of ethnic rivalry, this message was lost to many. God instructed his people to care for the widow, the orphan, and the stranger. Yet in Jesus time, the religious leaders who knew this principle wanted to justify themselves and their discriminatory policies. Jesus took them to task, and taught them about the real meaning of “love your neighbour as yourself.” The parable of the Samaritan answered the question, “Who is my neighbour?”
Remember to Love the Stranger
God is impartial and his teachings were created for all people, for all time. He wants his people to remember their past. They were strangers in Egypt, enslaved and captive. With this in mind they were to have compassion on others. Especially those, who came to their nation to seek refuge, and escape slavery.
This principle of hospitality and love for the stranger was a hallmark of many early church congregations. The Celtic church exemplified godly behaviour in providing refuge, food and lodging, for the orphan, widow, and stranger. How are we responding to the strangers in our midst? Are we being “neighbourly” as God would have us be?
Strangers and Foreigners: What God says about Immigration