In today’s world, sometimes it can be difficult to know what’s true and what isn’t. And in these times, the Bible can serve as a guide for our actions and beliefs.
How familiar are you with what the Bible teaches us about immigrants and refugees?
1. The Israelites were originally immigrants in Egypt.
Then the Lord said to Abram, “Know this for certain, that your offspring shall be aliens in a land that is not theirs, and shall be slaves there, and they shall be oppressed for four hundred years…” – Genesis 15:13
Abraham is told that his offspring will be enslaved aliens in Egypt For 400 years. The Israelites are immigrants. They are considered immigrants in Egypt, they will be immigrants in the wilderness, and they will be considered immigrants in Canaan, the promised land. In time, they come to possess the land. If you are born in a country, you are not an immigrant.
2. We have been called to treat foreigners as citizens of our own communities and offer them compassion, because we at one time were foreigners ourselves.
“The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.” – Leviticus 19:34
3. The Bible urges us to welcome foreigners into our homes.
“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.” – Hebrews 13:2
4. The Lord swears to bring judgement upon people who oppress the most vulnerable, and those who cast away the refugee.
“I will be swift to bear witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hired workers in their wages, the widow and the orphan, against those who thrust aside the alien, and do not fear me, says the Lord of hosts.” – Malachi 3:5
5. The Bible challenges us to love those who are different from ourselves rather than to remain in our comfort zone by surrounding ourselves with like-minded/similar people.
“For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?” – Matthew 6:46–47