Undocumented Immigrants of the Bible

Refugees Crisis

In response to this story – “Texas Student Group Offers $25 Reward in ‘Catch an Illegal Immigrant'”

(Since this story originally aired, wisdom has prevailed, and the game was cancelled.)

Now to the Scriptures, some heroes of the faith that were undocumented immigrants:

  • Abraham (originally Abram) – Ur to Haran to Canaan to Egypt because of famine, then back to Canaan
  • The Israelites – Canaan to Egypt because of famine, Egypt to Canaan much later (last migration similar in scale to current movement from Central America to US)
  • Elimelek, Naomi, Mahlon and Kilion (Book of Ruth) – Judah to Moab because of famine
  • Ruth (sweet Ruth, whose timeless words are invoked at most weddings, “Where you go, I will go…) – Moab to Judah following new family
  • David (great-grandson of immigrant Ruth and future king) – fled from his home to the Philistines as a political refugee
  • Jesus – fled Bethlehem for Egypt as a political refugee
  • The Scattered Church – flees Jerusalem because of persecution, scatters outward and thus moves the mission from Jerusalem to Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth (if you are reading these words written in English, you can trace your own journey back to these immigrants or political/religious refugees)

Here’s my point…

The group that started the hubbub at the University of Texas was The Young Conservatives. I know many “conservatives” and I lean that way on certain issues. I can say with a reasonable amount of certainty that most of the Young Conservatives were raised in a Judeo-Christian environment and probably still subscribe to many of the beliefs. So, here’s the rub if you are a conservative on immigration issues:

Are you more influenced by the rhetoric of your politics or are you more influenced by the Story of Scripture?

God’s heart is clearly with the suffering, the disenfranchised, the have-nots, the immigrant…and He has worked through them.

The Lord watches over the foreigner
    and sustains the fatherless and the widow,
    but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.   – Psalm 146

The Benediction

Words from the frightening parable at the end of Matthew 25, known as the Parable of the Sheep and Goats. I like to call it the Judgment of the Nations…the king says:

“…I was a stranger and you invited me in…”

The word “stranger” here means – a foreigner, an alien, without the knowledge of, or without a share in… refugee, immigrant, asylum-seeker all fit under this umbrella of definition.

The king says, “…I was a foreigner, an alien, one without the knowledge of, one without a share in society…

The king also says what you have done for these, you have done for him.

And “they” are more important to Him than man-made borders.

And the king says what you haven’t done for these, you have not done for him. The consequence of this disregard is eternal punishment for the entity being judged.

Thus, sayeth the Lord…


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