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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Immigration Reform?

So here's a wild thought.  There's a lot of conversation in our country these days about immigration, immigration reform, deportation, welfare, and all the rest.  Ready for a challenge?

Read the biblical book of Ruth.  Then answer these questions:

1. What does this book, in the context of the Old Testament's violent antipathy toward foreigners (see for example Numbers 25 and Ezra 10) say about welcoming people of other countries?

2. What does this book say about work and welfare?  (Notice how Ruth makes a living for her and Naomi.)

3. What does this book say about businesses' and employers' responsibility to provide some of the "gleanings" for those in need in their communities?  (See also Deuteronomy 24:17-22)

4. What does this book say about the way God may use the "least of these" -- in this case, an undocumented alien -- to accomplish his purposes?

I'm curious to hear any thoughts you might have after completing this challenge.  Thanks!


  1. Boaz was a moral man and took individual responsibility for the well being of those less fortunate.

    Our nation might currently be in the midst of a morality crisis in that we delegate the welfare of 0thers to the state avoiding any personal involvement and heart.

  2. Abraham and his children were immigrants in God's Land, a land occupied by others, but owned by The Lord. Despite The Owner's command to exterminate "the squatters" (that is, immigrants themselves) the Israelites under Moses and Joshua did not commit genocide, with resulting dissension among the groups sharing the same land. The Law said the non-Israelites must die, but Israel showed earthly judgment and honored covenants with other humans rather than that with God.
    Ruth of Moab, a nation with the reputation of the unfriendliest of Israel's neighbors, restored a balance by living according to the human system of "immigration" and blessed Israel with David, and eventually Jesus! This is Gospel: The Good News that those condemned provide the way to salvation!
    America never was as "white" as those in power thought it to be, and perhaps the native people and those who settled BEFORE the Anglos are America's future, just as the Irish, the Scandinavians, the Asians, and the Eastern Europeans -- along with the Africans who involuntarily immigrated here -- have added to the future of this nation.
    Immigration policies that seek to shut and lock the door seldom allow for growth.
    Had the woman of Moab stayed in her land, The Story would not be. Promises of salvation and glory would be unfulfilled.
    Perhaps The Story of America is having a scene and actor change? This brings to mind the amazing transformation of a hockey game when either team changes lines: new faces, new dynamics, new promise.
    Documented or not, most of my ancestors moved to this continent within AT MOST the last four hundred years. My other ancestors moved to this continent long before, but they, also, immigrated.
    Why do we assume that Americans must emmigrate to spread God's Word? Perhaps God needs others to come to America -- legally or not -- to remind us that how we treat the least of His children, so we treat Him...
    Is America a Land of The Law or a Land of the Gospel? Much of the recent immigration discussion assumes the former. If that is so, how can we even HOPE to be a Christian nation?
    Not too many Boazes making themselves front-and-center right now...