Is Immigration a Biblical Issue?

First of all, this is not an endorsement or condemnation of Donald Trump or the U.S. government’s immigration policies in general.  This article is simply addressing biblical interpretation errors and other fallacies in a Washington Post article written by a Yale Divinity School professor which takes issue with Franklin Graham’s insistence that immigration is not a Bible issue.  Here is the article:
 
 
This is not the first article I have read this week on this subject.  All of them have a common theme: Christians should let anyone immigrate to the United States because of how “strangers” are treated in the Bible.  Here’s my take:

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God Is Not Done with Israel

Deuteronomy 4:31  (For the LORD thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them.

These words were spoken by Moses to the children of Israel.  They communicate one general fact and three facts which are specific to the nation of Israel.

The general fact is that God is merciful.  This is true for the Jews and the Gentiles.  Regardless of who you are, God is merciful. Continue reading

God’s Promises to Abraham

Genesis 12:1-3 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: 2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

In this passage God institutes a covenant with Abraham.  This covenant has three major promises and is important not only for the nation of Israel, but for the human race as a whole. Continue reading

Preface to the Ten Commandments

We often refer to the Ten Commandments given to Moses by God on Mount Sinai.  I was recently rereading them and the two verses preceding the Commandments caught my eye.  Here they are:

Exodus 20:1-2 And God spake all these words, saying, 2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

I noticed three principles revealed in these verses.  Continue reading

Do You Have a Heart for God?

When the Lord brought the children of Israel to the Promised Land, Moses reminded them of their commitments to Him before they crossed over to inhabit the land.  The Israelites had agreed to keep the Lord’s commandments and reaffirmed that promise.

Deuteronomy 5:27 Go thou near, and hear all that the LORD our God shall say: and speak thou unto us all that the LORD our God shall speak unto thee; and we will hear it, and do it.

The Lord, Who knew their hearts, expressed His desire that they would indeed have a heart for Him to do all that they had committed.

Deuteronomy 5:29 O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!

God knew that His way was best.  His desire was that the Israelites experience the best He had to offer (“that it might be well with them”).  The blessings they could experience would pass on to their posterity as well (“and with their children for ever”).  However, He knew that their heart was not in the right place.  As history shows, they would disobey Him and receive just recompense for their sin.

The same is true with us.  God created life and He knows how life is best lived.  Why do we not trust Him in this?  God loves us as a parent loves his child.  He wants the best for us, but like wayward children, we all to often refuse to give up our own selfish desires.  We need to have a heart for God and obey Him.  Then we can expect His blessing upon our lives.