Thursday, June 15, 2017

"LOVE THEM"

2nd Chronicles 2.17 NIV, 2.18 NLT
 
Solomon took a census of all the aliens who were in Israel, after the census his father David had taken; and they were found to be 153,600.” 

“He assigned 70,000 of them as common laborers, 80,000 as quarry workers in the hill country, and 3,600 as foremen.”

The problem of undocumented immigrants has been around for a long time. King Solomon dealt decisively with foreigners in Israel about 3,000 years ago. He counted and documented them, legalized them, and gave them jobs. He found 153,600 aliens in the land so he made 70,000 of them common laborers. 80,000 became stone cutters, and 3,600 worked as foremen over the other 150,000 at the Temple construction project in Jerusalem.

Illegal immigration is a bigger problem for the USA now than it was for Solomon then. Estimates of the number of undocumented immigrants within our borders range from 4 to 20 million. Those who advocate ‘sending them all back from where they came from’ should reconsider. Most of these people are law-abiding and productive non-citizens. The immediate deportation of illegals would seriously and adversely affect our economy. Almost all of us are dependent, at least indirectly, upon an alien work force. 

And what about the children?
"A new Pew Hispanic Center report reveals a big increase in the number of children born in the United States to at least one illegal alien parent. In 2003, the group found that 2.7 million children had at least one parent who was in the country illegally, but that number is now up to 4 million kids. The report also reveals that 73 percent of all children of illegal aliens are U.S. citizens. 
"According to the report, approximately 8.8 million people live in families with illegal alien parents and 75 percent of them are Hispanic.
"The report also revealed some other key facts...
  • 7 percent of students in public elementary and secondary schools are children of illegal aliens
  • 1/3 of children of illegal aliens live in poverty
  • The median household income for illegal alien families is $36,000 ($50,000 national average)
"In March of 2008, 8.3 million illegal aliens had jobs in the United States."[1]
Get used to the presence and sight of foreigners in our midst. They’re not going away anytime soon. Our country’s leaders need Solomon’s wisdom. He conducted a census. Solomon counted, documented, legalized, and put to work “all the aliens who were in Israel.” I am not suggesting that we do not tighten the borders and or fail to restrict illegal entry into our country, but only that we find an intelligent way to deal with those undocumented immigrants who are already in the USA. 

The Bible is clear in its two-word mandate on how to deal with all people, including strangers and aliens in the land; that is, LOVE THEM...

“When a stranger resides with you in your land, you
shall not do him wrong. The stranger who resides with you shall
be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself;
for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.”
Leviticus 19.33-34 NASB

“He [God] executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and
shows His love for the alien by giving him food and clothing. So show
your love for the alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.”
Deuteronomy 10.18-20 NASB

Some Christians who advocate “kick out the illegals,” generously support missions around the world. Could God be bringing a mission field to their own back yard? Why not learn a little Spanish culture and language and “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations” within the borders of our own nation as Jesus commanded in Matthew 28.19?

The Unites States of America will not easily rid itself of 20 million illegal aliens. It wouldn’t be good for our country if it did. Undocumented immigrants are a fact of current American life. The old adage… “If you can’t beat them, join them” was Solomon’s pragmatic approach to the issue of immigration reform.

Christ-followers should go beyond Solomon’s wisdom and embrace God’s command to “show love for the alien.” 
_______________________

[1] From the NumbersUSA for Lower Immigration Levels (http://www.numbersusa.com/content/news/april-15-2009/number-us-citizen-children-illegal-aliens-growing.html) based on an April 14, 2009 New York Times article by Julia Preston at http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/15/us/15immig.html?_r=1.

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