Immigration is a hot topic these days. In the United States we fly our flag as a symbol of freedom. There are many, around the world, who long for freedom. Immigration to the US can offer promise to those seeking a better life.
Everyone seems to have an opinion about immigration and how it should be handled. Some want stricter immigration laws. Others would like better enforcement of the existing laws. Then there are those who feel as if we need immigration reform, making the process easier for all involved.
Did you know God has His own immigration policy?
When God gave Moses the Ten Commandments, he instructed the Israelites and the stranger (alien) among them to keep the Sabbath Day holy. When instructions were given for keeping the Passover, these instructions also included the stranger among them. There was to be one law for the Israelite and the stranger.
As we read through His instructions for Israel in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, we find that the stranger or alien is mentioned often. There are instructions on how to care for the stranger. Israel is often told to remember, they too were strangers in the land of Egypt. We are to treat the stranger with care and be concerned for his wellbeing. There are also instructions for the stranger. He is to integrate himself into society. He is to work, care for his family, and live by the laws of the land.
This brings up two very interesting points.
1. It is obvious that God's immigration policy included not only the civil laws but also the religious laws of the land. Those strangers who obeyed God, kept His way of life, and lived as commanded, would be blessed alongside those who were naturally born. He made no allowances for the stranger or gentile to dwell among Israel and continue to live a pagan lifestyle. It was not to be tolerated.
2. Many claim that the Sabbath and the Holy Days were meant only for Israel, and not the gentiles. When instructions were given to Israel, we can see this is not the case. The gentile was to be included in God's way of life, not left out of it.
If God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and if Jesus Christ and God the Father are one as scripture claims, then we should find evidence of the same immigration policy for all people at the end of the age.
In Zechariah 14:16-19 we learn what God says about the return of His Son to this earth. All people will live one way, God's way. All people of all nations will be expected to live and worship as He instructs.
"Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths. And it will be that whichever of the families of the earth does not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, there will be no rain on them. If the family of Egypt does not go up or enter, then no rain will fall on them; it will be the plague with which the LORD smites the nations who do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Booths. This will be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all the nations who do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Booths."
Regardless of how we may feel about immigration today, we can see that God has had a plan from the very beginning. All people, from every land, and from every nation, will eventually learn to live His way of life. His plan has always been for Israel and the gentiles to live as one, just as He and the Son are one.