There is a more eternally weighty thing for us to consider than if our government should freeze travel from dangerous countries. That decision is not our own to carry, but that of our leaders. However, God does make clear in the Bible there is a personal responsibility which rests on our own shoulders for caring for foreigners currently in our midst.
How does God expect those who worship Him to treat the foreigner already living among them?
God gave Israel as a light to the nations, to show the world what God expects and what is right. God also blesses us today with Bibles which He expects us to study and learn from. Here are some of the commands about the care of refugees or foreigners in our midst that we find in the Bible:
“The foreigner who resides with you must be to you like a native citizen among you; so you must love him as yourself, because you were foreigners in the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.” Leviticus 19:34
“Now in case a countryman of yours becomes poor and his means with regard to you falter, then you are to sustain him, like a stranger or a sojourner, that he may live with you.” Leviticus 25:35
“When you reap the harvest of your land, moreover, you shall not reap to the very corners of your field nor gather the gleaning of your harvest; you are to leave them for the needy and the alien. I am the LORD your God.” Leviticus 23:22
“When you have finished paying all the tithe of your increase in the third year, the year of tithing, then you shall give it to the Levite, to the stranger, to the orphan and to the widow, that they may eat in your towns and be satisfied. You shall say before the LORD your God, ‘I have removed the sacred portion from my house, and also have given it to the Levite and the alien, the orphan and the widow, according to all Your commandments which You have commanded me; I have not transgressed or forgotten any of Your commandments.'” Deuteronomy 26:12-13
Wait, so we’re supposed to love them like OURSELVES? And Sustain Them?? And share the income from our business with them to be sure they are fed? Oh my. How are you doing friend? I don’t care what political party you affiliate with, people living in the US need to improve their treatment of those we have invited to shelter among us. Maybe all this hullabaloo over travel will prove beneficial, if all of us learn to be more compassionate and become intentional about sharing our excess with refugees. (I’m guessing you’d like more than one plate, fork, and seat per person in your home, which is what New Americans arrive to find.)
Love the refugees who are already here. Today they are terrified. Afraid because of irresponsible media reports, but also afraid because they don’t know what this new president that everyone seems to hate for one reason or another will really prove capable of doing that will have a direct impact on them. Remember, they have come from traumatic situations which often included corrupt government. That is not what Trump is, but with all the craze right now, they don’t know that! Be responsible and avoid rhetoric!
Befriend refugees in your community. Set their minds at ease as much as possible. Encourage them that it’s going to be OK. Help them learn to find employment. Help them learn English. Teach them how to ride the bus. Help them shop for a car. When you see a need, try to fill it if you are able. Be a friend.
“And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love; but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13