In this talk we go back to George’s book, In the Shadow of Plenty, to discuss more about how to serve the poor in a land that has so much bounty.
To do that, we go back to ancient Israel and discuss their basic societal structure. There, we find that the nation had practices in place which…
- Were designed for people to take care of their own first (i.e., gleaning, etc.).
- Expanded these same ideals to sojourners.
- Did so freely, based on the idea that Israel was once a nation of sojourners, so they know what it was like to wander (see Genesis 15:13, Exodus 22:21, Deuteronomy 10:19, 23:7).
- Because of this, sojourners were all to be treated with full benefits- AND seen as equal under the Law (Leviticus 24:22).
- Charity networks would help them (Leviticus 19:10, 23:22, Deuteronomy 24:19-21).
- Repentance in Israel often involved money and resources (John the Baptist- in Luke 3- suggestions every repentance action has to do with resources, Jesus and the rich young ruler, Zacheaus, and others).
Here’s an important distinction from the book, though: “The privileges of the covenant are available to everyone who submits, to the household of God first, but then also to the sojourner…” (p97). That is, people had to submit to those guidelines…
Ancient Israel wasn’t a buffet. Rather, it was a community in which people were invited to participate.
That means we see a lot of examples in the Scripture of people who were grafted in…
- The Gibeonites joined and are later avenged when they were wronged.
- Rahab was pulled into the line of Christ (even though she initially lives outside the camp, as people aren’t sure what to do with her).
- Ruth was pulled into the line of Christ, even though she was also a foreigner.
At the end of the talk we get practical and ask the question, “What about the border wall and immigration? What does the Bible say about this?”
Turns out, the wall is the wrong question…
We all agree on two things…
#1- NOT EVERYONE who wants to come into America should be allowed to. People who want to cause harm should be kept out.
#2- NOT ANYONE should come in illegally.
That said, the system is broken…
There needs to be a clear path for people TO come in…
A wall won’t fix the system, right?
Wall or no wall, maybe there’s something bigger and deeper we need to address.
Links mentioned in this talk-
In the Shadow of Plenty book- https://amzn.to/2VhEMzz
An Experiment in Liberty book on Amazon- https://amzn.to/2LfyJXL
Get the book free on the StandFast website through January 31, 2019- https://www.georgegrant.net/EILFree