Refugees Essay

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What Does the Bible Say About Refugees and Immigrants? ] God’s People are Sojourners The Bible is a story of God's intimate involvement with people as they live out their history. It is a story of movement and change as people and nations grow, mix, and take on various characteristics. It is a story of constantly renewed hopes for a better future. Yet, it is a story of God intervening and sending people out in new directions when life begins to look too settled, too full of routine, too full of pleasures, or too weighed down by sin. Hebrews 11 reviews the changes in direction experienced by the Hebrew people and affirms the people of God as "strangers and exiles on earth." It started with Adam and Eve as they were sent from the Garden to wander, to start again in a new place. Noah and his family were also called, like Adam and Eve, to leave sin behind and begin society in new ways and in a new place. Some of the descendants of Noah built cities; and it was in the city of Ur that Abraham was born, yet God sent Abraham and Sarah out to occupy new land. The story of the people of Israel is a story of wanderings and sojourns in many places. When Joseph was sold into Egypt, he learned to adjust to a new culture. When there was famine in the land, Jacob and his sons and their families (exiles and sojourners) went to Egypt. When their descendants had been turned into slaves in Egypt, God called Moses to lead the Israelite people out of this oppression into a new period of wandering. Moses himself had been raised in a foreign family. As the people wandered in the wilderness after crossing the Red Sea, their task was to once again try to set up a society that would insure the reign of the justice of God on earth. In each of these periods, as the structures of society were put in place, or as prophets spoke about God's will for society, a recurrent theme was concern for the

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