God’s Heart for Asylum Seekers

Our heart to love and serve asylum seekers was directly formed by our understanding of Scripture: “We love because he first loved us.” – 1 John 4:19 

Taking a step back from the logistics of how DASH works and the legality of the asylum process, let us consider together how we might frame this issue within a biblical worldview.

Below, you will find a series of scriptures that reveal God’s heart for asylum seekers. As you read each verse, consider who God was talking to in all of these verses. The government? The UN? Only the rich? No.

He is talking to His people: He is talking to His Church!

We have a responsibility to promote biblical justice for the persecuted. We understand biblical justice to be more than just not doing harm; it also includes the idea of mishpat, which calls those who have more rights and resources to lend a helping hand to those who have fallen into difficult circumstances. The biblical idea of justice calls us to share our resources–time, connections, money, etc–with the poor and vulnerable. 

There is a need for a nationwide movement to begin.

God is calling the American Church to take a stand with the stranger, with the vulnerable, with the oppressed, with the very ones our God commands us to love and serve. 

The Scriptures 

Deuteronomy 27:19

19 “Cursed is anyone who withholds justice from the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow.” Then all the people shall say, “Amen!”

Exodus 12:49

49 The same law applies both to the native-born and to the foreigner residing among you.”

Exodus 22:21

21 “Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner, for you were foreigners in Egypt.

Exodus 23:9

9 “Do not oppress a foreigner; you yourselves know how it feels to be foreigners, because you were foreigners in Egypt.

Ezekiel 22:7

7 In you they have treated father and mother with contempt; in you they have oppressed the foreigner and mistreated the fatherless and the widow.

Galatians 3:28

28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Deuteronomy 10:18

18 He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing.

Deuteronomy 10:19

19 And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt.

Deuteronomy 24:14

14 Do not take advantage of a hired worker who is poor and needy, whether that worker is a fellow Israelite or a foreigner residing in one of your towns.

Genesis 12:1

1 The LORD had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.

Genesis 12:10

10 Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to live there for a while because the famine was severe.

Hebrews 13:2

2 Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.

James 1:27

27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

Leviticus 23:22

22 “ ‘When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and for the foreigner residing among you. I am the LORD your God.’ ”

Leviticus 24:22

22 You are to have the same law for the foreigner and the native-born. I am the LORD your God.’ ”

Leviticus 25:35

35 “ ‘If any of your fellow Israelites become poor and are unable to support themselves among you, help them as you would a foreigner and stranger, so they can continue to live among you.

Malachi 3:5

5 “So I will come to put you on trial. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive the foreigners among you of justice, but do not fear me,” says the LORD Almighty.

Philippians 3:20

20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,

Psalm 146:9

9 The LORD watches over the foreigner and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.

Leviticus 19:33-34

33 “ ‘When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. 34 The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the LORD your God.

Zechariah 7:9-10

9 “This is what the LORD Almighty said: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. 10 Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor. Do not plot evil against each other.’

Deuteronomy 10:18-19

18 He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. 19 And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt.

Jeremiah 7:5-7

5 If you really change your ways and your actions and deal with each other justly, 6 if you do not oppress the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow and do not shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not follow other gods to your own harm, 7 then I will let you live in this place, in the land I gave your ancestors for ever and ever.

Deuteronomy 24:19-22

19 When you are harvesting in your field and you overlook a sheaf, do not go back to get it. Leave it for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow, so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. 20 When you beat the olives from your trees, do not go over the branches a second time. Leave what remains for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow. 21 When you harvest the grapes in your vineyard, do not go over the vines again. Leave what remains for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow. 22 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt. That is why I command you to do this.

Ezekiel 16:49

 49 “ ‘Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. 50 They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen. 

Proverbs 19:17

17 Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward them for what they have done.

Matthew 22:37-40 

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Galatians 5:14 (CEV)

All that the Law says can be summed up in the command to love others as much as you love yourself. 

Matthew 25:35-36 

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ 41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink,43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ 44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ 45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ 46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

Luke 6:38 

38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

Hebrews 13:16 

Don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God. 

Romans 15:7 

Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. 

Galatians 6:2 

Carry one another’s burdens and in this way you will fulfill the requirements of the law of Christ.

Luk 10:25-37

25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” 27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[a]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b]” 28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” 29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ 36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” 37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

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