We must be able to wrap our hands around the topic of immigration both naturally and from a Biblical perspective. My Learning Center periodical "Immigration Reform" addresses the national and geo-political aspects of immigration while in this summary, immigration is addressed and understood from a Biblical perspective. One of the fundamental benefits of the Christian Bible although many times hard to understand due to translations derived from 'old english' terminology is the Bible contains all the answers to life's challenges if only we took the time to research.
Acts 17:26 records "From one man ( Adam) He (God) made every nation of humanity to live all over the earth, fixing the seasons of the year and the national boundaries within which they live." International Standard Version
" From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. " New International Version
Saint Paul challenged the polytheistic doctrine of the ancient Athenians and in so doing explained who the unknown God of the Athenians is, the one true God. Paul begins to reason with the Athenians, engaging Christian apologetics and states it is God who fixes borders just as He has permanently marked out man's appointed times in history, decided beforehand when they should rise and fall, determined their span of life, fixed seasons of nature, installed a line that marks the limits of an area or borders, determined their boundaries that man should inhabit or live and fixed the limits of the places where they would live. You see tampering with borders or violating their sovereignty is an act against God Himself and His Kingdom. God Himself carved out, planned and designed each sovereign state consisting of borders, a government, laws and full recognition by other sovereign states.
Discontent among constituents is inevitable when God ascribed borders are forcefully changed by forcefully taking new territory or by coercion giving up territory to achieve peace without God's consent. There has to be a reverence for God as with everything else when we address borders.
Deuteronomy 32:8 records " When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance, when he divided all mankind, he set up boundaries for the peoples according to the number of the sons of Israel."
God carefully plans and orchestrates our national citizenship, the country of our birth, thus immigration should be something that is prayerfully considered.
Changing states as a place of residence falls into the same category and should be prayerfully considered because of the physical boundaries and governing domain set for each state. God intends for all of us to respect physical boundaries which reminds leaders not to manipulate boundaries or to gerrymander to achieve electoral outcomes. God must be considered and respected regarding borders set in place. God should be considered even when moving from town to town and be considered before any move.
Respecting boundaries and domains is a part of God's kingdom and His way of doing things. Consulting with God through prayer is a primary aspect of God's kingdom indicated in Proverbs 3:6 that records In all thy ways acknowledge him, and He shall direct thy paths. Let God direct us if indeed we should move across any border into another domain such as a sovereign country, state or township. If we don't remember anything else about Godly immigration we must remember this, to immigrate we must obtain lawfull permission to immigrate before we immigrate. Without any doubt, most definitely God desires that persons change domains or immigrate, and this immigration is done in peace, with joy and consistent with existing law.
It is God's will to be the Director who leads a person to immigrate and in so doing change domains in a spirit of peace and joy. This is the way to immigrate, to be lead by God to immigrate. Although very tricky to ascertain, God uses national crisis, social hostilities engaged by individuals, groups and organizations and government restrictions that ban religious activity with regards to particular faiths as an impetus to immigrate. Sometimes God uses pressure to cause people to immigrate. But there are many who abuse the system which causes unrest and social agitation within societies. There can never be true peace, even for the next generations from immigrants when immigration is affected by force rather than by peace which comes from being lead by God. Noteworthy is the following: because God has set all borders, peaceful immigration requires that God Himself authorize your relocation as He did for Abraham, Jacob, Joseph son of Jacob, Moses, Israel, Mary, Joseph and Jesus as Biblical precedents.
Biblical Precedents Regarding Immigration
1. Abraham - God distinctly intructed and directed Him out of Ur of the Chaldees in ancient Mesopotamia to Canaan, with temporary resident status in seventeen municipalities. Each of us has to discover through fellowship with God if a municipality is for us temporary short term, temporary mid range, temporary long term extended residency or a permanent relocation.
2. Joseph - God gave Joseph son of Jacob a dream fortelling his future rulership, arranged and directed the elements for his transfer from his childhood home to the country of Egypt.
3. Jacob - Pharoah invites and approves immigration for Jacob and his entire family.
4. Moses - God distinctly leads and directs the emigration of Israel from Egypt to ' the Promised Land.'
5. Mary Joseph and Jesus - Mary, Joseph and Jesus relocated from their hometown of Nazareth to Bethlehem, then lead by God to temporarily relocate to Egypt for 1-8 years based on the historical reports of Baronius, Athanasius, Epiphanius, documents such as Tatian's Harmony, the History of Joseph and the Gospel of the Infancy. Jesus returned to Nazareth where He grew up, started His ministry until John the Baptist was imprisoned by Herod at which time He relocated from Nazareth to Capernaum. Capernaum became His permanent home and the permanent home for His disciples.
Although hard to accept, God's laws, God's kingdom has ultimate rule over man's laws and over our ways of doing things. Psalm 103:19 records The LORD has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all. So for example when God's ways for immigration are violated, when man's ways of immigration is in conflict with God's ways regarding immigration expect political and social agitation with decisive intervention if all else fails.
God's divine correction begins on a very small scale that is very easy to miss or to associate with the Holy Spirit then ramps up to a crescendo. The sequence that unfolds when God's kingdom begins to work to correct kingdom violations such as forced immigration that transgress His set laws is as follows:
1. There is dissatisfaction and concern expressed by local home owner's association neighborhood watch groups which becomes more and more inflamed. This first stage of correction is designed to awaken offenders of every ethnic group to their transgressions providing opportunity with dignity to make self corrections, to make things right on their own.
2. The next stage follows only if self correction is not effective which is, instead of the unrest fading, the unrest and concerns extend to the township level and human rights groups begin to oppose those concerned.
3. The next stage unfolds when the concern extends to a city Mayoral level and genuine concern is being expressed by large city-wide constituents. Tensions begin to build and there is now local, national and international media coverage making the issue a salient issue.
4. The concern extends to the House of Representatives and to the Senate because of concerns in their districts and the issue is not only local but state-wide involving governors and the Halls of Congress. The issue inflames more and more levels of society instead of dying down.
5. The next step is litigation that extends the quarrel to the judiciary, up the ranks to the supreme court. All the time God providing opportunity for repentance giving leaders at every level the opportunity to fix things so the society may move on.
6. The issue reaches The Executive Office of the President where God gives another opportunity to fix things. If the highest earthly level is not able to fix the problem then the final phase is about to be implemented. God authorized the concept of leadership, both government and private sectors, and of all disciplines and institutions not to fill space but to stand against evil and most importantly to fix all perverted behaviors, installing just behaviors. Leadership has a purpose and leaders are referred to as 'ministers' of God because of the divine link to God's purpose of ending bad behavior and installing good behavior.
God starts working to correct behaviors that violate His laws at the lowest leadership level giving each leadership level an opportunity to change bad behavior. When we have exhausted all levels of leadership then God has to step in before society implodes or destroys itself. Leadership is part of God's divine order to aid in the preservation of a society or institution. If the issue has to be litigated at the Supreme Court and the issue is still in violation of God's law and or court rulings are as such that shock the conscience this is the final straw and trigger point for the final stage. Here is food for thought, if the earthly city and religious leaders of Sodom and the Plain Cities stood against the violations of God's law and made changes God would not have intervened. All God expects is that when behaviors become inconsistent with God's law, a designated secular or religious leader realize their purpose and fix the problem.
7. Divine intervention, where God Himself begins to correct the problem decisively in a manner that is uniquely outside of man's control, with a series of OMG moments, Oh My God moments because with every phase, with every escalation we didn't get it, we didn't repent making the correction, changing our ways. Can you ascertain where your country is regarding immigration or any salient issue? At what phase are we regarding immigration?