If one of your fellow Israelites falls into poverty and cannot support himself, support him as you would a foreigner or a temporary resident and allow him to live with you. (Leviticus 25:35)
Relate: This isn’t the article I read early last week, but I couldn’t find that one and this one carries the same sentiments so, here you go:
The United States will accept 10,000 Syrian refugees, which means that we will provide all the essentials of life for these individuals regardless of cost. With an $18+ trillion deficit (and growing) and our own homeless due to natural disasters and other reasons, we cannot take on more burden than we are already handling. The United States doesn’t take care for its own and President Obama wants us to not only continue to accept illegals from south of the border and now more of the needy from Syria. Enough is enough, let us take a breath and fix what is fixable here, now. We can respond to the others in due time.
Besides the obvious truth that this opinion is little more than a steaming pile of bovine feces, it is playing one of the most common cards I hear people using to justify their racism and ethnocentrism while ignoring the huge need of the global poor. That argument is basically, “We have our own homeless, lets take care of them first and then we can tackle other needs.”
This argument might have some legitimacy if it were not for the fact that the ones most often using it are at the same time doing their best to cut the budgets and programs that are actually trying to do something. You might say that they are being obedient to Leviticus 25:35. They are treating the local poor the same way they treat the foreign poor, but somehow I don’t think God through Moses had ignoring, impeding, and ostracizing in mind when He gave this command.
React: As much as I love to occasionally bring politics into the issue, let us make it personal. Besides writing and ranting (which don’t really count), what have I done for the poor in my community. How have I intentionally interceded for those, both local and international, who live on my block or in my city? If I can easily say, “nothing because I don’t see/know any” then that raises even deeper concerns. Have I created a wall of comfort and ignorance through my lifestyle that blocks me off from God’s mission field?
The very next verse in Leviticus in a modern day context would say, “Don’t exploit them but include them and invite them to live among you.” When was the last time I shared a meal with a homeless person or family? When was the last time I had an international family come visit? God forgive us for living in our affluent communities and driving our comfortable cars to our secure jobs while seldom giving a thought to the marginalized except how those “lazy good for nothings” are taking more and more of my taxes.
I am sorry for the way I have failed to be obedient to You through my neglect of the poor both local and foreign. I am sorry that I have done so little with what You have blessed me with to bless them in turn. I am sorry most of all in that I have failed to even recognize my apathy in this matter as sin. I pray that You would help me, and my community, and my country to realign our priorities in caring for the poor, both local and foreign, to match Your Biblical mandate.