You Can't Believe In God And Turn Away The Refugee And The Poor

Or, you can, but God won’t be very happy about it.
01/31/2017 11:42 pm ET Updated Feb 01, 2017
Photo by Michaela Morton

In fact, this God sounds like nothing makes him angrier than when the refugee and the poor are oppressed and ignored. Twenty-two verses here command us to take care of them. Notice there is nothing about vetting, making sure they earned it, or disparaging them for being in need. Notice these are commands, not suggestions, and most come from the Old Testament. God even states that we must share resources. How is it these verses always get left out?

Exodus 22:21 ― You shall not wrong or oppress a resident alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.

Exodus 23:9 ― You shall not oppress a resident alien; you know the heart of an alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.

Leviticus 19:10 ― You shall not strip your vineyard bare, or gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the alien: I am the Lord your God.

Leviticus 23:22 ― When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very edges of your field, or gather the gleanings of your harvest; you shall leave them for the poor and for the alien: I am the Lord your God.

Deuteronomy 24:19 ― When you reap your harvest in your field and forget a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be left for the alien, the orphan, and the widow, so that the Lord your God may bless you in all your undertakings.

Deuteronomy 24:20 ― When you beat your olive trees, do not strip what is left; it shall be for the alien, the orphan, and the widow.

Deuteronomy 24:21 ― When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, do not glean what is left; it shall be for the alien, the orphan, and the widow.

Deuteronomy 15:11 ― Since there will never cease to be some in need on the earth, I therefore command you, “Open your hand to the poor and needy neighbor in your land.”

Deuteronomy 10:17-19 ― For the Lord your God … executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and who loves the strangers, providing them food and clothing. You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.

Deuteronomy 15:7 ― If there is among you anyone in need, a member of your community in any of your towns within the land that the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hard-hearted or tight-fisted toward your needy neighbor.

Deuteronomy 26:12 ― When you have finished paying all the tithe of your produce in the third year (which is the year of the tithe), giving it to the Levites, the aliens, the orphans, and the widows, so that they may eat their fill within your towns

Deuteronomy 24:14 ― You shall not withhold the wages of poor and needy laborers, whether other Israelites or aliens who reside in your land in one of your towns. 15: You shall pay them their wages daily before sunset, because they are poor and their livelihood depends on them; otherwise they might cry to the Lord against you, and you would incur guilt.

Deuteronomy 24:17 ― You shall not deprive a resident alien or an orphan of justice; you shall not take a widow’s garment in pledge

Ezekiel 22:29 ― The people of the land have practiced extortion and committed robbery; they have oppressed the poor and needy, and have extorted from the alien without redress.

Ezekiel 16:49 ―This was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy.

Zechariah 7:10 ― Do not oppress the widow, the orphan, the alien, or the poor; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another.

Jeremiah 22:3 ― Thus says the Lord: Act with justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor anyone who has been robbed. And do no wrong or violence to the alien, the orphan, and the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place.

Amos 5:11 ― Therefore because you trample on the poor and take from them levies of grain, you have built houses of hewn stone, but you shall not live in them; you have planted pleasant vineyards, but you shall not drink their wine.

Amos 8:4-7 ― Hear this, you that trample on the needy, and bring to ruin the poor of the land ...The Lord has sworn by the pride of Jacob: Surely I will never forget any of their deeds.

Psalm 37:14 ― The wicked draw the sword and bend their bows to bring down the poor and needy, to kill those who walk uprightly

Malachi 3:5 ― Then I will draw near to you for judgment; I will be swift to bear witness against ... those who oppress the hired workers in their wages, the widow and the orphan, against those who thrust aside the alien, and do not fear me, says the Lord of hosts.

James 2:6 ― But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who oppress you? Is it not they who drag you into court?

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