Through Moses, God established public policy for the fledgling nation of Israel. The Ten Commandments served as its Declaration of Independence and its Constitution, and the rest of the Pentateuch served as the equivalent of its code of law.
Immigration is a topic God touched on frequently in the five books of Moses. We find that immigrants were welcome into ancient Israel – under one condition: assimilation.
This assimilation was entire. The standard was complete, utter and total assimilation. It was cultural assimilation, social assimilation, linguistic assimilation and above all, spiritual or religious assimilation. Immigrants who came from different religious backgrounds could join the nation of Israel under the strict condition that they rejected the worship of the gods of their homelands and adopted Yahweh, the God of Israel, as their God.
When it came to the offering of sacrifices and the worship of the true and living God, “[T]here shall be one statute for you and for the stranger who sojourns with you, a statute forever throughout your generations. You and the sojourner shall be alike before the LORD. One law and one rule shall be for you and for the stranger who sojourns with you” (Numbers 15:15-16).
They were welcome in Israel as long as they entered freely into the worship of Israel’s God. Immigration then, as now, was not a right. It was a privilege that was granted only under certain specific conditions.
Another way to put it is that when God established immigration guidelines for the nation He formed, there was no room for multiculturalism. All religions, all cultures, all moral standards, all traditions and all sexual lifestyles were not in fact morally equivalent. One set of religious principles and moral standards was superior to all the others, and anyone who wanted to benefit from the bounty of Israel was expected to accept and embrace those principles and those standards.
Immigrants were expected to adapt to the cultural mores of Israel. The Israelites were not expected to adapt to the cultural mores of immigrants.
If immigrants found Israel’s standards and culture unwelcome, they were free to return to their own homelands, and, in fact, were encouraged to do so. But they were not allowed to insist that the Israelites reject everything that was important to them so that strangers wouldn’t be offended.
If we did immigration God’s way, there would be certain marked implications. Those who come to our shores would be expected to adopt our religious values and traditions (Christianity) and leave behind the religion and god (Islam and Allah) of their homeland.
They would be expected to adopt our moral values (the Ten Commandments) and not cling to conflicting moral values of their native land, including Sharia law. We would have one God, one law, one culture and one language.
And we would have one flag. T-shirts with American flags on them could be freely worn on school campuses even on Cinco De Mayo, and no one would be expected to pull his American flag off his balcony for fear of giving offense.
Every immigrant would bring with him the heart and soul of Ruth: “Your people shall be my people, and your God my God” (Ruth 1:16).
We would be “one nation, under God, indivisible.”
That’s actually not a bad idea. Maybe we should try it sometime.
(Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Family Association or American Family Radio.)