Part 2: Appropriate Biblical Responses to Refugees
After considering the scope of Old Testament law protections applied to foreigners, some principles can be gathered which may have application to the church’s current response to refugees. There is evidence that refugees should not be mistreated or oppressed (Exod. 22:21, Lev. 19:33), there should be fair administration of justice to refugees (Deut. 1:16-17, 24:17), refugees should be included under the protection of employment regulations including the timely payment of wages (Deut. 5:14, 24:14-15), and they should be integrated into the life of the community which includes social welfare protection (Exod. 12:48-49, Lev. 16:29, 19:9-10, Deut. 14:28-29, 24:19-22, 26:12-13, 29:10-11, 31:12).
There are three sources of motivation for Old
Testament Israel’s implementation of these laws in protection of
foreigners. These motivations continue
to extend to the modern church as they apply these biblical principles of
compassion and justice for refugees.
First, Israel was motivated by their own experience as a foreign
immigrant community and the desire that others not experience the same
exploitation they suffered in Egypt.
Many in the church today may not share a previous experience that helps
them identify with refugees, but it is important to remember that a similar
experience is always a potential future scenario no matter how secure the
present feels. A second motivation for
refugee care is rooted in the unchanging character of God himself. Loving concern for foreigners was a priority
for God during the time of ancient Israel so it must be assumed that he still
holds this value. Third is the desire
for blessing among God’s people: “this will happen if they respond to his prior
grace and redemptive blessing by showing comparable compassion and justice to
the poor in their own midst”.
 George and Adeney, Refugee Diaspora, Location 2778.
 George and Adeney, Refugee Diaspora, Location 2830.