On Monday, President Donald Trump tweeted, “Numerous states introducing Bible Literacy classes, giving students the option of studying the Bible. Starting to make a turn back? Great!”
The president might want to be careful what he hopes for, because when it comes to dealing with foreigners, the vulnerable and the poor, the Bible has a lot to say that these students might take seriously. Come to think of it, maybe Trump should take a Bible literacy course and take what he learns to heart.
Mr. President, here are just a few passages that these students will read.
Leviticus 19:33-34 Common English Bible (CEB)
(33) When immigrants live in your land with you, you must not cheat them. (34) Any immigrant who lives with you must be treated as if they were one of your citizens. You must love them as yourself, because you were immigrants in the land of Egypt; I am the LORD your God.
Deuteronomy 10:18-19 (CEB)
(18) He enacts justice for orphans and widows, and he loves immigrants, giving them food and clothing. (19) That means you must also love immigrants because you were immigrants in Egypt.
Ezekiel 16:49 (CEB)
(49) This is the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were proud, had plenty to eat, and enjoyed peace and prosperity; but she didn’t help the poor and the needy.
Exodus 23:9 (CEB)
(9) Don’t oppress an immigrant. You know what it’s like to be an immigrant, because you were immigrants in the land of Egypt.
Malachi 3:5 (CEB)
(5) I will draw near to you for judgment. I will be quick to testify against the sorcerers, the adulterers, those swearing falsely, against those who cheat the day laborers out of their wages as well as oppress the widow and the orphan, and against those who brush aside the foreigner and do not revere me, says the Lord of heavenly forces.
1 Kings 8:41-42a (CEB)
(41) Listen also to the immigrant who isn’t from your people Israel but who comes from a distant country because of your reputation — (42) because they will hear of your great reputation, your great power, and your outstretched arm. When the immigrant comes and prays toward this temple, (43) then listen from heaven, where you live, and do everything the immigrant asks. Do this so that all the people of the earth may know your reputation and revere you, as your people Israel do, and recognize that this temple I have built bears your name.
Matthew 25:37-38 (CEB)
(37) “Then those who are righteous will reply to him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you a drink? (38) When did we see you as a stranger and welcome you, or naked and give you clothes to wear? (39) When did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ (40) ‘I assure you that when you have done it for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you have done it for me.’”
Galatians 5:14 (CEB)
All the Law has been fulfilled in a single statement: Love your neighbor as yourself.
Roland Hayes, of Shoreview, is a retired pastor.