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Property Rights

Daily Reading: Deuteronomy 18-19

Scripture Focus: You shall not move your neighbor's landmark, which the men of old have set... in the land that the Lord your God is giving you to possess. (Deuteronomy 19.14)

Devotional Thought: I'm sorry, but I had to laugh several weeks ago when I read the following headline: "Dreamers Threaten to Leave the U.S. if DACA Is Not Preserved." Um... Isn't that what they would do anyway?

The conversation around this issue is a shame, actually. But, what is right when it comes to immigration, to refugees, to undocumented aliens? There are no easy answers.

As Christians, we must respond with compassion to the alien and exile, but we also recognize the need to protect the safety and property of U.S citizens. God showed that he was a proponent of immigration when he delivered the children of Israel out of Egypt and placed them in the Promised Land. But, he also showed the importance of having boundaries and borders. God was very careful about preserving property rights: "You shall not move your neighbor's landmark..."

God defined the borders of Israel. God carefully outlined how property was to be preserved in families and 'states' (tribes). Borders were to be recognized and preserved. In the New Testament, people kept property ownership and sold their lands as they saw fit to voluntarily help their brothers and sisters in the church. That doesn't sound like a borderless society to me.

But, God also instructs us to receive and protect the alien among us, giving them opportunity to become a part of the culture of freedom and safety. These vulnerable souls are not political pawns, but people made in the image of God. How can you use your property to give them opportunity?

Prayer: Lord, thank you for giving us a free and prosperous nation. Help us to preserve and protect it while opening its blessings up to others. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: Psalm 22.20-24

20 Deliver my soul from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dog! 21 Save me from the mouth of the lion! You have rescued me from the horns of the wild oxen!

22 I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will praise you: 23 You who fear the Lord, praise him! All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him, and stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel! 24 For he has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted, and he has not hidden his face from him, but has heard, when he cried to him.

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