Leviticus 19:9-10 establishes the practice of reaping for the benefit of the poor and foreigner among the Israelites.
‘When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the foreigner. I am the Lord your God.”
The importance of this was so that provision for those unable to have the opportunity for employment could have a method to have food to provide themselves and their family with. One of the most well known stories in the Bible of a gleaner is the story of Ruth. Ruth comes from the land of Moab after she, her mother and sister-in-law are widowed. Then Ruth goes to Israel, back to Bethlehem, because she made a promise to live with her mother-in-law and to worship the God of Israel. This immigration to foreign Israel brings Ruth providentially to the field of Boaz to glean. Boaz gives Ruth favor, for he is her relative, a kinsman-redeemer for the family of Elimelek (Ruth’s father-in-law). Ruth basically has a middle of the night marriage proposal to Boaz to do his part in being her kinsman-redeemer and he says yes. He sees to it by doing his duties to inform the relatives and town elders of his intention. From the marriage of Ruth and Boaz comes Obed, the grandfather of King David. God’s sovereignty prevails and brings about the line of Jesus.
In this story we must ask ourselves about the ideas of immigration reform: “Could the people who immigrate into our nation belong to God’s plan to birth generations of leaders who could have a positive impact on our country and the world?” What if those people became Christians and their sons and daughters dreamed dreams and prophesied over visions in order to bring a revival to our country that we haven’t yet seen? I believe that these people coming to our country, especially those given dignity and grace to by Christians could help us in working towards an American dream that is different than what we currently depict as the good life. I am hoping that they will be a part of our democratic system and call some of the areas of government dealing with foreigners and immigrants to change in significant ways.