The Bible Is Relevant for Today
The Bible is more than just the 10 Commandments and Noah’s ark. It talks to us today.
My position: if God is really who He says He is, the source of truth (John 14:6) then His truth would have to apply to all areas of life. And if He couldn’t guide us in all areas, what good would God be?
Is world population out of control? Isn’t it a serious crisis to be addressed now? No, for God is in control of this matter. People have been saying for centuries there are too many people. Tertullian was a second century philosopher in Africa. He said, when the world population may have been 190 million: “What most frequently meets our view (and occasions complaint) is our teeming population. Our numbers are burdensome to the world, which can hardly support us…”
Increases in food production, improvements in medicine, decreases in energy costs, advances in transportation and communication, and more have let us survive and even live longer and better. True, some starve due to man’s sin such as wars and poor governing but progress is not impossible. Past predictions of global catastrophe for more than 2,000 years still haven’t come to pass.
God told Adam and Eve to multiply or have more children. Cultures and their progress depend on having more children. The Bible says a lack of people is the death of a culture. Prov. 14:28 – “In a multitude of people is a king’s glory, but in the dearth of people is a prince’s ruin.”
From answersingenesis.org, 2011: “After the Flood, Genesis 9:1 and Genesis 9:8 reaffirm that man was to reproduce and multiply and fill the earth as well. The basis for overpopulation comes from uniformitarianism (things happening in the past at the same rates as today) and projecting current growth rates into the future. Uniformitarianism has failed in the fields of geology and radiometric dating while looking at the past. So, why trust the results of uniformitarianism here?
We can be sure that God knew humanity would sin. To deny this would be to deny that God knows the future, even though He declared that He tells the end from the beginning ( Isaiah 46:10).”
To sum up, while there are man made problems of overcrowding and harmful political policies, we have enough resources for today and the future. God knows how much of everything we will need. “Overpopulation” is more a stewardship issue than a scarcity issue.
While limited, the Bible’s commands about immigrants were clear. First, there was to be no setting immigrants (or as the Bible calls them, strangers or sojourners) apart from society. Everyone had to follow the same laws. Numbers 15:16 – “There is to be one law and one ordinance for you and for the alien who sojourns with you.” Same in 9:14. Old Testament law required aliens to also worship God in the same way as the Jews as we see in Exodus 12:49.
There was no welfare in Bible times. But Old Testament law required farmers and vineyard owners to leave a little left behind of the harvest so widows, orphans, and aliens could get that to live on. So they still worked for their food. You see that in Lev. 19:9, 10; “Now when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very corners of your field, nor shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest… you shall leave them for the needy and for the stranger. … “ Same in Ruth 2:2,3 and other passages.
Aliens got the same legal protection under the law as the Jews. They were not to be treated cruelly.
There was nothing to help them assimilate into the Jewish culture such as public schools, citizenship classes, nothing. If they wanted to get a start in the new land of Israel they had to learn the language if needed and live like the Jews.
Aliens were in effect required to become Jews. You don’t see people legally bringing other religions to Israel. God saw that as not honoring Him who gave Israel to the Jews and as the beginning of idolatry, which He took, and still takes, very seriously. Deut. 16:16 said all the men, wherever they were in Israel, had to attend three big feasts every year:
“Three times in a year all your males shall appear before the LORD your God in the place which He chooses, at the Feast of Unleavened Bread and at the Feast of Weeks and at the Feast of Booths, and they shall not appear before the LORD empty-handed.
Everyone was also required to keep the Sabbath. That means no one could work on Sundays. Everybody rested. Exodus 20:10.
They could not become king: Deut. 17:15 – “… you shall surely set a king over you whom the Lord your God chooses, one from among your countrymen you shall set as king over yourselves; you may not put a foreigner over yourselves who is not your countryman.”
Foreigners could become permanent slaves: Lev. 25:44. But Hebrew slaves were freed every seven years.
To sum up: 1. they assimilated into society by their own efforts, 2. they followed the same religion, 3. they got equal protection under the law but no welfare, but then there was no welfare for anyone. Thus Israel was a pretty homogenous, united society. They were not all the same race but they followed the same values, laws, and religion. As a foreigner, outsider, or alien, it wasn’t a matter so much of your legal status but as to whether you were going to become an obedient Jew.