Few issues have so polarized America recently as the idea of building a border wall to keep illegal immigrants from entering our Nation. All you have to do today is just raise the issue of illegal immigration and building a border wall and you have created a firestorm. We saw that drama come to a head this past Tuesday as President Trump gave his "State of the Union" speech, outlining his plan to build a wall to help stop illegal immigration. And while a strong majority supported the plan, others have resorted to soaring rhetoric that condemns all such walls as a reflection of white privilege, racism and mean-spirited politics that are not reflective of America's greatness for all people. For some, the building of such a wall is something that even God Almighty would not do, so how could we think of it? After all, many people strongly believe that God would only unite people and never divide them with walls or unfair laws.
At the heart of this great battle and debate is the idea that our common humanity with others overrules any immigration laws. As a result, increasing numbers of people are beginning to call for "open borders" where people are seen as citizens of the world, not any particular nation. This growing belief has even led to the formation and growth of what are called "Sanctuary Cities" that see themselves being raised up to protect vulnerable immigrants from laws and regulations that are unfair and ignore the needs of our fellow human beings. This sanctuary movement has recently grown to the place where the State of California has now become a "sanctuary state," the first in America's history. Right now, this showdown between our laws and the politics over immigration policy is perhaps one of the greatest dangers to our Nation as a whole, since its outcome will dramatically shape America one way or another for the future.
Now the amazing thing about the Lord is that all of the issues being fought over today have been clearly dealt with in the Bible long ago, from the beginning. You see the idea of a border wall keeping people out was started in the Garden of Eden and the wall to do it was created by God Himself. When Adam and Eve sinned and broke the Lord's laws they were driven out of the Garden. To keep them out, the Lord put up a barrier with border guards to make it secure. In Genesis 3:24 the Bible says,
After the Lord drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.
The reason the Lord put up a wall in the first place was to recognize the importance of His laws. Humanity cannot live without laws. Once people decide to live without laws, or only the ones they choose to obey, any society will begin to decline. That is true anywhere, whether on Earth or in Heaven. Every problem in our world today is a result of some sort of lawlessness. The Bible teaches that deep down, all of us are sinners and we want to do things our way. As fallen human beings we tend to be a law unto ourselves and we resist most outside laws whether from God or man.
Now this law-breaking spirit, which is in all of us, came back after the Garden and we see it reappear in Genesis 11. Instead of accepting the Lord's laws and plans, the human race now wanted all of God's laws and boundaries removed so they could create a new humanity and world we call the "Tower of Babel". That exact same spirit is at work today with people pushing for "open borders".....a new "Tower of Babel". The problem, however, with this new world is that it always sets itself up against God. In Genesis 11:4 we see that rebellion growing when the people said,
Then they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth."
To slow this lawless spirit, the Lord came down from Heaven and scattered the peoples over the earth and used their diverse languages, cultures and borders as a check on their resistance to the Lord's laws, purposes and plans for the world (Genesis 11:5-9). The Lord's plan had been lovingly designed from the beginning to protect humanity from the sin and lawlessness that is in every heart and every nation. Without God's laws of love to protect people, every society will end up moving toward some sort of lawlessness and anarchy. Without laws, borders, police, hospitals and schools in place to protect people, every society will eventually experience some sort of chaos sooner or later. This exact pattern is already underway in nations like Sweden, Germany, France, England, America and Canada to name but a few, where out of control immigration is threatening the fabric of their societies.
The important thing to understand about the immigration battles going on today is that these issues are spiritual in nature, not just political. Everyone in this world, not just illegal immigrants, are looking for a better life. We all are looking for a place where we can create or find our little slice of Heaven on earth. For some, America is that Heaven on earth. The problem we all face, however, is that we have broken laws, God's laws--the laws of Heaven. We all want amnesty, but that would ignore our sins and Heaven is a place where ALL laws must be honored, or else God isn't God and Heaven isn't Heaven. Outside of a miracle of grace; we will never have the right to legally live in God's Heaven. Without the Lord's amazing grace, all we could ever be is people trying to game the system like corrupt politicians. We would never be sure when we might face justice one day and be deported to a location farther south than we might think.
You see the Lord's ultimate goal from the beginning was to make a way for undeserving law breakers to come back to Him. The Lord Himself designed a glorious way to pay the penalty for the laws we have broken, because we didn't have anything to pay Him. The Lord wanted people to find His Gospel of forgiveness in the Lord Jesus Christ's death on the Cross as the solution for breaking all of His laws. The Lord wanted to open a legal door through the wall of His justice to find our way back home with Him. That is why our Lord Jesus refers to Himself as "The Door" in the wall of His justice in John 10:9. Our Lord's atoning death upholds God's laws by paying the penalty for the breaking of these very laws. That Good News allows the wall to stay up, but at the same time justly allows us to enter fellowhip with the Lord in Heaven.
For most people today, the spiritual and Biblical meaning behind illegal immigration may never be understood. The issues regarding the need to uphold America's immigration laws may not be seen as important. That said, whatever nation a person ends up living in will not determine where they will be spending eternity. Long after the politics of immigration are over, the Lord and His eternal laws stand as a symbol of His love, holiness and justice for the world. And without a Savior we can never return to Heaven legally. What a blessing to know that our Lord has provided such a wonderful salvation in the Lord Jesus for all who call on Him. And IF our political leaders talked more about that wonderful Lord and began to really believe the national motto of "In God We Trust" that stood over President Trump's podium in our Capital, this entire debate would already be over. May it be so to the glory of God.