Destination For Invasion - Part I
Fact: The Bible holds the solution and answer to every problem.
NOTICE, I WROTE THAT the Word of God holds both the solution and the answer. Why is this detail significant? The solution is how to properly arrive at the answer that satisfies - not just pacifies - the problem! What’s more, we as believers are part of the solution! Have you ever heard a fellow Christian say, “All we can do is ‘just’ pray,” as if they are throwing up spiritual hands in defeat? The Apostle Paul, with piercing words, reminded the Corinthians that “the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds” (II Cor. 10:4). In other words, the greatest weapon of defense any nation has against the deluge of outside forces is the prayer of God’s righteous.
The political, moral, economic, etc. issues that confront our nation cannot be scrutinized with philosophical debate and rhetoric. I find one looming conundrum that affects all aforementioned aspects: the border crisis. There is endless verbosity by plenty of commentators going around the airwaves, spewing enough sewage to make everything noxious to discerning nostrils. The Hegelian-style tactic of creating a catastrophe so that a desired end may be brought forth is greatly evident. Simply notice how one side claiming, “We should protect our borders” is pitted against the other side shouting, “This is a humanitarian issue.” Illegal immigration is both!
STRANGER AND SOJOURNER
Perhaps one of the greatest examples in history of immigration is the constant traveling of the Hebrews. Beginning with Abraham, the Lord plainly prophesied, “Your seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them” (Gen. 15:13). Centuries later, the Hebrew people would become not just transient visitors, but oppressed slaves in Egypt. The stay of the Hebrews in Egypt was designated by God to be temporary, not permanent. Jehovah considered the Hebrews to be strangers in the land of Pharaoh. The great exodus of the Hebrews saw an interesting turn of events, as now the scene changed from Hebrews in the land of Egypt to Egyptians in the camp of the Hebrews! When the Law was given to Moses on Mount Sinai, God reminded Israel how they were to treat the strangers among them: “You shall neither vex a stranger nor oppress him: for you were strangers in the land of Egypt” (Ex. 22:21).
The attitude and responsibilities of the stranger were also addressed by the Lord: “You shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger, as for one of your own country: for I am the LORD your God” (Lev. 24:22).
In short, the word to the Egyptian “strangers” was: Live under the righteous laws of God along with the Israelites. God’s civil laws were incumbent upon all who lodged with Israel. The stranger was to refrain from work on the Sabbath just as the Israelites were commanded to do (Exodus 20:10). The stranger could also willfully adopt the Hebrew faith by being circumcised and abiding by all the laws. Should a stranger not embrace the faith of the Hebrews, they were still permitted to remain with the children of Israel but could not publicly worship any other gods. The result of disobeying the moral and civil structure of Israel was to face destruction: “He who sacrifices unto any god, save unto the LORD only, he shall be utterly destroyed” (Exodus 22:20).
The civil portion of the law would govern society and bring civil restitution for wrongdoing. The moral law demonstrated the standard of righteousness demanded by God. However, due to the sinful heart of Hebrew and stranger alike, the sacrificial system provided a means of atonement, which enabled the presence of God to abide with the camp of Israel. How beautifully are God’s righteousness and love both displayed in the law and the sacrifice!
“For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Romans 8:3-4).
America is no different today than Israel of yesterday. Our civil laws are built upon the Word of God. The moral direction of this nation has always been In God We Trust. The preachers anew should be proclaiming as the prophets of old, “Look to the sacrifice!” America has nothing to offer the world but a Saviour who can give them eternal life, liberty from sin, and the pursuit of happiness beyond this mortal coil! The answer for the United States is Jesus Christ and Him crucified. The answer for every “stranger” in America is not looking unto Washington or Wall Street, politicians or preachers, but unto Jesus.
WHERE THERE IS LIBERTY
In 1883, Emma Lazarus authored a poem entitled “The New Colossus,” which speaks volumes of America and her welcome of immigration to all:
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
The promise of liberty resonated each time the Liberty Bell rang. Inscribed on the bell is Leviticus 25:10: “Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.”
The liberty promised in Leviticus 25:10 speaks of the Year of Jubilee. This was a time when all debts were forgiven, slaves were set free, and property was restored to its original owner. When that Liberty Bell resounded, America was no longer under the heavy hand of the British because we declared our independence and paid for it in blood. Our founders believed in Jesus Christ, the one who created all men equal and endowed us with our inalienable rights. When the sinner comes to Jesus Christ, regardless of color, culture, or creed, he is set at liberty; the debts and demands of the law are no longer attributable to him! That is the reason for Jubilee!
In closing, I present to you several questions that, if pondered, will help prepare the minds and hearts of saints for instruction on what ought to be our cry unto God. Please consider the following: How do we view the illegal immigrants coming to America today? Should Americans welcome unlimited numbers into the United States? Should America keep her borders secure? Just who is coming to America? Should there be a clear way to citizenship? What language should we all speak? What does culture have to do with it? What is the biblical answer for the border crisis? Next month we will address these questions and many others as we examine God’s Word for the answers.