Sunday, April 30, 2006

Israel & The US: About Building Walls

In both Israel and the United States, the issue about building walls to protect their borders is very much in the news today. Both countries feel they are being besieged by neighbors who take advantage of “unwalled” borders to in effect destroy their culture and nationality. In Israel, it is the continuing problem of suicide bombers, who routinely enter Israel and blow themselves up along with Israeli citizens as they go about their daily lives. In the US, it is the stream of illegal immigrants and who knows whom else, who stream primarily across the US/Mexican border. Socially, these illegals puts a strain on US social services. Militarily, other illegals whose intents are far more malevolent, may one day attempt to destroy one or more American cities.

As I thought about writing this post, my thoughts focused on the routine character of “fortified” cities described throughout the Bible, therefore reinforcing the position of those in favor of building these walls to protect their countries. The Bible says: The wealth of the rich is their fortified city; they imagine it an unscalable wall. (Proverbs 18:6 NIV) Israel is in fact well on its way in building a wall to separate themselves physically from their Palestinian enemies. Statistics do in fact show a decrease in the number of suicide attacks in areas where the wall has already been erected. As such, Israel would like to accelerate the wall construction in some of the more volatile areas as the following news account indicates:
Israel's Cabinet voted on Sunday to lay temporary fencing around areas
of Jerusalem where the controversial West Bank separation barrier still hasn't
been built, calling it a quick solution to prevent Palestinian suicide bombers
from entering the country. Palestinians said it would make life tougher for
thousands of Palestinians who have crucial ties to the disputed city, and
strengthen Israel's claims to all of Jerusalem. (4/30/06)

Are walls effective at minimizing the breaches of a nation’s borders by those who wish to break the laws of that nation or at worst would like to subvert the security of that nation? The answer is probably a certain “yes”, despite the claims to the contrary by those in opposition to such barriers. The motivation of these wall-opponents are almost always not the security of the nation, instead they really desire changing the social character of that nation to something that is far more universal and inclusive of the “outside” peoples and nations.

However, as I surveyed the numerous biblical scriptures pertaining to walled and fortified cities, a more intriguing message emerged. That being the false security that physical walls present. The Bible communicates the following …The Israelites secretly did things against the LORD their God that were not right. From watchtower to fortified city they built themselves high places in all their towns…They did wicked things that provoked the LORD to anger. They worshiped idols, though the LORD had said, "You shall not do this."… They rejected his decrees and the covenant he had made with their fathers and the warnings he had given them. They followed worthless idols and themselves became worthless…Therefore the LORD rejected all the people of Israel; he afflicted them and gave them into the hands of plunderers, until he thrust them from his presence. (2 Kings 17:9, 11-12; 15, 20 NIV). The reality here that the Bible conveys is that the building of man-made fortification to protect a nation’s security is fleeting and ultimately futile to prevent the destruction of such a nation. Worse than “unsecured” borders is “unsecured” hearts. The scripture above says that the nation had rejected God’s “decrees and covenants”. As an Israeli or American reading this, do you think that Israel or America has rejected God’s covenant? Are these nations embracing (especially publically) of God’s decrees? Your answer to this will provide you with an indication about just how secure these two nations will ultimately be with the building of their physical walls.

1 comment:

Ed Darrell said...

President Reagan had it right when he said, "Tear down that wall!"

A God who sends people to Hell?