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|The Hedge of Protection||
Homeland security ranks high among important issues with voters and candidates this year. Yet despite all the rhetoric from both sides, our borders remain treacherously porous, especially to the south.
Time Magazine recently published a special investigation with some startling revelations. More than 4,000 illegal aliens walk from Mexico to Arizona every day. As many as 15 million illegals live in the United States already. And many of them are not simply Mexicans or other Latinos seeking jobs; some come from as far away as eastern Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, the magazine reports.
While the 9/11 hijackers came in mainly through Canada, nobody knows how many potential terrorists are walking into Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. It appears we simply cannot, or will not, control our southern border.
Journalist Harley Sorensen wrote in the San Francisco Chronicle this week, "...in an era where 'homeland' security is an obsession, neither major candidate seems the least interested in dealing with the security breaches that accompany our immigration breaches."
The words of Emma Lazarus inscribed on the Statue of Liberty declare:
"Give me your tired, your poor,How are we to establish a fair immigration policy while facing the realities of today's world of hijackers and suicide bombers?
As a minister of the Gospel, I turn to the Bible for wisdom. Psalm 47:9 says, "...For the shields of the earth belong to God..." (NKJV). As a nation founded on Judeo-Christian principles, I believe that God Almighty has reached out His hand to protect this country on many occasions. I also believe that when we reject God's hand, when we denounce his principles, we put ourselves in a position outside of His protection.
The prophet Isaiah tells the story of a man who planted a vineyard, constructed a winepress, planted a border hedge, and built a wall around his field to keep invading animals from destroying the grapes. He even erected a watchtower so that he could spot any threat before it came near the garden. He watered it, cared for it, and expected good fruit. But the vineyard produced only wild grapes -- sour fruit not suited for drinking. So he tore down the wall and destroyed the hedge of protection, leaving the field exposed to the forces of nature and open to marauders. Thorns grew up and the once-fruitful garden became a wasteland.
America has been that sort of field. As a nation, we have had to battle depressions, disasters, wars and more. But through it all, God has given us the strength to overcome. America has been a blessed vineyard in a thorny world.
Yet some could argue that we are bearing wild grapes. Much of the fruit of this country is sour or poisonous. Greed, immorality, pride and gluttony are rampant. Too often, we put our own interests above others' -- even to the point of allowing or causing unnecessary human suffering. We run the risk of losing our hedge of protection. Our disregard for the absolute principles of God is tearing down the wall that holds back marauders that seek to destroy us.
America is not yet a wasteland. Our borders are exposed, but the watchtower has not yet fallen. The times we live in are critical. The decisions we make today will determine the future of our country, and indeed the world, for our children and grandchildren.
While we may not be able to contain our borders, we can build up the spiritual walls that provide real protection, because the real danger we face is not the flood of illegal workers seeking to provide better lives for their families. The threat comes from the terrorists who travel among them. Only God knows the difference and we need His wisdom to reveal their intentions before they accomplish their deadly goals.