“It had a great and high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels; and names were written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel. There were three gates on the east and three gates on the north and three gates on the south and three gates on the west. And the wall of the city had twelve foundation stones, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb,” Revelation 21:12-14.
The entire focus of a wall at our southern border has become a very hot issue over the last few years, and still it continues to dominate the focus of Christian and non-Christian alike.
We need a sense of safety for our families, our cities, and our land. And yet we are also a land that has welcomed the foreigner and those who have sought asylum over the years.
Our very statue that welcomes people to our shores that stands in the harbor of New York City echoes this theme.
Many are divided about this issue and it has torn at the hearts of all of us in ways that other issues perhaps have not.
For a nation, a wall is or can be beneficial and quite important. When God’s people were their own nation, they used walls to protect cities from invaders.
However, even with the need for safety, these people still were commanded to care for the poor as well as the foreigner.
I believe that it’s possible for a people to both feel safe and to care for those who are poor and without a home.
People need to feel safe and secure, particularly in their own homes.
But are we building walls to exclude others who are not like us, and are we fearful because they represent something foreign to us?
Of course it is necessary for people to enter a land legally and not in ways that betray our laws, but it seems that our laws are broken and they prevent the destitute and the poor from entering.
Many come under false pretense it is true, and yet just as many come seeking shelter from the storm and the violence that has encapsulated them in their own lands.
It is truly a dilemma, and yet also an eyesore that we are representing to the world around us.
“You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt,” Exodus 22:21.
We know from history that nations built walls so that they were protected from invaders.
The people within those walls trusted that those very walls would stand erect and secure against the infidels that came to encroach upon their land.
And yet throughout hundreds upon thousands of years, a siege would come and the walls would come tumbling down as each war and tribe came to battle against each nation and land.
It is one thing to be protected from infidels and those who would do us harm, and yet it is quite another to be protected from those who are innocent and need protection.
And yet with the thousands that come we can’t just say, “Okay, you can come… but not you!”
An efficient and yet compassionate law needs to happen that would enforce what is needed for protection and yet at the same time offers those who would come innocently with mercy.
Families are separated and our laws although seemingly valid, betray compassion and mercy when families are torn apart and young children weep for their mothers.
There are walls of prejudice and there are walls of fear. Walls are meant to exclude others, and seemingly also for one’s safety.
We are certainly no longer a united nation; we are divided now in more ways than one could count, and certainly not the least in terms of one’s political affiliation.
And now those walls or that wall that is now prescribed for us, does indeed divide along a myriad of various values, beliefs, opinions, and ideologies.
Former President Reagan called the leader of the Soviet Union to “Tear down this wall!” from his speech in West Berlin on Friday, June 12, 1987, calling for the leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, to open up the barrier which had divided West and East Berlin since 1961.
In 1961, tensions from the Cold War had greatly increased in intensity and thus many fled from eastern Berlin, Germany to find asylum in the western section of the city.
To prevent this flow to the west, Soviet leader Nikita Khruschev recommended to East Germany that it close off access between East and West Berlin.
And yet this wall that had stood was more of an ideological structure perhaps more so than the one proposed at our southern border.
But any wall that is built is certainly more than a structure, for it not only represents a sense of safety and fortification to those within its borders, but also does restrict the flow of those who are not only foreign, but come from other values and perhaps even beliefs from our own.
The walls of the New Jerusalem are built of precious stones and echo the original twelve tribes of Israel as well as the apostolic foundations upon which it is fortified.
And yet we are told that those gates will be forever open.
“9 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife. 10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, 11 Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; 12 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: 13 On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. 14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. 15 And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. 16 And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal. 17 And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel. 18 And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. 19 And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; 20 The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst. 21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass. 22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. 23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. 24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. 25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. 26 And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. 27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life,” Revelation 21:9-27.
~ Stephen Hanson
Stephen Hanson of In His Truth Ministries came to the LORD is a special way in 1975 and has prophesied regularly since. In these end-time birthing pangs we are reminded that judgment must first begin with the household of God. Will we be prepared and ready?