“Beth Nimrah and Beth Haran were walled cities. They also built stone fences for their flocks” (Numbers 32:36 Names of God version).
Leviticus 25:29 informs us that “If anyone sells a home in a walled city, for one year after selling it he has the right to buy it back. He may buy it back only within that time.”
Last year, one of President Donald J. Trump’s campaign promises was to fight illegal entry into the United States by building a wall along the southern border. This blog focuses on matters of spiritual importance, not political ideology.
Yet, as I listened to the Daily Audio Bible for March 1st on Leviticus chapter 25, I couldn’t help but think about the political events of late 2016 and spring 2017. So much hoopla swirls about the building of an American wall. What does God think about walls, I wondered?
My research produced 200 plus references to wall in the Bible ( thank you Bible Gateway). I was amazed. I honestly never gave much thought to this concept.
Let’s break down the main ideas.
In my limited understanding, most of the walls built in Old Testament times existed to protect the Israelites from their enemies, other ethnicities who did not worship Yahweh. A casual reader of OT books can find war and bloodshed tales, many starring King David and Joshua as valiant men of honor.
The first thirteen chapters of the book of Nehemiah describe the arduous effort to rebuild the wall surrounding ancient Jerusalem. Great story, one of my favs.
Transitioning to the New Testament, Jesus told a story about a vineyard (see Mark 12:1), mentioning that the owner built a wall around it. Hmmm. Never noticed that before.
Luke 19:43 says “enemy armies will build a wall to surround you and close you in on every side.” I think this refers to ancient Jerusalem once again and is a prophetic statement of what we are seeing play out in Israel in the 21st century. Just an uneducated guess, so biblical scholars, feel free to educate me on this verse.
How does God feel about walls in our century?
This I know: God wants to break down invisible walls that separate us from other ethnicities (see Ephesians 2:14). The invisible walls are a metaphor for division, strife and hatred separating us. The God of love wants those walls dismantled. At the same time, the Bible does not advise us to expose our families, crops or businesses to marauding bands with evil intent. By that, I refer to ISIS, not refugees fleeing oppressive governments or poverty.
If you are still reading and not clicked away from disgust, I close with a reminder of what John saw in heaven concerning the New Jerusalem. Revelation 21, verses 12-19 describe in detail … wait for it … the wall encircling that heavenly city. John was shown the angel measuring that wall, its gates and the material it is composed of. No spoiler alert, you’ll have to read it yourself to see that answer.
I learned my answer today. Apparently, God is into physical walls of protection.
Call to action: What material is the New Jerusalem wall made of? Please comment, it keeps me encouraged, letting me know I’m not sending these words into a black hole. 😉