The Straits Times’ Special Report on 4th October 2016, highlighted a startling discovery that walls are being built all over the world at a rate not seen since the end of the Cold War.
The building of walls for protection and security is not a recent phenomenon, however. In ancient times, the Romans and Chinese had built walls and border fortifications to keep the invaders out. The Great Wall of China, 21,000 km long, was built around 221 BC to keep out the marauding nomadic tribes.
Today, however, the reasons for building walls are more for immigration, terrorism, drug- and people-trafficking than for protection and security of one’s territory.
Take for example the recent immigration crisis in Europe. Walls and barriers are emerging all over Europe to keep illegal immigrants out. However, is building walls to protect borders and keep unwanted people out a real and lasting solution facing our world today? In response to the Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump’s plan to build a wall in US-Mexico border to keep out ‘drugs, crime, and rapists’, President Obama said, “Building walls won’t change that… If the past two decades have taught us anything, it’s that the biggest challenges we face cannot be solved in isolation.”
Perhaps, President Obama has nailed the problem on its head by his frank admission of human failure.
If the nations could somehow live in peace and goodwill among themselves, then there is no need for physical walls and the massive migration of people escaping the devastations of war. However, it would not be easy for the world to succeed in peaceful coexistence. Human pride will not admit defeat nor look outside of itself to seek lasting solution from God. I believe the answer to the world’s immigration crisis lies first with the removal of the spiritual wall of sin. When we have peace with God, we will live in peace with our fellow men (Eph. 2: 14-16), and we become fellow citizens of His kingdom. In God’s place, there will be enough room for everybody (John 14:3). One day, when Jesus returns from glory, we will dwell in the new heaven and earth (Eph. 2:19-22; 2Pet.3:13; Rev. 21:1-5). Though the world’s immigration crisis looks bleak for now, “nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” (2Pet. 3:22). Let us then be faithful and bold to proclaim the message of peace to the world not only to solve the immigration crisis but also to bring eternal hope and security in Christ Jesus.
Rev. Mark Tay