Sneaking in the Back Door
Immigration reform is a timeless issue in our country. The debate continues in today’s news as our legislature attempts to find the best way to deal with the problem. Now coming to the United States to live is not the issue, for if it were, we would be the biggest hypocrites of all. My grandmother was full-blooded Irish and her family came to the United States as did most every one of our ancestors. I am grateful for their diligence to seek a better life across the foam. The real issue though is that the rights of those within this great country are imposed upon by the immigrants who cross our borders illegally and take advantage of gaps in the system.
So how do we fix the cracks? Some have suggested tighter border control. “If the INS did a better job, then we wouldn’t have such an issue!” Some have suggested the allowance of citizenship for those already in the States to alleviate the pressures imposed by illegal aliens. I am not sure how to fix the issue. I am not sure it will ever be fixed and I honestly don’t believe it ever could be fixed completely. Steps can surely be taken though to lessen the pressures of illegal immigration.
Although we face, as it seems to me, an unsolvable issue in regulating who enters this country, this problem will not come with us to Judgment. Although we face the national issue of regulating who enters and exits our country, who gains citizenship and who abuses the system, God’s nation does not face that issue. The issue has sparked some spiritual thoughts that I would like to share with you.
“The Lord Knows…”
Psalm 1 serves as a familiar reminder of the benefits for those found in God and the destruction destined for those without God. In verse 6, the psalmist defends the polar distinction by highlighting that “the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.” While we may find ourselves in the position of Habakkuk or Job, questioning the Lord’s promises to the faithful and the seeming success of the wicked, we can be sure that God knows the distinction.
Psalm 37 demonstrates further that God is watchful and tender toward His holy ones. Their “heritage will remain forever” and they are “upheld” by the LORD. The LORD is even pictured as walking with us hand-in-hand as a father guiding us and keeping us from harm.
Although we may try to hide our deeds from God, He knows. Just as Isaiah rebuked the idea that people think God is not watchful, we must be cognizant that His eye is ever upon us (29:15f). Although men like Jonah try to hide, the LORD knows.
Nahum stated it poetically when he said, “The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him” (1:7). Isaiah also warned those who falsely assumed that they had snuck their way in: “But with an overflowing flood he will make a complete end of the adversaries, and will pursue his enemies into darkness” (1:8).
No Tricks Work In This Country
Paul wrote in his last letter, “The LORD knows those who are His” and “Let everyone who names the name of the LORD depart from iniquity” (2Tim. 2:19). As Jesus is the Good Shepherd, He is able to distinguish between those who sneak into the sheepfold and those who know His voice (John 10).
We have no reason to fear if we know His voice and depart from iniquity. However, if we even suppose to think that we can sneak in, we are dead wrong. Can you think of anything worse than being deported from the LORD’s presence? Make sure your hope is not dependent upon God overlooking your absent Green Card for Heaven. The Lord will know and you will be cast from His presence for all eternity. Be a proper citizen of God’s kingdom (Phil. 3:20).