Brexit and Boundaries

In John Lennon’s hymn of the political and religious Left, Imagine, we find the phrase “Imagine there's no countries, It isn't hard to do.”  The idea of “no boundaries isn’t new, and it’s not a singular belief either.  Has anyone not heard of US Secretary of State John Kerry’s graduation address at Northeastern University in Boston where he told the graduates to get ready for a world without borders?  That was ominous.

There is a desire in the politically-Left big government and the religious Left that we should be watching.  In Genesis 11 God divided the world into groups of people.  We also see that God gave these people groups a place to live surrounded by borders.  For instance, when Israel left Egypt they were to respect certain borders and not cross them.  Once in Canaan God assigned boundaries to Israel, and within those national borders each tribe was given their own tribal boundaries.  Throughout the Old Testament we find reference to these territories of the individual tribes. Those boundaries lasted a long time.

Also throughout the Old Testament, each nation had its own boundaries.  There is something about boundaries that God seems to like.  One could conclude from the many references to boundaries that borders serve a Divine purpose.  On the other hand, there is something about eliminating  boundaries that Satan seems to like.  It seems Satan is always building for a world-wide community; another Babel experience where Groupthink can prosper and grow.  For those unfamiliar with the term, “Groupthink” is  defined as:  “The practice of thinking or making decisions as a group in a way that discourages creativity or individual responsibility.”  An example of Groupthink is the role it played in population control in George Orwell’s novel "1984."

In the recent  Brexit vote in the UK I was personally hoping Great Britain would leave the EU.  It seems to me God's hand was in this vote and I find comfort in the outcome. There is something about having a native land to appreciate that is good and wholesome.  And borders contribute to that sense of well being.  Even the New Jerusalem situated in Heaven has a border around it--that great wall of gold that encompasses the size of many of the states in the United States.  I have seen the pictures.  That is one massive wall around Heaven.  I don’t understand fully the need for the wall in heaven, but once the New Jerusalem is relocated to Earth at the end of the 1,000 years its purpose is quite clear from Revelation 22: 15.  That heavenly wall is designed to keep out the very ones the world embraces today—the unconverted.  There are no open borders around Heaven.  Everyone who enters there will need a “stamped passport” to get in. They will all have gone through a thorough background check. 

A significant factor in the Brexit vote was a reaction to the huge influx of refugees into the UK that was unsettling the culture within the borders of the UK.  This influx of refugees into lands that is not theirs tends to destroy a sense of national identity and spread disease, chaos, and disorder.  Sure, the gospel Commission in Matthew 28 commands us to go to the ends of the earth but doesn’t call us to bring the ends of the Earth to anyone’s home territory.  Our God says let all things be done decently and in order.

If you watched the news following Brexit, all those who were saddened by the Brexit vote were on the political left.  Not a surprise since the left loves more and bigger government.  Those who rejoiced in the outcome were more on the political right and they generally abhor big government and the religious Left.  For those who believe in a “One World Government” and preach it, certainly they would be foremost in rejoicing at the outcome of Brexit.  At least for a short time there is a movement against a one–world government. Praise God!

But there is another application.  As it is in the physical world, so it is in the spiritual world.  God believes in borders.  In Job 1: 10 we read this about walls:

“Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side?” 

Job was protected by a “wall” that he might be safe.  This was a spiritual wall.  In the old pictorial aids for Bible study, the author had illustrated the Ten Commandments as a circular wall around God’s church and people that they might be protected. 

In Hos 2:6 we read this about that spiritual wall that God has built:

“Therefore, behold, I will hedge up thy way with thorns, and make a wall, that she shall not find her paths.”  

In this verse the wall or hedge that God has built around His people works to keep them from wandering out into territory (sinful ways and practices) that would be dangerous to the soul.

And in the New Testament Jesus taught that He had built a hedge about His people.  He said it this way in Mark 12:1: 

“And He began to speak unto them by parables.  A certain man planted a vineyard, and set an hedge about it, and digged a place for the winefat, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country.”

Everyone recognizes this as a quote from the fifth chapter of Isaiah. 

So in the Old and New Testaments, we find the concept of a wall, or boundaries around Israel both physically and spiritually.  These boundaries serve the same purpose in both uses.  It is plain from God’s Word that God believes in a national, spiritual identity for His people and that He has established “borders” around His people to preserve both their national identity and their spiritual well-being.