This Texas County Will Defend Its Own Stretch of Our Border, Old Testament Style
Does the book of Nehemiah contain our immigration answers?
Kinney County, Texas has a population of only 3,129. But this rural area is stepping up to the plate to secure its 16 miles of our border with Mexico. Sherriff Brad Coe has called the influx of migrants an “illegal invasion.” He began the process of deputizing private citizens, mostly former law enforcement officers and veterans, to defend the county. According to Coe, his deputies have come in contact with illegal aliens from over 151 countries. Such immigration is largely controlled by heavily armed cartels, which specialize in smuggling both drugs and people across our border.
Local ranchers Paul and Donna Schuster told Fox Business News’ Maria Bartiromo that they can no longer move about on their own property without a gun because of the streams of dangerous illegal aliens going through their ranch.
Coe has said that the federal government’s failures have left them with no choice but to “take the matter into our own hands.” County officials have also divulged their intentions to build a physical barrier.
The Catastrophe of Open Borders
Speaking of physical barriers, about 2,500 years ago Nehemiah, the cupbearer of King Artaxerxes in Persia, got some bad news. He heard from his brother, Hanani, and some other men who had just returned from Judah, “Things are not going well for those who returned to the province of Judah. They are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem has been torn down.” (Nehemiah 1:3).
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Fast forward to 2021. The reckless policies of Joe Biden have put U.S. citizens in a state of “great trouble and disgrace.” He has essentially torn down our wall by failing to complete construction of the final sections of Trump’s wall and rolling out the red carpet to millions of illegal immigrants.
According to Senator James Lankford, R-Okla., we have paid contractors $2 billion to not build the wall. We are paying them $3 million per day to sit and watch the steel rust in the desert. Biden noted in his executive order on his first day in office that he wanted time to “study” the wall. Hmm. He felt no need to “study” spending $456,548 of our tax dollars on a wall around his Delaware beach house.
Nehemiah, who was of Jewish descent, was allowed by the Persian king to return to Jerusalem. There he’d rebuild the broken-down wall with resources from the king. We read in Chapter 2 that Nehemiah unified the Jews to come together for the project (verse 18). They completed the wall restoration in a remarkable 52 days. Like many things in ancient history, the length of Nehemiah’s wall is disputed. But some scholars estimate the circumference of Nehemiah’s wall at approximately two and a half miles. That’s more than 26 football fields end-to-end. To do that in 52 days would be a difficult task today, even with our modern equipment. How could they have accomplished such a feat?
Each in Front of His Dwelling
I think the answer lies in Nehemiah, Chapter 3, in its detailed account of many who repaired the wall and specifically where. In only 32 verses, it uses the terminology “next to him” or “next to them” twenty-four times. It was a team effort, apparently everyone making the repairs in front of his own dwelling. It specifically says so eight times in verses 10, 23, 28, 29 and 30:
10 Next to them Jedaiah the son of Harumaph made repairs in front of his house.
Next to him Hashabiah, leader of half the district of Keilah, made repairs for his district. Bavai the son of Henadad, leader of the other half of the district of Keilah, made repairs.
23 After him Benjamin and Hasshub made repairs opposite their house. After them Azariah the son of Maaseiah, the son of Ananiah, made repairs by his house.
28 Beyond the Horse Gate the priests made repairs, each in front of his own house.
29 After them Zadok the son of Immer made repairs in front of his own house. After him Shemaiah the son of Shechaniah, the keeper of the East Gate, made repairs.
30 After him Hananiah the son of Shelemiah, and Hanun, the sixth son of Zalaph, repaired another section. After him Meshullam the son of Berechiah made repairs in front of his dwelling. [emphases added]
Perhaps this is our only option to secure our southern border quickly and thoroughly as long as Biden occupies the White House. Ephesians 4:16 says, “From whom [Christ] the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share.”
1 + 1 = 3
As we join together — when God’s in it — we form a synergy, so that spiritually, 1 + 1 no longer equals 2, but 3. Romans 8:28 is an oft-used verse, but looking at the original Greek meaning of a keyword brings out a hidden treasure. It goes like this: “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” The Greek word translated as “work together” is the Greek word “synergeo.” It’s the origin of our word synergy. Its meaning is “to put forth power together with and thereby to assist.”
We need this kind of synergy at work on our southern border, like “the wave” at a giant athletic stadium. The wave can get as many as 100,000 fans involved but is usually initiated by only a handful of people.
Kudos to Sherriff Coe and the citizens of Kinney County taking the first step. Their motive is to protect their own (which is a great motive), but I believe they could be on to something much bigger than that. I hope and pray the other 43 counties in the U.S., that share a border with Mexico, will follow suit.
Oh yeah, one other minor detail … funding. As Nehemiah’s funding came from afar (over 500 miles from Babylon to Jerusalem), I believe a modern day Nehemiah-type effort could also be funded from afar. Governor DeSantis has said in recent days that there have been about 70 secret flights into Florida at 2:00 AM, offloading thousands of immigrants. Do you think he might be willing to get involved? It would certainly be in the interest of other red states.
Going back to Nehemiah 3, verse 7 says, “Now it happened, when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites heard that the walls of Jerusalem were being restored and the gaps were beginning to be closed, that they became very angry.” Make no mistake, if we, the people, begin to close the gaps in our open border, the radical left will be angry and will do everything it can to stop us.
The way we ultimately win is also found in Nehemiah, Chapter 4. Verse 17 says, “Those who built on the wall, and those who carried burdens, loaded themselves so that with one hand they worked at construction, and with the other held a weapon.” The border is a dangerous place, and this is just as true today as it was then. But I’m referring to an even greater weapon to get this done: “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds” (2 Corinthians 10: 4).
Nolan Lewallen is a retired pilot of a major airline and lives near Stephenville, Texas, with his wife, Kim. His new book, The Integration of Church & State: How We Transform “In God We Trust” From Motto to Reality, brings the two together.