Prayer Targets: Dr. Grudem on the Border; Election Integrity; For the People Act; HHS; More
March 25, 2021
A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls. (Pr 25:28)
Dear Praying Friends,
Dr. Wayne Grudem, Research Professor of Theology and Biblical Studies at Phoenix Seminary, has taught biblical ethics for 43 years. A graduate of Harvard (BA), Westminster Seminary (MDiv), and Cambridge (PhD), he has authored more than 15 books. These are excerpts from his article, Why Building a Border Wall Is a Morally Good Action. (These excerpts first appeared in the 2/13/19 Prayer Targets amid the border wall debate.):
The Bible itself repeatedly views protective walls with favor. Walls gave peace and security. In the world of the Old Testament, people built walls around cities to protect themselves from thieves, murderers, and other criminals, and from foreign invaders who would seek to destroy the city. People could still enter the city, but they had to do so by the gate, so that city officials would have some control over who was coming in and going out. Today's debate is about a larger area -- a national border, not a city -- but the principles are the same.
A strong wall gave peace and security to the city, and one prayer of blessing for a city was, "Peace be within your walls and security within your towers!" (Ps 122:7). There was also a spiritual component, for the Lord himself strengthened the gates in the walls so they would protect the children and the peace and prosperity of a city:
Praise the LORD, O Jerusalem! Praise your God, O Zion! For he strengthens the bars of your gates; he blesses your children within you. He makes peace in your borders; he fills you with the finest of the wheat (Ps 147:12-14).
After King David established his capital in Jerusalem, he prayed, "Do good to Zion in your good pleasure; build up the walls of Jerusalem" (Ps 51:18) -- God's blessing would include strong walls! King Solomon finished and strengthened the wall around Jerusalem (1 Kgs 3:1).
But the people of Israel strayed from God, and he brought judgment in the form of Babylonian invaders who broke down and destroyed the city wall: "And they burned the house of God and broke down the wall of Jerusalem..." (2 Chr 36:19; cf. Jer 52:14). God's judgment removed the walls! So long as the wall around Jerusalem was broken down, it was a mark of shame and derision: "The remnant... who had survived the exile is in great trouble and shame. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates are destroyed by fire" (Neh 1:3).
The pathetic shame of a city without walls is also evident in this proverb: "A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls" (Pr 25:28). The implication is that such a man and such a city are both headed for destruction.
After 70 years of exile in Babylon, the Jewish people were able to return and rebuild Jerusalem's wall. Nehemiah asked Persian king Artaxerxes for timber to build the wall and its gates: "And the king granted me what I asked, for the good hand of my God was upon me" (Neh 2:8) ... The leader of the government authorized the allocation of materials to build the wall.
Nehemiah needed laborers for the massive task of rebuilding the wall. He challenged the people, "Come, let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer suffer derision" (Neh 2:17). Fortunately, "the people had a mind to work" (Neh 4:6). An entire chapter of Nehemiah is devoted to recording the names of people who rebuilt the wall, specifying the section each person repaired (Neh 3). Having their names forever in the pages of the Hebrew Bible -- was a significant honor for those who repaired the wall. It was a morally commendable act.
There was a great celebration when the wall was completed: [to dedicate the wall] they sought the Levites . . . to celebrate the dedication with gladness, with thanksgivings and was singing, with cymbals, harps, and lyres... Then I... appointed two great choirs that gave thanks" (Neh 12:27, 31).
At the end of the New Testament, the apostle John had a vision of the New Jerusalem, a great city that comes down from heaven, that includes a wall: "a great, high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels" (Rev 21:12). Whether literal or a symbolic prophetic vision, it is clear that the wall protects the peace and security of those who are within.
My conclusion from this overview is that the Bible views border walls as a morally good thing, something for which to thank God. Walls on a border are a major deterrent to evil and they provide clear visible evidence that a city or nation has control over who enters it, something absolutely essential if a government is going to prevent a nation from devolving into more and more anarchy...
America's moral, spiritual, and physical walls are broken down today. We have become precisely like the man in Pr 25:28, who, lacking self-control, was destroyed by the internal and external enemies of his soul, without walls and defenseless. Doctrines of demons are now being preached and taught widely and even being enforced by cultural power brokers. Lacking spiritual discernment, misguided Americans are supporting the breakdown and confusion in our culture by expanding it to the sphere of our physical borders and homeland security.
But the costs are not just to the American people and the abuse of men, women, and children by criminal cartels and coyotes who traffic in their lives, but the mountains of money the cartels and coyotes are making due to the Biden policies for those seeking to enter the U.S. illegally.
- Heavenly Father, we have departed far from you as a people; and to the degree we have, we have lost our common sense. We appeal to your mercy, Lord. Grant us time to repent. Save us from our foolishness and mischief. Guide our president and Congress to craft sensible measures to serve legal immigrants, protect our borders, expand and strengthen our border walls, and stop illegal immigration into our country. Lord, even as the ancient Jews pleaded with you to strengthen their gates and the walls of their cities, please strengthen ours. You are our strength and our security! (2 Chr 29:6; Pr 1:7; 9:10; 14:27; 19:23;24:21; Ps 91:1-16; 122:7; Is 49:16; Is 54:2)
Finally, please pray over these matters:
1) The U.S. Senate confirmed abortion activist Xavier Becerra, former Attorney General of California as Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) last week. He has no experience in health matters. See FRC's response. Dr. Rachel Levine, the transgender nominee for Assistant Secretary of HHS, was also confirmed yesterday (see FRC's press release).
2) Fox News reports that officials tell them Mexico border traffickers made as much as $14 million per day last month. And they have made similar amounts since the Biden administration put out the welcome mat to all comers south of the border. This article is a must read. U.S. policy is helping monsters make millions -- just another tragedy atop all the border tragedies you have already read about. Meanwhile, the materials for finishing the wall President Trump got nearly built are now being senselessly wasted while criminals are making millions from the Biden policy. (See Border Wars: Biden Takes Flack from Both Sides; Hear U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (R-Tenn.) and Midland, Texas Mayor Patrick Payton discuss the stress and cost this terrible border policy is bringing -- minute 2:17-23:41)
3) Michele Bachmann, Dean of Regent University's School of Government, hosted a Virtual Conference on American Election Integrity. Watch if you can and continue to pray that the states will do what they need to do to make our elections right! Read FRC's analysis of the "For the People Act," a poorly disguised attack on free speech.
4) Thanks for praying for Saturday's Stand Courageous event. Nearly 3,000 men, including event workers, attended FRC's men's conference at Calvary Chapel Chino Hills, in Chino, California Saturday. God showed up by his presence and many, many men will never be the same. Read Kenyn Cureton's report and please continue to pray for the movement.
P.S. During the next few weeks, the Prayer Targets will be on hiatus. Please visit FRC's Update archive, listen to Washington Watch with Tony Perkins, and watch Pray Vote Stand on Wednesday evenings at 8 pm ET for powerful information and prayer support. Examine the rest of the PVS page for more important prayer matters. The Prayer Targets archives can be found HERE.
As always, thank you for praying!