Millions of people around the world are migrating to other countries in search of a better life. Why?
[Darris McNeely] Well, looking at an article in a recent issue of our Beyond Today magazine about immigration and the issues regarding that, I was struck by a story I remember that I went through one time that I think brings a human face to this entire issue of immigration, migration, walls, and the whole discussion that has polarized the world and especially the United States at this time.
I was in Israel. My friend and I were traveling between countries. We were actually being prepared to cross over into Jordan and we were stuck in the back of a small bus with a bunch of other individuals who were going to make that trip as well. Two ladies came on and they sat right in front of us. And a gentleman was with the lady, obviously her son, and she had her bag and she was making the trip with us. And the son pulls, out of his pocket, a wad of money and gives it to his mother. And, though I didn't understand Arabic, it was obvious what was taking place. Here was a son putting his mother on the bus, giving her money so that she could make the trip over across the border to visit some family and relatives because they had been separated because of war, because of a border, because of hostility and the enmity between peoples in this part of the world which is really a part of the story about all of the migrations and immigrations and walls that we are contending with today, in spite of all of the political ideologies that are there as well. And it reminded me exactly of the problem that we are facing, and the actual, not just the size of it but the individual and where all of this affects people in their daily lives as it separates, as it divides as a result of people desiring something better.
I was reading an article about the immigration crisis, again from another source, and it basically was saying that more than 700 million people today want to move from where they are to another part of the world, primarily the United States and Europe. Why? For the majority of them, to get a better life, to have an escape from frankly, a failed state where they are, in most cases because of war, because of corruption and poverty. And they want a better life.
And that reminded me of a scripture, in James 5, that I think that again, at the heart of all of this for us to consider, take a step back because we get politicized and we get very emotional about this. And there's something that God says that should help us to understand what is at the heart. It speaks to people who have power, "Come now you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days." And it is speaking and a poetic sense to all who hold power whether be by wealth, by politics or other means over people. Because in the next verse it says, "Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud cry out and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth." (James 5:1-4)
Why people want to move, why people are on the move in the world today, more than 700 million wanting a better life? It is because of the failed states. It is because their governments where they are have not taken care of them to provide peace and safety.
There is coming a better time when that will happen but before then, we've got some rocky roads ahead of us. So as we listen to the discussions, as we listen to the debates, let's make sure that we take a step or two back and keep a Biblical perspective from God's eye view of what is taking place in our world today. And remember that borders and crossings and walls and migrations and wars and all of this keep people separated and it comes down to the basic human yearning and desire for people to live in harmony and to live in peace. The absence of that creates so much of the suffering that we have.
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