A Wall of Protection
“They said to me, ‘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, and the gates have been destroyed by fire’” (Nehemiah 1.3 NLT).
The wall around Jerusalem is symbolic for protection. The problem with the actual physical wall, however, is that it caused the Children of God to find safety in manmade constructions instead of God alone. As God’s people relied more and more on this wall, they walked away from true protection that comes from obedience to God. God provides us with safety within His laws (Leviticus 25.18). God’s commandments are written for our benefit, granting us protection, prosperity, blessings and abundance (Deuteronomy 30.15-20). Nehemiah is distressed because the remnant of Israel is living in Jerusalem without a wall. Their lack of a wall is symbolic of their lack of knowledge of God’s laws and how to live holy and set apart. Nehemiah, Ezra and the other community leaders are going to help them build a wall, while simultaneous teach them how to come under the authority and protection of God’s law. As Christians, we find our true protection in obeying God’s laws. His commandments are sweet and provide us with God’s eternal best (Psalm 119). We don’t have to worry or have fear because God promises that He alone will be a fire of protection around the fullness and beauty of our lives.
“‘Then I, myself, will be a protective wall of fire around Jerusalem,’ says the Lord. ‘And I will be the glory inside the city!’” (Zechariah 2.5 NLT).