Wherever you hear the trumpet sound, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us!(Nehemiah 4:2)
Our military community has to build a wall.
Back in Nehemiah’s day, the Israelites had been taken into exile. Living far from his homeland, Nehemiah worked for the Persian king and heard stories of the devastation in which some Israelites still lived. Jerusalem, the capital city, was in trouble. People still lived there, but the wall around the city was no longer standing.
If you’ve ever had the chance to visit a city where a wall is still intact, the wall is significant. In a day when binoculars and NVGs (Night Vision Goggles) were not yet a thing, these cities didn’t see the enemy till they were upon them.
The wall was necessary.
Providing protection for the community, the wall could be closed off and defenders stationed intermittently along it. Gates were used to check those coming and going. Much like our military installations today, this security was one they didn’t take for granted, especially in Israel where so many had been taken into exile and only a remnant remained in a hostile land.
Nehemiah, in his service to the Persian king, was given permission to go back to his homeland to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem. It was mostly just piles of rubble. The work to be done was immense and the opposition still there. Would they be attacked while they were trying to build?
As rebuilding began, those outside Jerusalem were not happy. They mocked them, caused issues with them, and even threatened them. Nehemiah had to figure out how to protect and rebuild at the same time.
The Lord gave him a brilliant plan.
He took families (FAMILIES!) and stationed them along the area of the wall by where they lived. They would work while keeping their sword at the ready – the whole family. Should an attack come in these weak areas of the wall, they were instructed to blow their trumpet and the people of the city would rally at that point, joining the family in defending that piece of the wall.
As I pondered this story again lately, I thought – “That’s us!”
As military families we are being attacked. Depression, PTSD, suicides, isolation, fear, uncertainty – we too are being attacked. The wall may be a lot of rubble right now, but we will rebuild.
My family will take our piece of the wall.
We will work to rebuild it and defend it. If attack comes in our sector, we will sound the trumpet and look for our forces to rally at this point.
My family will pursue Christ.
We will stay diligent in learning, growing, and working out our faith in the place we are assigned. We will teach and encourage others to do the same, sharing the love, grace, hope, and truth we have found. When we are attacked, which we will be, by fear, anxiety, uncertainty, or whatever else the enemy throws at us, we will sound our trumpet. We will rally our tribe to this place for them to pray for and with us, to defend against these very attacks by the truth that we know.
My prayer is that you would do the same.
Build and defend where you are. And when the enemy attacks your position, blow your trumpet. We will rally as believers, prayer warriors, and speakers of truth into the scary and dark places before you. We will hold you up when you can’t stand yourself. We will support you to take one more step on days when you’re not so sure you can. We will stand side-by-side and defend your piece of the wall.
We, as a military community of believers, can win this battle. The statistics tell us it’s a lost cause. The world tells us there’s no hope. But Jesus says He came to bring us LIFE and life in ABUNDANCE. We do not have to live in fear, hurt, and helplessness. He is our way out and He has given us each other to help us find it again.
It took Nehemiah and the people of Jerusalem fifty-two days to rebuild the wall, even with the opposition. God was for them.
God is also for us.
We can rebuild this wall for our community and help us stand together again in hope, peace, security, and even joy – even in military life. And help others to do the same.
So as we defend and build the wall here in Kentucky, I challenge you to build and defend where you are. Whether in Germany or Georgia, Korea or Kansas, I pray your family too will stand, build, and fight the area of the wall the Lord has given you.
Should you have trouble, use your trumpet, rally the troops. We will be listening for it.
Not one of us was made to defend alone.
We are in this together. As we build and defend, God will help us put the wall back together, regardless of the enemy. Stand and fight, because truly God is fighting for us.