“I will be to her a wall of fire all around …” Zechariah ii.5
The Lord God is our ultimate Protector. If God doesn’t protect a nation or city, none of our high security protocols or weaponry will be of any use. Rightly did wise Solomon sing, “Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.” (Psalm cxxvii.1)
Cities in the Ancient Near East were small villages that had high stone walls and strong gates. A “city without walls” served as a perfect metaphor to describe a defenseless person: “A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.” (Proverbs xxv.28) Whenever they sensed a threat of invasion, inhabitants of a city would leave their fields and flee to their walled city. “The name of the LORD” was therefore compared to a “strong tower” to which the righteous ran and sought refuge. (Proverbs xviii.10)
After Jerusalem was destroyed by Babylonian forces, God promised His people that He would multiply them and their livestock. They would be too numerous to be enclosed within the walls of a “city.” The extent of the new Jerusalem would be so large that it would be impossible to build a wall around it. In fact, “Jerusalem shall be inhabited as villages without walls, because of the multitude of people and livestock in it. (ii.4) How then would this city be protected? The Lord promised to be “a wall of fire” around the city! If anyone would dare to “touch” Jerusalem, he would be touching “the apple” of God’s eye! (ii.8) That would certainly invite a fitting response from God.
God’s protection is certainly available to any individual, household, city or nation that seeks His help. When we are confounded by the designs of those who employ terror, it is high time we admit our helplessness and take refuge in the Rock of our salvation. It may be fashionable to rely on oneself and to keep God out of a nation’s public space. The futility of our high-tech weapons and our security measures have been exposed time and again. We can always talk about building higher walls and longer fences to control immigration or to stave off an invasion. None of that’s going to work. Now is the time to seek God’s help. Return to the Living God who is the foundation of your life and civilization. He is the only Firewall that will protect us from the terror of those who seek to devour and destroy.