Adam Stout

READ : Nehemiah 4

In the place where you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will

fight for us. (v. 20)

Lions may be kings of the jungle, but elephants can hold their own. Healthy adult
elephants are ten to twenty times the size of a lion. For this reason, lions only attack
weak or baby elephants. But elephants have a trick. When they sense a calf may be in
danger, they trumpet a call to circle up. Then they form an impenetrable wall that keeps
the calf safe.

When outside forces threatened Nehemiah and the Israelites rebuilding the wall, they
circled up. The workers “did their work with one hand and held a weapon with the other.”
They were so vigilant, in fact, that they didn’t even change their clothes!

This kind of effort can’t be maintained for long, but it may be necessary for a season.
Especially when someone in our community is hurting or under attack, we can trumpet the
call to circle up. With one hand we work, and with the other we hold our weapons: the Word
of God and prayer.

My friend Thyra preached to a congregation that had recently suffered the loss of a
beloved younger member. The congregation heard the trumpet call. They circled up. They
cried together and surrounded the hurting family. They had no illusion that they could do
it all on their own. Instead, they gathered with the knowledge that “our God will fight
for us.”

When the call goes out, will you help surround the weak or hurting member?


God, may we be attentive to your call to circle up as a community.