People like to build fences. Some build fences to keep things in, others build them to keep things out. Homeowners do it to give their pets or children a safe place to play. Farmers build fences to keep cattle, horses, and sheep from wandering away and into highways. In some parts of the world, people build stone walls; you see them all over Europe especially Great Britain, Scotland, and Ireland. They also build stone walls in Yucatan Mexico.
In the Yucatan, if you don’t build a wall around your property, squatters will set up a home site. Once they are on your land, it is next to impossible to get them off. Our church spent two summer mission trips helping build a wall around a seminary in 2005 and 2007. While on the surface, it seemed like an unnecessary addition to the property, to them it was very important.
Ancient civilizations built walls around their cities as a form of protection from their enemies. It was much safer to live within the city walls than to be in the open country.
Pingyao is a small Chinese city renowned for its well-preserved ancient city wall. The majestic wall, which includes six major gates and 72 watchtowers, encircles the city which has little changed architecturally over the past 300 years. (touropia.com)
Every wall or fence has two sides, the inside and the outside. Depending on where you’re standing, the view can be completely different. Much of the impetus behind fences comes down to fear and trust: who do you fear and who do you trust. If you don’t trust someone, you’re not likely to share intimate details about yourself.
These attitudes spill over into all aspects of life. In marketing practices, it is imperative to trust employees and clients. If you don’t trust the people you work with and for, it will be difficult to build a successful business. The economy of a community is dependent on trustful patronage to provide mutual support and revenue for the success of each individual business.
No matter how high and how thick a wall a city has built around it, it cannot defend itself with one soldier. It requires the strength of an army to ward off the attacks of its oppressors. The church, though it is not secular, requires the secular relationships of its communities. We depend on law enforcement, firefighters, utilities, and non-Christian businesses to protect us and fulfill the demands of our own enterprises. It is to our great benefit to pray for the safety and success of our cities.
Psalm 122:6-9 – NIV
6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
“May those who love you be secure.
7 May there be peace within your walls
and security within your citadels.”
8 For the sake of my family and friends,
I will say, “Peace be within you.”
9 For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,
I will seek your prosperity.
I raise the mug today and say, “Thank you!” to the people who helped make me successful in the past. And I pray that God would bless you and make you prosperous!