A Circle of Protection
2Kings 11:4 ¶ But in the seventh year Jehoiada summoned the captains of the Carites and of the guards and had them come to him in the house of the LORD. He made a covenant with them and put them under oath in the house of the LORD; then he showed them the king’s son.
2Kings 11:5 He commanded them, “This is what you are to do: one-third of you, those who go off duty on the sabbath and guard the king’s house
2Kings 11:6 (another third being at the gate Sur and a third at the gate behind the guards), shall guard the palace;
2Kings 11:7 and your two divisions that come on duty in force on the sabbath and guard the house of the LORD
2Kings 11:8 shall surround the king, each with weapons in hand; and whoever approaches the ranks is to be killed. Be with the king in his comings and goings.”
2Kings 11:9 ¶ The captains did according to all that the priest Jehoiada commanded; each brought his men who were to go off duty on the sabbath, with those who were to come on duty on the sabbath, and came to the priest Jehoiada.
2Kings 11:10 The priest delivered to the captains the spears and shields that had been King David’s, which were in the house of the LORD;
2Kings 11:11 the guards stood, every man with his weapons in his hand, from the south side of the house to the north side of the house, around the altar and the house, to guard the king on every side.
2Kings 11:12 Then he brought out the king’s son, put the crown on him, and gave him the covenant; they proclaimed him king, and anointed him; they clapped their hands and shouted, “Long live the king!”
A vulnerable seven year old was to become king and his enemies wanted to destroy him. The man of God was obedient to the instructions of the LORD and called together the army. They devised a plan which would alter the course of history by bringing God’s new young leader to the place where he belonged.
The guards followed the instructions that they were given and eventually they encircled the young man so that he could be crowned king. Can you just envision the scene? A small boy surrounded by these massive men, providing him with the protection that he needed so that he could become the leader of his country.
We all need a circle of protection. There are plenty of times when life gets rough and we begin to wonder whether we can survive and this may possibly be because we have stepped outside the circle of protection that God has intended for us.
We are to to live our faith within community and not in social isolation. Others become the guards that help to protect us from the things of life which can be thrown our way.
A couple of weeks ago I was at Canton First Church of the Nazarene on a Sunday morning. The pastor, Chad Current, was making a point about this very thing. He had with him some building blocks and as he was talking and setting up the blocks someone came forward and knocked them all down. It’s like one of those disruptions in life that can come our way when we exist unprotected. However, a little while later in his message he invited up all the small group leaders from the congregation. He had them stand in a large circle surrounding the platform. Then, he had them link arms and while he was talking, he began to rebuild the tower of blocks. Half-way through the building process the individual who had come forward before and knocked everything down stepped forward again. However, this time he could not get to the blocks. He was kept from getting there by the ring of protection provided by the small group leaders. They represented the community which we need as followers of Jesus Christ so that when the enemy comes out to attack in full force, we are surrounded and protected. When we step outside the community and try to do things on our own, then we become vulnerable for our protection is gone.
Josiah could only become king because the community stepped forward and protected him. We need community.
We also need a praying community. The power of intercessory prayer is often not visible, and yet, it provides those moments when we find ourselves in the circle of protection when we are not with the community. Instead, the community of faith is present with us in prayer.
We need a circle of protection and God has provided this for us in the form of a faith community, if only we stay within the circle.
Lord, please help me to stay within that circle of your protection. Amen.