The Israelites returned to the rubble of Jerusalem after decades of exile in Babylon. They were trying to rebuild the Temple and the city. However, since the walls of Jerusalem were no longer standing, the defenseless Israelites were like sitting ducks to raiding armies (see Neh 3:35). They desperately needed to be defended (see Neh 4:1-5). In the midst of this dire situation, the Lord promised through the prophet Zechariah: "I will be for [Jerusalem] an encircling wall of fire" (Zec 2:9). God became the first "firewall" in history.
Computers have a "firewall" to protect from relentless invaders such as hackers and viruses. Yet Christians have the best possible "firewall" — a loving Shepherd Who personally defends His flock and Who protects by fire (Ex 14:24).
The Hebrews who left Egypt on the Passover were protected by a God of fire (Ex 14:24) — a fiery cloud to limit the Egyptian army from advancing any further. Can you believe that the Lord is still able to protect you and all His people today? Put not your trust in princes, in weapons, in human strength, or in armies. Put your trust in "the God Who answers with fire" (1 Kgs 18:24) and Who protects by fire.
Prayer: Lord, "let the fire fall" and let it burn all around me.
Promise: "He guards them as a shepherd His flock." —Jer 31:10
Praise: St. Wenceslaus, King of Bohemia, encircled his political world with a wall of fire comprised of God's laws and love.
(This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Imprimatur ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from August 1, 2013 through September 30, 2013. †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 4, 2013.
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