Tribe. Community. Clan. Those people in your life who help you, support you and love you. Sometimes these are people you share DNA with and sometimes they are people God brings into your life. These are the people you call when you’re excited about a new job and, when your angry over how you were treated. Your tribe, your community, love fiercely and together you create this beautiful jigsaw puzzle as you fit together in life.
Nehemiah had a vision to rebuild the walls around his beloved Jerusalem. The walls of this once strong city has been torn down by various enemies and it was breaking his heart. Obviously, Nehemiah couldn’t rebuild these walls alone so he prayed, followed God’s plan and activated his tribe. The more people heard about what they were doing, the more came to join in the work. The more attention they drew, the more the enemies took notice.
Once word spread about what Nehemiah was up to, the enemies started to swarm. They attempted to block the rebuilding project through the officials in the area. When that wasn’t going to work, they resorted to violence to stop the vision of Nehemiah. The last thing the opposition wanted was for Nehemiah to succeed and rebuild Jerusalem.
Nehemiah had to pull together a strategy that revolved around tribe life. Tribe life is simply people doing whatever is needed to protect and support each other. Nehemiah’s tribe didn’t have to fully understand his vision or even have the vision themselves, they were committed to him and their community. That’s the beauty of tribe, it’s based on love and honor for each member and nothing else. If I think of my tribe, we all have different callings and visions of our future and, we all fight for and support each other. No comparison. No jealousy. No envy.
Tribe does what has to be done to help each other. These next few verses clearly show how Nehemiah’s tribe stood for each other.
Nehemiah 4:16 …half of my servants worked on construction, and half held the spears, shields, bows, and coats…
Nehemiah 4:17-18 …each labored on the work with one hand and held his weapon with the other. And each of the builders had has sword strapped at his side while he built.
Wow! Talk about community! While some built, others protected. Where there weren’t enough people, some worked AND protected themselves. They did whatever was necessary to help Nehemiah’s vision come to pass. They fiercely stood against the enemy and would not allow for defeat. This is tribe life. But it gets even better!
Nehemiah 4:20 In the place where you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us.
When things got too hard, attacks too large, they sounded a trumpet, came together, prayed and watched God fight for them and defeat the enemy. They had rings of defense in place to make certain the vision of a rebuilt and protected Jerusalem would become reality. They weren’t trying to go it alone and they weren’t trying to go without God. Nehemiah knew that in order for his dream to come to pass, he needed help from both people and God.
You need people around you who will support you, protect you and pray with you. The number of people doesn’t matter, just one person as your tribe has power. If you don’t have anyone, start praying and asking God to send you people. Tribe life is scary because you become vulnerable but, without vulnerability you cannot feel deep connection and support. Your vision and call need other people to help make it happen and so does your life in general. Step out in faith and ask God to show you areas where you may keep people at arms length and then, ask Him to bring people into your life you can trust to help you move forward.