How Your Patience Can Protect You Like a Wall

The crumbling walls of Lachish illustrate a proverb you can apply today.

Sometimes piles of rocks speak great truths for our lives. I caught a fresh reminder of this as Cathy and I just returned from several weeks in Israel. The fallen walls of Tel Lachish tapped me on the shoulder.

At Tel Lachish, I stood atop the ruins where the Assyrians laid siege to this fortified city during the reign of Hezekiah. The crumbling walls of Lachish illustrate a proverb I read this week in the Bible.

In fact, you will have the choice to apply the proverb before the sun goes down today.

Why We Need Walls

In ancient Israel, a city wasn’t a city without a wall. Without a wall, a community was simply an “unwalled village” (Ezek. 38:11). The wall served as the primary means of protection from an enemy.

Without a wall, you were a sitting duck.

This truth prepares our minds for a sobering proverb:

Like a city that is broken into and without walls
Is a man who has no control over his spirit. –Proverbs 25:28

How is a city wall broken into? In times of war, an enemy would surround a city wall and lay siege to it. This method purposed to starve the inhabitants of food and water—forcing surrender. Often a siege took months or even years. But it was very effective.

All it took was time.

On our recent tour to Israel, our group visited the Israel Museum. We saw artifacts from the siege on Tel Lachish:

  • Arrowheads intended to pierce and destroy
  • Sling stones designed to crush armor and skulls
  • A wall relief that depicted the Assyrian battering ram that picked apart the city’s wall

Just as the Assyrians used a variety of methods to topple the walls of Lachish, so you’ll find that life will come at you from all directions.

The purpose of the attack? To breach the defenses of your patience.

Lachish reliefs - Stiles

(Photo: Lachish siege reliefs, photo by Cathy Stiles)

How to Choose a Strong Defense

Proverbs paints pictures that provoke our thinking.

A city without walls sits vulnerable. The same is true of you. Exercising restraint is not a restriction of your freedom. Self-control is self-protection.

Do you have control over your spirit? Let me ask that another way:

  • When something doesn’t go your way, do you find yourself speaking to “correct” it?
  • Do words spray from your tongue when you’re driving in heavy traffic?
  • Do your leaders at church, at work, or in other places often hear you express your immediate frustration at how things should be done?

The natural outworking of obedience to the Spirit of God expresses itself in patience, among other actions (Galatians 5:22). Patience is the application of self-control to our spirits.

The Bible speaks to its benefits:

He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty,
And he who rules his sprit, than he who captures a city. –Proverbs 16:32

But the fruit of the Spirit is . . . patience. —Galatians 5:22

Take another look at the video of the crumbling walls of Lachish—the great city in ruins. It’s a great picture of our potential.

Today, you stand on the wall. The war machines of life will do their best to pick at your patience until your wall finally gives way. Your choice to remain patient when provoked or attacked gives you a powerful defense in the battle of life.

Allow nothing or no one to penetrate your wall. Your patience is your protection.

Question: What picks at your patience the most? To leave a comment, just click here.

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I'd love to hear your thoughts. Just keep it kind and relevant. Thanks!

  • Dean

    Not getting feedback so I can understand the other person’s position.

    • Great insight, Dean. And good for you to even want to understand another’s position.

  • My children fighting or doing math work with my son lol. But, seriously, this blog post is an awesome reminder that patience is protection. Never thought of that. Thanks!

    • Oooohhh, yes… Children fighting used to push my buttons too. I hear you. Just wait till you teach them to drive! 🙂 God bless.

  • MC

    Hi Wayne, I just wanted to reach out and say ‘Thank you’ for sharing your very relevant and insightful article on Patience. It has really made a difference to my mindset today. Thank you! I just wanted you to know that your words travel far across the world (I’m in London) and have a positive impact. God Bless! 🙂

    • You’re so welcome, MC. And thank you for taking a moment to let me know! (By the way, I LOVE the British Museum. I wish I could spend a week there!) May the Lord bless you as you wait on Him.

  • Jeanelle Sims

    The Holy Spirit teaches me great lessons using walls. Many times I have prayed “Lord my walls are down” walls around relationships, walls around my obedience,
    . Isaiah 58:11-12 “The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and strengthen your frame. You will be like a well watered garden,like a spring whose waters never fail. Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,Restorer of Streets with Dwellings”.
    Even now as I typed this out He has showed me news ways to rebuild my walls in verses 13-14.
    Nehemiah is my hero!!

    • Those are some great lessons, Jeanelle. Three cheers for Nehemiah!

    • Carole Mcintosh

      I was just telling someone last week how I still loved Neamiah even though he has been dead 3000 years.
      I found what you said inspiring this morning ❤️

  • MGVH

    As you note, there are times when we need ‘walls.’ With Lachish in mind and how its walls failed, I also find Zechariah 2.1-5 an important reminder and contrast. Here it describes how “Jerusalem shall be inhabited like villages without walls, because of the multitude of people and animals in it. For I will be a wall of fire all around it, says the LORD, and I will be the glory within it.” That’s even better than the human walls that will always ultimately fail.

    • Thanks for your great insight. Yes indeed, the Lord as wall around us is as good as it gets. God bless.