The Tortoise Formation

Scripture tells us God is our shield and buckler (Psalms 91:4). What’s the difference between the two? One was a hand weapon worn at the arm; used to protect from the direct hit of the enemy. The other covered or surrounded the whole body.  God is our big shield and our little one—double trouble for the adversary of our soul.

The Romans had a strong, tight formation called The Tortoise. Soldiers carried huge shields and when they did the Tortoise, they arranged themselves into a rectangle, interlocked their shields around and above them. From the outside you could only see a block of shields and maybe a myriad of eyes. With no gap in the shields, the soldiers inside the Tortoise were safe.  The formation was so tightly knit, it formed an unbroken surface, without gaps. Men could walk on the surface. Horses and chariots could ride or drive over it.

The soldiers did not stand still; neither should we.  They moved toward their enemy’s archers in a calculated and strategic development. Once they got close enough, the archers were history. Not one of those in the tortoise formation would get hurt. As Christians bind together, we get together and protect each other.

“For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those [believers]… [For my hope is] that their hearts may be encouraged as they are knit together in [unselfish] b]love” (Colossians 2:1-2. AMP).

I know we can’t collect together physically in this tortoise formation. Doesn’t look like those soldiers adhered to social distancing. But, we certainly can unite in our thoughts, in spirits, in how we treat each other, and we surround each other with our prayers and love.

No wonder Michael W. Smith sings (and so should we), “This is how I fight my battles….It may look like I’m surrounded. But I’m surrounded by You.”