I am not sure we can fully understand the significance of the word “fortress” in our culture – a place where you could go when under deadly attack and danger from an enemy. In ancient culture if you were living out in the countryside – away from a walled city – you were completely vulnerable to attacks from robbers and marauding bands of vicious, violent mobs or invading armies. You needed and desired to live near a fortress that you could escape to in order to find safety for yourself and your family. The bigger the better! You wanted an impenetrable, imposing structure manned by strong, capable warriors.
Christians are daily under attack – they are the target of a vicious, cunning enemy who mobilizes every evil force at his disposal to defeat and destroy them! David experienced it – some of those adversaries were physical – others were spiritual. He saw the Lord as his ultimate fortress! … And so should we!!
This morning in my Bible reading I read what David had to say about the Lord as his “fortress”…
“In you, O Lord, I have taken shelter! Never let me be humiliated! Vindicate me by rescuing me! Listen to me! Quickly deliver me! Be my protector and refuge, a stronghold where I can be safe! For you are my high ridge and my stronghold; for the sake of your own reputation you lead me and guide me… You are my place of refuge! Into your hand I entrust my life; you will rescue me, O Lord, the faithful God… For I hear what so many are saying, the terrifying news that comes from every direction. When they plot together against me, they figure out how they can take my life. But I trust in you, O Lord! I declare, “You are my God!” You determine my destiny! Rescue me from the power of my enemies and those who pursue me. Smile on your servant! Deliver me because of your faithfulness! … How great is your favor, which you store up for your loyal followers! In plain sight of everyone you bestow it on those who take shelter in you. You hide them with you, where they are safe from the attacks of men; you conceal them in a shelter, where they are safe from slanderous attacks. The Lord deserves praise for he demonstrated his amazing faithfulness to me when I was besieged by enemies. I jumped to conclusions and said, “I am cut off from your presence!” But you heard my plea for mercy when I cried out to you for help. Love the Lord, all you faithful followers of his! … Be strong and confident, all you who wait on the Lord!” (from Psalm 31 the NET Bible)
Hey it’s true… “The name of the Lord is a strong tower! The righteous run into it and are safe!” (Proverbs 18:10)