A Mighty Fortress
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. - Psalm 46:1-3
What comes to your mind when you think of a refuge? Maybe you think of a European castle. Maybe you think of a wartime stronghold. Do you ever feel like you just want to get away from all this cancer stuff for a while? There may be times when you feel the need for the reassurance of a refuge, a place to go to get away from it all, a place where you're protected and strengthened.
When the psalmist chose to call God a refuge and strength, he used a word picture familiar to his readers. When they heard these words they would think of the walled city of Jerusalem, which seemed impervious to attack. They would be reassured at the thought of a refuge so safe. Theologian Martin Luther found these verses to be the inspiration for his great hymn, "A Mighty Fortress is Our God." Luther chose additional words that emphasize the strength of our God, and composed a powerful and triumphal tune. He drew assurance from being able to count on God as a refuge in the midst of spiritual warfare.
God uses many word pictures to describe himself in the Bible. When we think of God as our Fortress-God, we acknowledge that He is much bigger than we are. We can turn to Him and trust Him to take care of us. We can find a refuge in Him, knowing that He cares for us. He is a bulwark, a stronghold. Where else could we find such refuge?