God protects us - 18 September 2023
By Ben Fourie
Towers have always fascinated me. Wherever we travel, I like to take pictures of church towers. The Dutch Reformed Church in Aberdeen has one of the highest steeples in the Eastern Cape. When they were repairing it some years ago, I had the privilege to ride up on the outside in a contraption. Recently, I climbed up inside the tower of the Dutch Reformed Church in Uniondale – what an experience! The tall church towers, especially those in the countryside, call you from afar and seem to be reaching out to God.
In biblical times and even before the time of Abraham, towers were a very important part of a city’s defence system. These towers were strongly built from stone and had a staircase on the inside to give safety to the defenders of the city when they climbed to the top. In old drawings, one can see how the defenders, mainly archers and throwers of javelins, were engaging the enemy from the safety of the towers, which were situated on the city walls. Inside the tower, the defenders were very safe and it was very difficult for the attackers to get inside.
It is this kind of strong tower that the author of this proverb had in mind. The tower he talks about is, in the end, not built from stone, but is the Lord himself. A literal translation renders this as “the Name of the Lord” and points towards God himself, as revealed to us in all his greatness. We cannot but think of how he revealed himself to Moses as “I am who I am”. This is God in his greatness and omnipotence, a strong tower where we can be safe. Although this tower of safety is available to everybody, it does take some actions from us to reap the benefits. We need to “go” to God.
When we have done that, the proverb promises we will be so safe that we are untouchable. We will be hiding so high up in the tower that no enemy will be able to reach us. Please go and read what Paul said about this in Romans 8:38-39.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for being my strong tower where I can take refuge against the onslaughts of this world. Amen