Whenever I think of a stronghold, the image of a medieval castle seems to pop up. These fortresses were designed to withstand long sieges by an enemy while providing protection for King or Nobleman’s and troops, as well as refuge for the neighboring villagers.
The structures were intentionally built with many features to be as defensible and impenetrable as possible. With thick walls, narrow windows and firing slits, tall towers and even moats they were designed to withstand months (3-6) long sieges.
Of course as technology evolved the defensibly of these structures became less and less for their original intent. However one can never underestimate, even in the modern battlefield, the need for a good Stronghold that provides Refuge from incoming enemy attack.
The Lord also will be a refuge – The Hebrew word translated by the KJV and many others as refuge is Misgab, mis-gawb’, It has the sense of a secure (high) place, retreat, refuge, or Stronghold.
Note the object of the Stronghold is God Himself. All other strongholds will eventually crumble at the hands of technology or man’s own unregenerate heart. Only God Almighty can provide that impenetrable Stronghold.
for the oppressed, – Whom does God provide this Stronghold for? The oppressed, that is the weak, the lowly, those without self and power. The high and mighty, arrogant and egotistical need not apply.
a refuge in times of trouble. – When evil surrounds God’s children, He is there to provide that Refuge from incoming enemy fire. Whether is be the fiery darts of Satan or the raging insults, injustices or persecutions from our neighbors; God provides the only true impenetrable Stronghold.
Everyone builds Forts? Since I was a little kid my friends and I were always finding a way to build a “Fort” in the nearby woods, or empty lot. It was our Stronghold and we would defend it against any dragoon or girl that happened upon it.
In the Army the strongholds were sometimes as simple as a foxhole and many times much more elaborate as FOB’s (Forward Operating Bases). The principle was the same, build something defensible and maintain the defense.
For Christians the same applies. Sometimes life just plain sucks. Even for true Christians, we will go through periods of turmoil and turbulence that can be very unsettling. That is why God tells us we do not need to build our own Stronghold. You see He already prepared one for us. All we need to do is enter into that covenant that gains us entry into the only true impenetrable Stronghold.
Observation: What did I read? What struck you as most meaningful?
Interpretation: What does it mean? Overall and the most meaningful? Did it change your view on Strongholds?
Application: How does it apply to me?
Implementation: What do I do? How can I start living it out today?