The Hebrew word for fortress refers to an impregnable stronghold, usually high up on a mountain. David, of all people, was familiar with such places.
As a shepherd boy, he often had to seek out safe refuges for his flock. Later, as a young man, he fought in the Israelite army and also spent years fleeing from Saul.
Whether protecting his sheep, facing an enemy in battle, or trying to elude a paranoid, murderous king, David knew the importance of finding and hunkering down in elevated bastions and rocky citadels. However, he also knew that even the best earthly fortresses aren’t 100 percent secure.
(Once while hiding from Saul in the recesses of a remote wilderness cave, David was caught completely off guard when Saul suddenly entered the same cave to relieve himself.)
Ultimately, David had to get to the place where he trusted God to be his ultimate protection. Because God is higher than any tower and more invincible than any rocky stronghold, He is where we will find true safety and security.
Even when David was outnumbered and outgunned, he believed that as long as God was for him, no man could harm him. “In God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (Psalm 56:4).
What are the specific things that threaten you now? What problems make you want to run away? Instead of seeking refuge in things of this world that don’t offer lasting protection—such as your job or money or relationships or sex or food or amusement—run to God, your fortress, and hide in Him.
Having to hole up in a fortress isn’t always comfortable. In fact, it’s confining. But it’s also temporary. Why? Because, as David exclaims, God is not only a fortress, He’s also a deliverer!
When people, events, or circumstances are coming against you, God is the fortress who will shield you from the harshest assaults.
How in your life, specifically, have you experienced God as a fortress?