The first casualties of upheaval can be love, kindness, and patience. But crisis is also a moment when love for God & one another can spring up. For 150 days, starting on 17th March 2020, I will write 300 words based on one of the 150 psalms in the bible. How can I find and give love in the midst of coronavirus?
I stood on the battlements and looked over the moat. I imagined I was a medieval archer shooting arrows at the attackers – who were probably French. This was Bodiam Castle, near where I grew up. An elegant 14th century stone fortress surrounded by water. I went there as a child a number of times, and it sticks in my memory. I would imagine feeling safe inside and driving off every attacker with ease from within its 4-feet thick walls.
David longs for this experience in Psalm 59. He is again under threat of death – and He is longing for a strong castle. 4 times he uses the word “fortress”:
1 Deliver me from my enemies, O God; be my fortress against those who are attacking me.
9 You are my strength, I watch for you; you, God, are my fortress, 10 my God on whom I can rely.
16 But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. 17 You are my strength, I sing praise to you; you, God, are my fortress, my God on whom I can rely.
We long for safety. We long for security. We long for safety from things that come against us. And so we hope, work and pray that our circumstances provide that security. We pray for good health. We pray for secure finances. We work to make sure everything is OK. Does it work? Sometimes – but often not.
David knows better.
4 times he talks about a fortress, a castle, a secure place that will keep him safe from what attacks him. In verse one he asks God to be that fortress. And then 3 times he declares that God is that fortress.
Circumstances are so uncertain. The world is so uncertain. It’s not that we shouldn’t work for some security – it’s just that we need to know that it isn’t guaranteed. Not at all.
But, and it’s a big but. God offers to be our fortress. The one who will protect, keep us, push back our enemies. This may not mean circumstances are all OK – they often are not. It means that we know that we are held by Him. That we are safe in relationship with Him. That He is working. That He has ultimately overcome His enemies.
Let us ask Him to be our fortress, our castle, our protection. He will be.
Have a great day. Love Matt