The name of the Lord is a fortified tower;
the righteous run to it and are safe.
We’ve explored many of the Names of God, and I believe we’ll be doing that for all eternity. We have a BIG God, Who can hold the whole universe in His Hand!
Recently the Lord has showed me He is my Strong Tower. Sounds strong, safe, secure, but as I explore this idea, here are my thoughts.
I remember a day when I was still working. Someone opened an email with a virus, and it quickly spread to many computers on the network. I wasn’t sure what exactly to do next! I was helping people; a colleague was working on the servers and my boss was upset. We weren’t working fast enough or how he thought it should be done.
I remember telling my coworker – who was also a friend from church – something like “Someday I want to know how to run into the strong tower away from all the chaos!”
Because the Lord has said He is my Strong Tower, I started exploring what that means.
My first thought is safety. I picture a tower like a medieval tower shown at the top of this blog. Something like the rook in the game of chess. The walls are stone, one heavy door to get in (or out), maybe a window or two, and a place UP HIGH, out of reach, where I can look out on the battle but be above it all.
Then I found this story in Judges 9. To make a long story short, Jerub-baal (Gideon), the king, had died. He had seventy sons (from many wives and a concubine from Shechem). Abimelech, son of the concubine, wanted to be king. He asked the people of Shechem if they wanted one king (him) or all the other brothers to be their rulers. They thought he’d be a better ruler, since they were related. Abimelech then went to his father’s home and killed all seventy of his brothers, except the youngest who escaped and told them this would come back on them in a big way.
Three years later, the honeymoon was over. Shechem was moved to Abimelech’s naughty list and he came to attack the city. Everyone in town fled into the tower in the Temple of their god, which Abimelech burned down – killing everyone inside.
Then Abimelech attacked the nearby town of Thebez and captured it. But there was a strong tower inside the town, and all the men and women—the entire population—fled to it. They barricaded themselves in and climbed up to the roof of the tower. Abimelech followed them to attack the tower. But as he prepared to set fire to the entrance, a woman on the roof dropped a millstone that landed on Abimelech’s head and crushed his skull. (Judges 9:50-53)
What did this story tell me about towers? In the first town, the tower was a false-protection (false gods always are) and turned out to be a trap. The tower was set on fire and everyone inside died.
Could the Strong Tower of the Lord be a death trap? No! No one or nothing could attack and breach the walls of the Lord, nor could they “set it on fire.” Deuteronomy 4:24 tells us, “For the Lord your God is a consuming fire.” Remember the pillar of fire that kept the Egyptians away from the fleeing Israelites in Exodus 14:19-25.
When fighting a forest fire, secondary fires are often started next to a firebreak, to stop the forest fire in its tracks. The fire of God can easily stop any “fires” of our enemy. Not only would we be surrounded by the Presence of our God, but “No weapon formed against us (by our enemy) will prosper.” (Isaiah 54:17 emphasis mine)
In the second town, Thebez, people also ran into their tower for protection, with an entirely different outcome. From high in the tower, one woman had a great view and an advantage over the enemy. She could see what the attackers were planning. So, at just the right time, she dropped a millstone on Abimelech!
The Lord is my Strong Tower. Not only am I safe inside, I have a vantage point from which to see the enemy’s strategy. And I can direct my “arrows” and my “sword of the spirit” precisely at the adversary. “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.“
(2 Corinthians 10:3-4)
We know we have an enemy, and he wants to set up his kingdom on the earth. That’s why Jesus taught us to pray “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10))
We know he is defeated by the Blood of Jesus. He told His disciples (and that includes us,) “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.” (Luke 10:19) And He wasn’t talking about creepy reptiles or stinging bugs!
We know Satan comes “only to steal and kill and destroy” but Jesus says IN THE SAME VERSE – “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)
So, what can be our response?
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.