A Stronghold and a Shelter

When I visited Mozambique this past summer I got a chance to visit the Ilha de Mocambique, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The reason this small, seemingly insignificant island is so highly honored is its history. On the island itself is the Fort Sao Sabastio, the oldest fort still standing in sub-Saharan Africa. This massive fort’s construction began in 1558, and was not completed until fifty years later.

It was a true stronghold, evidenced by how solidly it still stands more than four hundred years later. With a little clean-up, it could still be a functioning fort. In fact, there’s a proposal on the books in Mozambique to turn it into a university.

This is now the place I think of when I read Psalm 27. God is like this solid stronghold, only far better. This stone fort is actually a mere shadow of the stronghold that our Lord is.

The promises of Psalm 27 are truly awe-inspiring. The Lord is our refuge. Our shelter. Our rock.

He will give us courage when we are afraid. He will give us confidence when we are shaky. He will give us calm when we are threatened.

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
    whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
    of whom shall I be afraid?

For in the day of trouble
    he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent
    and set me high upon a rock” (Psalm 27:1, 5, NIV). 

So what’s your personal version of “the day of trouble” right now? What’s keeping you awake at night? What history is chasing you? What enemy is pursuing you? What situation is threatening you?

Here’s God’s promise to you: Jesus will guide you, and light the way forward with his word. Jesus will protect you behind the walls of his love. Jesus will hide you under the tent of his grace. Jesus will set you high on the rock of his righteousness.

Our Bible reading for Friday, February 27, is Leviticus 1:1 – 3:17, Mark 9:33 – 10:12, and Psalm 27:1-6.

Header image based on "Fortaleza de Sao Sebastao" by Aly, shared publicly on Google Plus

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I'm married to my beautiful wife Julie and have five kids whose names all begin with the letter A. I'm a pastor at CrossWalk Church in Phoenix, AZ. I love Jesus, my wife, my kids, and my grandkids. Huge Arizona Cardinals fan! Reading, hiking, camping, travel, and fishing are my top 5 downtime pleasures.

One thought on “A Stronghold and a Shelter”

  1. Our Bible reading for Friday, February 27, is Leviticus 1:1 – 3:17, Mark 9:33 – 10:12, and Psalm 27:1-6.

    Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.” (‭Mark‬ ‭9‬:‭35‬ NIV)

    “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.” (‭Mark‬ ‭9‬:‭37‬ NIV)

    Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward. (‭Mark‬ ‭9‬:‭41‬ NIV)

    Heavenly Father, I come before you humble and open. You teach me to be a servant and I do my best to honor your word. I pray to you that I may have faith like a child. Faith that is as freely given as your grace. A faith that knows you are my Father and I am your child. I truly belong to you. You Lord are the light of the world, my world. You Lord are the place where I can go and to find peace and strength. In Jesus and only in him is my enemy defeated. Not by anything I do, but by the sacrifice that was made for me and all mankind. I praise you Father for this gift. I praise you Father because you know I am weak and can do it alone. I praise for walking with me every moment, every step I take.

    The Lord is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid? (‭Psalm‬ ‭27‬:‭1‬ NIV)

    Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the Lord. (‭Psalm‬ ‭27‬:‭6‬ NIV)

    ~Paul Montenieri


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