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