Friday, May 13, 2011

A Mighty Fortress: He's My Safety - May 13, 2011

Psalm 62:5-8 (New International Reader's Version)
5 I will find my rest in God alone.
He is the One who gives me hope.

6 He alone is my rock. He is the One who saves me.
He is like a fort to me. I will always be secure.

7 I depend on God to save me and to honor me.
He is my mighty rock. He is my place of safety.

8 Trust in him at all times, you people.
Tell him all of your troubles.
God is our place of safety.


The rhomboid, flat plateau of Masada measures 600 x 300 m. The casemate wall (two parallel walls with partitions dividing the space between them into rooms), is 1400 m. long and 4 m. wide. It was built along the edge of the plateau, above the steep cliffs, and it had many towers. Three narrow, winding paths led from below to fortified gates.

The water supply was guaranteed by a network of large, rock-hewn cisterns on the northwestern side of the hill. They filled during the winter with rainwater flowing in streams from the mountain on this side. Cisterns on the summit supplied the immediate needs of the residents of Masada and could be relied upon in time of siege.

To maintain interior coolness in the hot and dry climate of Masada, the many buildings of various sizes and functions had thick walls constructed of layers of hard dolomite stone, covered with plaster. The higher northern side of Masada was densely built up with structures serving as the administrative center of the fortress and included storehouses, a large bathhouse and comfortable living quarters for officials and their families.(1)

We tend to build fortresses and fortifications around ourselves, thinking that they will serve as our protection against any harm. We naively think that we don't need God, bacause we have everything under control. We find places within where we insulate ourselves from whatever might come against us, and we rely on what we have done to sustain us in times of difficulty.

But when things come against us, the hurst and difficulties bombard our personal fortifications, and when severe trouble come, our walls start crumbling; the resources we have stored to keep us going start to dwindle, and we find ourselves hopelessly desperate for a place of safety. Without it, we don't know how we can go on any further without succombing to the enemies of our souls.

Instead we should seek shelter in the mightly fortress of our God, who in His love for us seeks to protect us, if only we will call on Him for help.
He alone is our rock. He is the One who saves us.

Photo from "Masada(Israel)", June 2002, by

(1) Jewish Virtual Library - Masada

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