The towers of many old church buildings are formidable forts. Built of stones and mortar, with walls metres thick, and windows that are so narrow they hardly let any daylight in, they look very impressive. But it wasn’t just by chance they were built that way, they were designed and built that way for a purpose.
They weren’t just built as an ornament on a house used for worship, but for something even more important. They were a place of refuge in times of warfare and strife. In times of danger, when enemies approached, they were a hiding place and a haven for the village people. In that tower people were fairly safe from sword, arrows and fire, and from the higher level of their place of safety they had a full view of what was happening in the area round about. The enemy had no chance of taking them by surprise, no way of catching them unawares.
That’s what the name of the Lord is! A place of safety, but not built of stones. A vantage point, but not because of higher ground. A place of peace, but not because the enemy doesn’t know where to look for us. The name of the Lord is all this to us, just because it’s the name of the Lord!
The Lord knows very well that we’re living in a world that’s a dangerous place, a place where our enemy’s looking for his prey, and his forces are out to steal, kill and destroy. He knows that, without a place of refuge and safety, we’d all be finished. There’d be no one left. No one would overcome and be victorious.
So He gave us the place we need, and that place is a name, ‘the Lord’. That means our place of safety is never far away: ‘Those who call on the name of the Lord shall be saved’.
Our safety is only a call away! We need to call and go running to the name of the Lord! We should never linger and be slow in seeking that refuge. Our enemy has a history of surprise attacks and sudden assaults, but the righteous always have the advantage of being close to their tower, yes even in their tower, as it’s not a stone structure, but a name! And the Lord told the people of Israel that when the priests spoke the blessing upon them ‘they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them’ (Numbers 6:27). The Israelites were in their tower!
Being in that tower of the name of the Lord also gives us the advantage of seeing wide and far. The prophets were the ‘seers’ of Israel. Being in the Lord, some have received that gift of seeing and discerning what’s happening around us, and have the gift of giving advance warning of things to come. That’s a very much needed gift in the Church today. May some of you take up that position of watchmen, for the Church to avoid being overcome by surprise attacks and unexpected ambushes.
In a shifting and drifting world, the righteous are the ones that live in peace, as they’re surrounded by a protection thicker and stronger than any walls, the name of the Lord!
Have your refuge there each day, and you’ll have nothing to fear!
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