Everyone needs a fortress, a place of refuge, to survive the storms of life. Martin Luther, a leader in the Reformation, wrote the powerful words, “A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing.” Psalm 46 describes God as “our refuge and strength” (v. 1). He is a stronghold, a massive shelter encircled by a wall to keep out the enemy. Three and a half centuries after David’s time the Assyrian army had placed Jerusalem under siege and cut off its water supply. Leaving the city in the heat of the Middle East and without water, the Assyrians thought their victory would be swift. What they had not realized was that the Israelites were protected in God’s refuge.
Hezekiah led the men in digging a tunnel 1,777 feet long, passing to the Gihon Spring in the Kidron Valley. The clear, cool water of the spring flowed inside the walls of Jerusalem (see 2 Chr. 32). Then Hezekiah completely covered the spring to keep the enemy from finding it.
As the Assyrians stood in the sweltering heat every day, they kept waiting for the children of God to surrender. Inside the walls, the people did not panic or fear. God’s refuge would stand, though the earth moves and the mountains fall to the seas (v. 2). Inside the fortress, God provided for the Israelites’ needs by supplying them with a river (v. 4).
Some people place their trust in wealth, but money cannot buy happiness. Some people trust knowledge, but the smartest minds cannot agree on the simplest of things. Some trust the military for protection, but there is no perfect peace. Some trust the company they work for to provide long-term security, but there is no such security. None of those things can be a “bulwark never failing.”
“God is our refuge and strength” (v. 1). When we search for answers, He will provide them. When we need a shelter, He will provide it. When we need protection, He will provide it.
The believer has “a very present help in trouble” (v. 1). Standing at the crest of Calvary is the Lamb of God with His nail-pierced hands extended. He is our rock and our fortress (Ps. 18:2; 31:3; 71:3). He will provide for us a refuge in the storms of life.
Martin Luther ended his famous song with “Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also; the body they may kill; God’s truth abideth still; His kingdom is forever.” When we feel as though life is falling on top of us, we need to run to God’s refuge. Inside we will find safety, security, and love in His shelter that will survive any storm.