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The Tower of Strength

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will we not fear though the earth be removed and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea." (Psa. 46. 1-2).

It is a comforting thing to find shelter in a storm. To be in some secure place, witnessing the fury of the elements, while conscious of being out of harm's way, is at once a sublime spectacle and a stirring experience. The great upheavals of Nature have a way of uprooting, overthrowing and removing old landmarks and familiar objects. When calm prevails, the spectator is astonished at the change brought about in a few hours of havoc. The work of renovation and restoration is of prime importance, but no place looks the same again. New work brings change often for the better. Wise builders, with better ideas, never repeat the old mistakes.

If, in any of the creative epochs of the earth there had been any intelligent observers of those stupendous scenes, when continents rose from tumultuous oceans, dripping with warm silt and marine life the whole process might have been regarded as a calamity. So might it seem when one age with all its strange creatures perished that another of a 'finer' order might take its place. Yet steps like these, mighty and world shaking, prepared the planet for man.

Since his advent, his social world has endured all the great changes of history. Peoples and nations have lived through shattering events. They have survived the storms and eruptions of war, revolution, plague and famine. The tempests and shaking of the natural elements make feeble, man's own efforts at destruction. Empires have fallen, old systems have been swept away, inevitably changing the outlook and progress of the survivors.

The tumult of the nations is like the roaring of the seas. Like the restless tide of many waters, it surges forward clamouring at the bulwarks of faith and idealism, assaulting the age old laws and constitutions which, like bastions have long withstood the relentless floods of anarchy and infidelity. When mountains of power are carried into such seas; much that is old, treasured and venerated, begins to sink beneath a tide which cannot be turned, then everything that can be shaken is shaken. It takes courage to witness such changes unmoved and wisdom of a rare kind to believe they are all for the best. It needs faith extraordinary to remain still, confidently expecting the great calm and the new future of glorious reconstruction and progress, free from the old evils and errors of the past.

Throughout the dark, historical periods of mankind, there have been men and women who have found the eternal God their refuge. Human tumult has been prevalent but the sheltering Arm sure; therefore the Scriptures abound with examples of assurance and invitation. God never failed the faith of His people or forsook the heart that trusted Him. Hidden, triumphant, unmoved, they saw and shared His victories. So they tell "Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord" (Ex.14.13).

"Trust in the Lord forever, for in the Lord God is an everlasting rock" (Isa. 26.4 RSV).

"He will cover you with his feathers and under his wings shall you find refuge." (Psa. 9.4).

Outside of Him there is no hiding place when forces are unleashed that are beyond human control. In all storms, whether social, domestic or personal, the Christian pilgrims in the world will flee to the rock tower of refuge and defence.

"I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress; my God; in him will I trust". (Psa. 91.2). From this blessed place of safety they who have a genuine faith, endure, strengthened within and fortified without by the everlasting arms. Though all around is tumult, defiance, desolation and waste. "yet will we not fear". God is still the strong tower of His people.

A strong tower is He, to him will I flee.

In Him confide, in him abide,

My Strong Tower is He!"

TH

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