Monday, 19 September 2011

Our high tower

The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe. – Proverbs 18v10

Be Thou my battle-shield, sword for my fight,
Be Thou my dignity, Thou my delight.
Thou my soul's shelter, Thou my high tower.
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

This particular stanza from 'Be Thou My Vision' has a special imagery to those who live here or have visited here. The 'high tower' written about here is a structure which is nearly unique to the island of Ireland. These approximately 65 towers are as tall as 34 metres (112 feet). They are amazing structures which are at least 1,000 years old. They were mostly built near monasteries with a door a few metres off the ground. No one is sure of their purpose, but they had something to do with security and protection. When invaders approached with pillage and plunder in mind the monks could gather their manuscripts and treasures, climb a ladder to the tower, and then pull the ladder up behind them.

I don't know for sure if the Irish writer of 'Be Thou My Vision' had these towers in mind when this stanza was written. There can be no doubt though that they are a great picture of the tower that the writer of Proverbs mentions here.

The name of the Lord is our high tower. When trouble comes we have a place of security that provides safety and protection. Like the monks of old we can run to our Tower, pull up the rope, and find safety in Him.

That doesn't of course mean that there will not be trouble, but that we have a place of safety when those trials come. Thank God that He is my High Tower. May I be reminded to find my safety there.  

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