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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Like a Castle

Many thousands of ancient castles are still standing. Some have been refurbished to provide beautiful living quarters for the rich and famous. Some are open to the public for their historical interest. Some have been made into plush hotels. And, some are crumbling down year by year, because no one has had the money or interest to restore them. I know of one very pretty, white stone castle that belongs to a small community, and the townspeople got together to restore it. So wonderful! My husband and I recently toured a town where they are completely rebuilding its towered outer wall.

I admit it. I’m a diehard romantic. When I see a castle, especially one in a walled city, my imagination comes alive. I see ladies and scullery maids and hunters coming home with meat, lords, horses, and knights. I smell fruits and freshly harvested grain and even imagine the open sewers and garbage being dumped into courtyards. I usually look down the wells to see if there’s still water down there. I peer out of narrow archery windows and imagine what it would be like to see the enemy down below. I walk across moats and through huge wooden and iron doors. I mentally measure the thickness of walls. When I’m inside, I feel secure . . . unless I’m near the dungeons!

There are layers of protection in a castle. There is some kind of a surrounding wall or the castle is built up on a cliff so high that no one could approach without being seen by a lookout—and even then, it would be extremely difficult to climb the cliff. Moats were in vogue for a while and were most effective for discouraging swimmers. They were usually way down there! It would be a feat to get down into the water and another feat to get out on the vertical castle side. If someone did manage to breach the cliff, the moat, or the wall, he would then have to enter the castle somehow. Not easy! Any window would be high up and too small for a person to get through it. Any door would be a massive gate, guarded by non-friendly, armed soldiers. Inside, the castle dwellers were safe. They had a well for water and stores of food, so they could outlast a siege for a while. Those living around the castle worked for the lord and would be loyal to him. Another layer of protection!

I read my Bible, and God is described as:
            a strong tower—Psalm 61:3; Proverbs 18:10
            a refuge—Deuteronomy 33:27; Psalm 14:6, 46:1, 48:3, 62:7-8, 94:22
            a high tower—Psalm 18:2
            a fortress—2 Samuel 22:2; Psalm 18:2
            a rock—2 Samuel 22:2; Psalm 18:2, 62:7, 92:15, 94:22
            a defense—Psalm 59:9, 17; 89:18; 94:22
            a shelter—Psalm 61:3
            like a wall around His people—Psalm 125:2

It’s wonderful to know that God is all of this for us. He’s our shelter and defense, just like a castle! What a blessing!

1 comment:

  1. I would love to visit a real castle some day.

    This is a neat study!


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