In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah:
“We have a strong city;
he sets up salvation
as walls and bulwarks.
Open the gates,
that the righteous nation that keeps faith may enter in.
You keep him in perfect peace
whose mind is stayed on you,
because he trusts in you.
Trust in the Lord forever,
for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.
For he has humbled
the inhabitants of the height,
the lofty city.
He lays it low, lays it low to the ground,
casts it to the dust.
The foot tramples it,
the feet of the poor,
the steps of the needy.” Isaiah 26:1-6 ESV
God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Psalm 46:1-7 ESV
The ancient city of Xian, in China, has a wall around it that is 40 feet tall, at least 40 feet wide around the top, and 50 to 60 feet wide around the bottom. Along the wall there are 98 ramparts, which were built so that soldiers could keep watch for an enemy that might attack the city. On the outer side of the top of the wall there are battlements from which soldier also could keep watch for and shoot at the enemy. Around the outside of the city wall there is a deep moat. There are four gates built into the wall, one on each side, and each gate has three gate towers and a suspension bridge for letting people into and out of the city over the moat. The city walls of Xian were originally made of dirt, but later they were rebuilt with bricks. The people of Xian would have felt very safe with such a strong fortress surrounding their city.
The prophet Isaiah talked about a strong city with walls and bulwarks and gates that are wide open so that God’s people can come in. The foundation of the city is God himself, their everlasting rock. God has defeated the enemies of his people who had threatened them, and even the poorest and neediest are able to trample their enemies and share in their defeat. People who come into this city are safe and at peace. God is a wall around them, and they are so secure that they don’t have to worry about their enemies hurting them ever again.
There is no city on earth that can ever be completely safe from the attack of enemies and the destruction of war, but there is one safe place where no enemy can hurt us and we can be in perfect peace. That safe place is with God, who loves us and protects us from everything that threatens us. Even when we have troubles, we can know that God is with us and will keep us close to him always. He sent his Son Jesus to die for us and to defeat our greatest enemies of all–sin and death and the devil. Because of what Jesus did for us, we are safe in his care, no matter what happens to us. Someday he will bring us to his heavenly kingdom where there will be no more death or pain, and we will be happy and at peace forever.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us safety and peace through Jesus, our Savior. In His Name, Amen.