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COVID-19 How to live in uncertain times (21 - A mighty fortress is our God)

Ben Naylor, 7th April 2020

See part 1 of this series here.

Psalm 59 ends with these words: ‘But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. You are my strength, I sing praise to you; you, God, are my fortress, my God on whom I can rely.’

This was the response of David when Saul sent men to kill him, he cried out to God to deliver him from his enemies. His enemies prowled the city like snarling dogs, looking for their prey. But he was confident that God would deliver him, for he was David’s fortress and one upon whom he could rely.

It is true that today, the Lord is still a refuge and a fortress. We can flee to him, and take refuge in him, our fortress. COVID-19 may be a great danger to us, it is prowling the streets looking for its prey. So, it is a great comfort that God is our fortress against our physical enemies.

But COVID-19 isn’t the enemy. The enemy is far greater, and far more deadly. Vaccines, the NHS and social distancing provide a refuge against COVID-19. But there is only one refuge against the attack of the true enemy. He prowls the city looking for his prey. We have one defence against his attack, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ.

People can trust in a whole host of things to carry them through times of trouble like this, but we can join with David and say that God is our fortress, our defence against the enemy.

Thinking on this psalm, me and Si thought of the similarities with the great hymn of the reformation, ‘A Mighty Fortress is Our God’. Written by Martin Luther in the 1500s, it is often called ‘the battle hymn of the reformation’, and is a great reminder of these things found in Psalm 59, that God alone is our refuge, that the enemy is mighty, but that Christ is mightier – and he has won the battle.

Verse 1

A mighty fortress is our God A bulwark never failing Our helper He amid the flood Of mortal ills prevailing For still our ancient foe Doth seek to work us woe His craft and power are great And armed with cruel hate On earth is not his equal

Verse 2

Did we in our own strength confide Our striving would be losing Were not the right man on our side The man of God's own choosing You ask who that may be Christ Jesus it is He The Lord of Hosts His name From age to age the same And He must win the battle

Verse 3

And though this world With devils filled Should threaten to undo us We will not fear For God hath willed His truth to triumph through us

See part 22 of this series here.

During these strange and testing times, we hope to post encouragement for you here each day. As ever, if you would like to speak with a Minister, please get in touch through our contact us page.