10The Lord is a mighty tower
where his people can run
11the rich think their money
is a wall of protection.
The towers we are most familiar with are office buildings that soar much higher than any biblical writer could have imagined – and are not, as we have seen to our sorrow, strongholds of safety.
But dotted here and there along the St. Lawrence River and the eastern seaboard of Canada and the United States are a handful of squat, round military towers made of stone. These relics of the early 19th Century are called Martellos, and were copied by the British from one similar installation encountered by the British navy, in 1794, on the island of Corsica.
Built in the 15th Century to defend the island against North African pirates, the tower was only two short stories high, and about forty feet in diameter. Thirty three men, with three small cannon, defended the tower for more than two days against two British ships, mounting a total of one hundred and six cannon, as well as a cannonade from a mere one hundred and fifty yards away on the height behind. When the defenders finally surrendered, only two of their number had been wounded. No wonder the British and others copied them!
The office towers of our time are monuments to money, and to the trust we place in it for security and happiness. But the towers themselves have proven fragile, and wealth even more so. Sickness, sorrow, despair – these marauders and more can easily scale that wall and have their hands on our throats in no time at all.
By contrast, faith in the Lord of the Armies of Heaven – even a small, unimpressive faith – reminds us that, since he is over all, through all, in all, we are ultimately safe even when we are in the midst of affliction. He is the tower that cannot fall.
Lord God Almighty, in you alone we find complete and utter safety. Help us to remember this, and trust it, when we are bombarded by difficulties. Wean us from our dangerous dependence on money. We rest in you. Amen.