“The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord; he is their stronghold in time of trouble.”
-There were six cities of refuge or strongholds that one could flee to where the adversary pursued. In Joshua 20:7-9, we see that “So they set apart Kedesh in Galilee in the hill country of Naphtali, Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim, and Kiriath Arba (that is, Hebron) in the hill country of Judah. East of the Jordan (on the other side from Jericho) they designated Bezer in the wilderness on the plateau in the tribe of Reuben, Ramoth in Gilead in the tribe of Gad, and Golan in Bashan in the tribe of Manasseh. Any of the Israelites or any foreigner residing among them who killed someone accidentally could flee to these designated cities and not be killed by the avenger of blood prior to standing trial before the assembly”. Each of these cities had a great significance and meaning to the tribes of Israel and they point us to Christ as our Stronghold. When the Mosaic law punished murderers by death (Exodus 21:14), the cities of refuge rescued the worst of humanity by offering salvation. Kedesh for instance, was a city of refuge that speaks of our righteousness. It tells us that, if we rely on our own righteousness, we remain inadequate and exposed to the enemy. As sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 5:21). God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21). We are justified by grace through faith in Christ Jesus and remain righteous because He is righteous. Once we receive the gift of righteousness through Christ, we partake freely from the tree of life and not the tree of knowledge of good and evil that leads to death. This displays a picture of Christ as our refuge and draws us to Him when we are inadequate because of sin and the adversary pursues us. When we are stressed, depressed, anxious, fearful, we don’t feel adequate and need hope, we are called to run to Christ; our Refuge and Stronghold.
This is the day that You have made Lord, we rejoice and are glad in it. Lord You are the Maker of the heavens and the earth, all creation bows down before You Oh King. You created all the animals, natural habitation, planets and the galaxy in beauty and splendor, all glory belongs to You. You created man in Your own image and likeness, all creation bows down before You our Lord and King. Thank You for Your sacrifice on the cross for our redemption that we may become righteous before You Jesus, all creation bows down before You. Forgive us all unrighteousness and cleanse us with Your precious blood we humbly implore You. Lord You are our Refuge and Stronghold in times of trouble, our ever present help in times of need, we run to You that we may find mercy and grace to help us in times of need. Jesus You are Refuge and Fortress, we put all our trust in You. Be with our children as they go back to school and protect them from all evil. Thank You for justifying us by faith through grace, all our hope and trust is in You Jesus, our Lord and Savior. Amen
1 Samuel 23:29
“And David went up from there and lived in the strongholds of En Gedi.”
-After David had delivered the city of keilah from the Philistines, Saul pursued him. He inquired of the Lord and ran to the strongholds for safety. With his six hundred men, they escaped to the strongholds of Ziph in the forest before fleeing to the wilderness of Maon and finally En Gedi. These were places of refuge where David and his men found safety. At En Gedi which is also called the “Rock of Escape”, David got an opportunity to slay king Saul when he was relieving himself; but chose to cut the edge of his robe. The stronghold of En-Gedi was situated along the western shore of the Dead Sea, which was rocky and had huge palm trees, vineyards and other vegetation. Song of Solomon 1:14 reveals that En Gedi was a place filled with vineyards, and after king Saul went home, David remained there with his men. The stronghold of En Gedi gives us a picture of Christ as our Vine, Rock and our Foundation. As our Foundation, our Christian faith is founded upon Him through His death and resurrection. As the Vine, Christ is our Savior and Redeemer, and by the shedding of His blood we have peace in Him, victory and hope of eternal life.
Jesus You are our Rock and Foundation, our Stronghold in whom we put all our trust. You are the Rock which the builders rejected and have become the Chief Cornerstone. Sprinkle Your precious blood Jesus upon us that we may stand firm in faith until the end. Wash our children with Your precious blood as they go to school and as the others stay at home that Your sure protection may always be upon them. Sprinkle Your blood upon our relationships and marriages that we may be establish in love that never fails. Sprinkle Your precious blood upon our churches that only Your true word may be ministered and many will come to salvation in You. Wash all the street families, orphans, those imprisoned, the sick and suffering with Your precious blood that Your healing hand may touch their hearts. Sprinkle Your precious blood upon our nation and leaders that only Your voice may be heard and Your will be done. You are our Chief Cornerstone in whom we stand upon and rely on for strength and safety, save us all dear Jesus. You are our hiding place we seek refuge, strength and victory in You. Jesus You are the Vine and we are the branches, we seek Your divine help in all things that we may bear much fruit according to Your will. All glory, honor, power and strength belongs to You now and forever. Amen
“As for you also, Because of the blood of your covenant, I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit. Return to the stronghold, You prisoners of hope. Even today I declare That I will restore double to you.”
-A prophecy came to prophet Zechariah, that the Lord will defend and save His people. A prophecy of the coming of Jesus Christ who is just and having salvation, riding on a donkey. That the Lord will cut off the chariots of Ephraim and bring everlasting peace to the ends of the earth. According to this prophecy, the blood of Jesus was shed to us for an everlasting covenant that we should return to God and He will grant us peace, restore double to us and grant us eternal blessings for He is our refuge and stronghold. He calls us to trust and have hope in Him only, even though we might be going through storms, He will rescue us from all our troubles.
Holy Spirit You are the River of life that fills our souls with love and peace, we thank You for making us see this new day. We come to partake of Your living water that we may never thirst again. Fill our hearts with Your peace that surpasses all understanding. We greatly rejoice in You Lord who is Just and True. We rejoice in Your salvation and peace. Grant all those who do not believe in Jesus the gift of salvation, we humbly implore You. Only You are worthy Lord, only You are able to cure our troubled hearts. Hear our cry dear Jesus and answer our hearts desires according to Your merciful love. All our hope and trust is in You Lord, grant us peace. You are our hiding place, grant us rest. We run to Jesus; rescue us from all our troubles. We need Your mercy and grace always, to see us through. We run to You today and forevermore dear Jesus, cure our troubled hearts. You are our Shield Oh God protect us from the snares of the evil one. Break every evil stronghold in our lives, families and nation and grant us rest. You are our Refuge and Strength Jesus, uphold us with Your mighty hand. Nothing can separate us from Your love, cover us with Your precious blood. Only in Your blood do we have victory, all our hope is in You Jesus. Give us the dew of heaven and restore to us double according to Your great love. Only You Jesus reign in all the heavens and the earth. Open the flood gates of heaven and let it rain in our lives, families, churches, communities and nation. Only You are our Refuge and Strength, our Stronghold in whom we put our trust. We believe and trust in You in all things, now and forever. Amen
“One who is wise can go up against the city of the mighty and pull down the stronghold in which they trust.”
-The Lord grants us wisdom and strength to win in every situation when we trust in Him. In Psalms 144:1-2 king David narrates that, “Praise be to the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle. He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield, in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me.”Despite the battles that come our way, God is in control. As the nations battle against COVID-19, economic and financial turmoil, political instability, social and religious conflicts, and other challenges that trickle down to its citizens, God is still in control. In 2 Corinthians 10:4-6 we see that, “the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.”We are called to submit our thoughts, hearts desires, emotions, feelings, challenges, families, marriages, jobs, businesses, economy, leadership, churches, governments and every thing else to God, and He will make everything crooked path straight. God calls us to be obedient to His will and shun away from all evil. In every situation we are also reminded to rejoice in the Lord, pray without ceasing and give thanks always, which is a reassurance that Christ is our shield and stronghold and He will establish our steps.
Abba Father our Lord and Savior, we thank You for Your goodness and mercy upon our lives. Thank You for this far that You have brought us and the far that You are taking us. Thank You for protecting us and shielding us from all evil. Grant us the wisdom and grace to be obedient unto Your word and walk in the light of Your salvation. Renew our minds and help us to seek first Your kingdom and Your righteousness. Bless us indeed Oh Lord and enlarge our territories. May Your mighty hand always be with us that You may keep us from all evil; that may cause us pain. Deliver us from all strongholds and wicked schemes of the evil one, and grant us victory in all situations. We break every accusation against us, our families, relationships, marriages, churches, businesses, work places, future, nation and entire world by Your precious blood Jesus. You are our Advocate Jesus fight for us and grant us rest in all situations. Set us free dear Jesus. Our Father who art in heaven; hallowed be Your name; Your Kingdom come; Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptations but deliver us from evil; for thine is the Kingdom the power and the glory; forever and ever. Amen
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.”
-As our good Shepherd, Christ offers us protection from all danger. We are His sheep and He knows us and laid His life for our salvation. We are not the good sheep but He is the good Shepherd, and when we are weak; then we are strong because He is in us and with us. From the parable of the lost sheep we see that, Christ is our refuge and stronghold, and calls us to rely on Him alone. He is the Rock upon which we stand, and reminds us to stand upon Him despite the turbulent times that we might be going through, and we will always find pasture for our souls.
A stronghold is a place that has been fortified so as to protect it against attack. According to Joshua 20:7-9, there were six cities of refuge that offered asylum to both the Jews and foreigners when they unintentionally committed murder. These include:- Kadesh, Shechem, and Hebron which were to the west of the Jordan River and Golan, Ramoth-Gilead, and Bezer that were to the east of the Jordan River. All these cities bring our distinct attributes of Christ as our Stronghold. For instance; Kadesh speaks of Christ as our righteousness, Shechem as our Living water and Hebron as our Friend etc. King David ran to such cities when pursued by king Saul. He later captured the stronghold of Zion and called it the city of David, where many including the lame and blind found refuge. As our Stronghold, we are called to run to Christ where we find joy, peace, health, provision, safety, love, salvation and abundant life. Like the cities of refuge, Christ offers us the free gift of salvation as He shed His blood for the remission of our sins. Jesus then offers us protection from eternal death if we repent and believe in Him. As our Stronghold, we are called to stand firm upon Him who is the Rock of our salvation and our life.
Praise be to the name of the Lord for ever and ever; wisdom and power belongs to Him. He changes times and seasons; but He changes not. All glory, honor and power belongs to Him. He deposes kings and raises up others, His power and authority endures forever. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning, His wisdom endures forever. He reveals deep and hidden things to His sheep; He knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with Him, His righteousness endures forever. Jesus You are the Rock of our salvation, our fortress and deliverer. Our God and Strength, in whom we put our trust. Our Shield and the horn of our salvation, our stronghold, in You we put all our trust. May Your beauty be upon us Lord our God, that You may establish the work of our hands. Establish the work of our hands and prosper all our ways our Good Shepherd. May Your favor always be upon us, our families and nation that You may establish the work of our hands. Restore unto us double Lord and establish the work of our hands. We know that all things work together for good to those who love You God, to those who are the called according to Your purpose, establish us in Your truth and grace. Nothing is impossible with You Lord our God, establish us in Your righteousness and grace. Worthy are You Jesus Christ to take the scroll and to open its seals; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and You have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth. Lord You are our good Shepherd, our Stronghold and Shield, establish us in Your wisdom and purpose. Amen