Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Be Thou My Vision"1 (Lyrics)
Many families have a heraldic device and motto. The heraldry shield of Moulton is a red and gold crest, with three stars and the Latin motto Regi fidelis (faithful to king and country). One of my relatives has the family name Kelly, the emblem being a stone tower flanked by lions in silver and blue, and its motto is Turris fortis mihi Deus (God is my tower of strength). I like the idea of God as a high tower, a place of refuge: "The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe." (Proverbs 18:10 NKJV)
The letter to the Hebrews tells of many towers of faith to encourage and inspire us.
Hebrews 11:8-12 – By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God. By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised. Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude — innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore. (NKJV)
We look up to Abraham, the friend of God, as being one of the great towers of faith, but we know that he certainly wasn't perfect, going only partway when God called him to leave Ur of the Chaldeans. He made his own plans in Egypt, with disastrous consequences. Eventually, he did obey completely, being one of the few men who met God face to face. Sarah didn't have perfect faith either, laughing in disbelief when the Lord told of her pregnancy.
The letter to the Hebrews was written to discouraged Christians who were considering returning to their previous lives as Jewish believers. Their attention was called to the towers of faith to show that God is faithful and thoroughly capable of keeping His promises. Even though the faith of Abraham and Sarah was imperfect, their faith offers an example to follow, resulting in millions of descendants and impacting more generations than they could ever dream of.
Your faith owes much to the towers of faith in the Bible. Are you discouraged and feeling far from God and that your faith does nothing for you? Look to Him, your high tower of strength, Who promises a city whose foundations are made by God Himself, and Whom we can judge as faithful.
- Be Thou my battle shield, sword for the fight;
Be Thou my dignity, Thou my delight;
Thou my soul's shelter, Thou my high tower:
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.
Amen. – Eleanor Hull