The Problem with Strongholds

The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Psalm 9:9

And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? Luke 18:7

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Smaller Artillery Shelters | Fort Casey, WA | January 2019

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Disappearing Artillery Installations | Fort Casey, WA | January 2019

We visited Fort Casey on Whidbey Island, WA when we were visiting family there. It is an interesting fortification. Two large cannons remain atop an embankment pointing out to Puget Sound. Places remain where several others had been installed. There are numerous rooms, nooks, and crannies scattered around the stronghold. I was particularly interested in the existence of a bunker with the sign “Switchboard” over the entrance. It was buried deep inside the man-made hill. I’m not certain of the strategic importance or purpose of the fort. But its design indicated purpose and importance.

The problem with a stronghold such as this, however, is that it may or may not be well-placed. What if the enemy ignores the area being protected by this citadel, and attacks at another spot? Useless. Only to be abandoned. It becomes a curiosity. Wikipedia tells us:

However, the fort’s batteries became obsolete almost as soon as their construction was completed.

The invention of the airplane in 1903, and the subsequent development of military aircraft made the fort vulnerable to air attack. In addition, the development of battleships designed with increasingly accurate weaponry transformed the static strategies of the nineteenth century into the more mobile attack systems of the twentieth century.

Worse yet are those obsolete strongholds into which we take refuge only to discover they don’t serve us well. Large 401K becomes a 200.5K in one fell swoop in 2008. A well-cared-for body succumbs to the ravages of cancer. Every precaution taken to insulate your career goes up in smoke when the company is sold to a competitor who eliminates 75% of the workforce.

God, however, is never sold out. He triumphs over sin, sickness, and death. He has eternal and true riches, and promises to provide for all our needs when we put him first, and seek his reign and rule above all else. For too many people God has become obsolete. But he is not obsolete. He rules above every power, authority, and spiritual force. He has the Last Say. And in the end those who take refuge in him will delight to see him come to vindicate the faithful and save the oppressed.

Those who think their stronghold will stand fast will be utterly disappointed when they discover that their fortresses to be utterly obsolete before the judgment of God.

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