“And David remained in the strongholds in the wilderness, in the hill country of the wilderness of Ziph. And Saul sought him every day, but God did not give him into his hand. David saw that Saul had come out to seek his life. David was in the wilderness of Ziph at Horesh… Now David and his men were in the wilderness of Maon, in the Arabah to the south of Jeshimon. And Saul and his men went to seek him. And David was told, so he went down to the rock and lived in the wilderness of Maon. And when Saul heard that, he pursued after David in the wilderness of Maon. Saul went on one side of the mountain, and David and his men on the other side of the mountain. And David was hurrying to get away from Saul. As Saul and his men were closing in on David and his men to capture them, a messenger came to Saul, saying, ‘Hurry and come, for the Philistines have made a raid against the land.’ So Saul returned from pursuing after David and went against the Philistines. Therefore that place was called the Rock of Escape. And David went up from there and lived in the strongholds of Engedi.” “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge, my savior.” 1 Samuel 23:14-15,24-29; 2 Samuel 22:2-3
The strongholds of our God are a welcome respite in any wilderness. David, having been anointed king but not yet ascended to the throne, was hotly pursued by the still-reigning, rejected King Saul. In addition to his physical enemies, he faced doubt, fear, exhaustion. We can infer that his strongholds in this harsh land were more than hiding places in the rock; his habit was to hide in his Rock and salvation, the LORD.
Are there nasty foes that lurk and pester us to doubt the love and grace of God, His forgiveness of our sins and remembering them no more? Do fears of the unknown, of hypothetical failures, tragedy, defeat, or the worst for loved ones, occupy our thoughts? Does anxiety over impending storms or health or other situations over which we have no control, constantly assail? Would I find God’s stronghold and remain there? No matter what buffets our imaginings, He is nigh, His presence strong, His promises real. David was keenly aware of his enemies and did skillful battle with them, but he set up residence and remained in his Fortress, His Savior. (Isaiah 43:25; Hebrews 8:12)
Abiding in our Stronghold enables us to hold strong. When all things disturbing attack our minds, bodies, souls, we can live safely in Jesus Who delivers from eternal peril and guards against present worry.
“The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1
LORD, You are good, my stronghold every day. May I ever hide myself in Thee. (Nahum 1:7)