Transformation Garden - Feb. 13, 2009


February 13

“Then Moses severed three cities on this side Jordan toward the sunrising; That the slayer might flee thither, which should kill his neighbour unawares, and hated him not in times past; and that fleeing unto one of these cities he might live.”
Deuteronomy 4: 41, 42, King James Version


“Run to the Strongtower”

“Lord, Lord, Lord, come to my help;
I turn to you for refuge.”

When I need help, to whom do I run?

Have I found refuge in God, my stronghold?

“The centre of God’s will is our only safety.”
Betsie ten Boom


“The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.”
Proverbs 18: 10, King James Version

Many years ago, I was in our local Christian bookstore and as usual, headed for the music department where I found a CD by Morris Chapman called “Worship Live.” (This CD is nearly impossible to find now!)  As I looked over the list of songs, my eye caught one entitled, “The Name of the Lord.”  After purchasing the CD I headed to my car and inserted the disc.  It’s been a mainstay in my musical library ever since.  The feeling that Morris Chapman puts into his music is soul-stirring!  But on the song, “The Name of the Lord,” you can’t help but find yourself believing from your head to your toes that our refuge is the Lord – that under His wings we are truly safe.

Several months after hearing the song with the words: “The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous run into it and are saved,” I found myself studying about the “Cities of Refuge,” first noted in Deuteronomy 4.  These cities were set up by Moses at the instruction of God, to protect innocent victims from those who wished to do harm to them.

As you’ll note from our text today, Moses “severed” three cities that were designed to be cities of refuge. The word severed means to “literally be separated.”  The same word “separated” is also used to describe the setting apart of the tribe of Levi, to carry the sacred furniture in the tabernacle.  We should take note, cities of refuge were protective areas for the innocent who were charged with severe crimes, yet were not guilty of malice and evil.  When I read about the “Cities of Refuge,” my first thought was how practical our Heavenly Father was in using an earthly place of protection to help us more clearly understand the refuge He is to you and me.

As you and I face everyday challenges and attacks, we long for a city of refuge we can run to.  And our Heavenly Fathers says, “Don’t worry.  I’m the stronghold you can run to – and be safe.”  Doesn’t that give you confidence!

Many years ago, in 1862, the great preacher Charles Spurgeon, described God’s protection in his sermon, “Our Stronghold:”

Strong towers were a greater security in a bygone age than they are now.  When troops of marauders invaded the land, strong castles were set upon the various hill-tops, and the inhabitants gathered up their little wealth and fled thither at once.

He who owned a strong tower, felt however potent might be his adversary, his walls and bulwarks would be sure salvation.  Generous rulers provided strongholds for their people; mountain fastnesses where the peasantry might be sheltered from marauders.

Transfer your thoughts to a thousand years ago, and picture a people, who after ploughing and sowing, have gathered in their harvest, but when they are about to make merry with the harvest festival, a startling signal banishes their joy. A trumpet is blown from yonder mountain, the tocsin (an alarm bell or the ringing of it) answers it from the village tower, hordes of ferocious robbers are approaching, their corn will be devoured by strangers; burying their corn and furniture, and gathering up the little portable wealth they have, they hasten with all their might to their tower of defense which stands on yonder ridge.  The gates are shut; the drawbridge is pulled up; the portcullis (a grating of iron hung over the gateway of a fortified place and lowered between grooves to prevent passage) is let down; the warders are on the battlements, and the inhabitants within feel that they are safe.  The enemy will rifle their deserted farms, and search for hidden treasure, and finding that the inhabitants are quite beyond their reach, they will betake themselves to some other place.

Such is the figure which is in the text.

“The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.”
Proverbs 18: 10, K.J.V.

Interestingly, we often read Proverbs 18: 10 without going to the next verse which says: “The rich man’s wealth is his strong city, and as a high wall in his own conceit” (Proverbs 18: 11, K.J.V.)  At a time when our world is facing such financial crisis and everywhere we turn there is terrible uncertainty, we find that those with stockpiles of money seem to think their wealth will be their safety.  I love the way Charles Spurgeon describes Proverbs 18: 11.

The rich man (or woman) feels that (their) wealth may afford (them) comfort.  Should (they) be attacked in law, (their) wealth can procure (them) an advocate; should (they) be insulted in the streets, the dignity of a full purse will avenge (them); should (they) be sick, (they) can fee the best physicians; should (they) need ministers to (their) pleasures, or helpers of (their) infirmities, they will be at (their) call, should famine stalk through the land, it will avoid (their) door; should war itself break forth, (they) can purchase an escape from the sword, for WEALTH is (their) strong tower!”

I ask you, would you rather, as Solomon noted, trust in God – our strong tower—or in a piece of printed paper or a minted piece of silver or gold?

How thankful we can be that our “city of refuge” is God – a strong tower that we run to – and when we do, we are PROMISED we will be safe.

“I am indeed a servant of the loving God;
He is a refuge to the tempest-tossed,
a solace to the afflicted,
a shelter to the despairing.”


“Thou dwell’st within my heart,
Forthwith anew the fire
Burns of my soul’s desire.
Lord Jesus Christ, beloved,
Tell, O tell me true,
What shall thy servant do?”
Narayan V. Tilak,

Your friend,
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus 
Available May 2009

For more from Dorothy, please visit

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