What do imagine when you think of a “fortress”? If you think of a massive or monumental structure that was built in a very strategic location for the defense of a city or populated area, you would be correct. In many places there were very protective walls attached to the stronghold and a citadel was often built inside of the fortress, so that there was a final defensive and secure place if the walls fell. Through the centuries a whole vocabulary of words became associated with the construction of a fortress – bulwark, bastion, rampart, parapet, and buttress, for example. If you would visit the remains of one of these enormous structures, you would soon realize what an amazing amount of work and design went into the construction of the fortress so that the city would remain safe and secure from any attack by an enemy. It was extremely important to know that the fortifications would be adequate for the defense of the area so that the people could live without the fear of being conquered or defeated.
It should not come as a surprise that David used this very vivid image when he was looking for ways to acknowledge what God meant to him. He knew without a doubt that it was God who had defended him when the enemy was more powerful than his army. He knew that it was God who kept him from yielding to the temptation to take revenge on King Saul when he had the opportunity to kill him. He knew that it was the Lord God who protected him from yielding to discouragement and despair. He knew that it was the word of God that would enable him to live without paralyzing fear and give him hope for the future. He knew that when he called on the Lord, He would surround him with His arms of protection and guard him with His presence. (Psalm 37: 39 – 40)
In his song, David was able to put into meaningful words how grateful he was for God’s protection from both the human enemies that surrounded him throughout his life, starting with Goliath and the Philistine army, but also from the very real internal enemies that could have easily distracted him from his faith, defeated him through pride or jealousy, or discouraged him from trusting his God throughout all the days of his life. “I love You fervently and devotedly, O Lord, my fortress and my high tower”. (Psalm 18: 1 – 2 Amplified Bible)