Story behind the song:
Not a term we use much in these days of cell phones and retweets. Simply, it was a place of high protection.
That is certainly true of our LORD. Physically, GOD is able to protect us. HE can cup his hand over us, and no harm can come. Mentally, GOD is able to keep us protected as well. So often, I pray “LORD, Guard my mind”. Not necessarily from impure thoughts (but, those do come). Guarding my mind from the painful words of others, from the lies of Satan himself, and from my tendency to all-too-oft run my mouth before I think.
GOD as a Fortress
The word “Fortress” appears only 15 times in the King James Version (KJV) Bible.
The first usage of the word fortress in the Bible is in 1 Samuel 22:4. The word translated Fortress is matsuwd (Strongs, H4686), meaning a strong place.
GOD is indeed a strong place, for whatever we may need to run to Him for or for whatever we may need to trust into His care.
We can be sure that we will be safe, our concerns safe, and our future safe. HE is GOD, and HE will fully protect it all in His Mighty Arms.
A mighty Fortress is our God,
A Bulwark never failing;
Our Helper He amid the flood
Of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe
Doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great,
And, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.
Did we in our own strength confide,
Our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side,
The Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth His Name,
From age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.
And though this world, with devils filled,
Should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed
His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim,
We tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure,
For lo! his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.
That word above all earthly powers,
No thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours
Through Him who with us sideth:
Let goods and kindred go,
This mortal life also;
The body they may kill:
God’s truth abideth still,
His Kingdom is forever.