Taking Refuge in the Tower

Have you ever considered the connection between our heavenly father and lighthouses? I’d like to share my unexpected revelation with you that occurred a few years ago.

Lighthouses are a favorite of mine. They hold a unique beauty and silent mystery for me. In 2019, I visited North Carolina’s Outer Banks on a “lighthouse looking” excursion. Bodie Island, Ocracoke Island, and Cape Lookout were sites of enjoyment and pleasure. However, the iconic Cape Hatteras Lighthouse stood above the others in size and sentiment.

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse on North Carolina’s Outer Banks ~ Photographer Robyn Spradlin

Cape Hatteras stands 210 feet above sea level at its current location, making it the tallest lighthouse in the U.S. and arguably the tallest brick lighthouse globally. Its 257-step spiral staircase is the equivalent of climbing a 12-story building. A double-wall design begins merging at approximately 130 feet. The walls’ internal air space includes a brick wagon-wheel spoke pattern giving the tower greater strength than brick walls alone.

Records as far back as 1879, nine years after its lighting, indicate that Cape Hatteras has endured the hammering of countless hurricanes, the Charleston Earthquake in 1886 and a half-mile relocation from its original location in 1999, all with no visible damage. This means that taking refuge in the tower is a wise choice, no matter the storm.

Robert Kern climbing Cape Hatteras ~ Photographer Robyn Spradlin

While visiting the Outer Banks, the lighthouses I visited and Scripture came crashing together. I had an epiphany that connected the lighthouse to Proverbs 18:10, “The name of the Lord is a strong tower and the righteous run into it and are safe” (KJV). The day I visited was breezy. When I reached the observation deck, the park ranger on duty would not allow visitors to exit the tower because the wind was whipping above 50 mph.

Inside the tower, I could hear the wind’s moan but didn’t feel any of its power until I reached through the door opening, preparing to capture photos and video footage with my phone. The wind nearly blew my phone from my hands. Although it was roaring outside, I felt only minimal effects of the wind inside the tower. The passage from Proverbs 18:10 instantly rose in my spirit. I could see great significance and similarities between Cape Hatteras’ tower and the protection offered in the name of the Lord, who can access the protection, and how it’s accomplished. Comparing Proverbs 18:10 in several different translations let’s meditate God’s protection.

View from Cape Hatteras’ observation deck doorway ~ Videographer Robyn Spradlin

The Message Bible (MSG) says, “God’s name is a place of protection – good people can run there and be safe.” The verse denotes God’s name as a place of protection and safety. It points out that people “can run there and be safe.” The choice of running to the tower for safety is placed on the individual. It doesn’t happen because the tower exists. It is a choice.

The Easy-to-Read Version (ERV) says, “The name of the Lord is like a strong tower. Those who do what is right can run to Him for protection.” Here again, the tower’s protection is available, but it’s to those who “do what is right.” Other places in Scripture show that diligently listening to the voice of the Lord, giving ear to His commandments, keeping His ordinances are part of doing what is right. The ERV also specifies the word “can” run to the Lord for protection. Again, it is a choice. A person can run to Him or not. It is God’s desire and design to be a protector, provider of safety and security, but it’s up to the individual to run to Him.

The Modern English Version (MEV) says, “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run into it and are safe.” God’s Word Translation (GW), says, “The name of the Lord is a strong tower. A righteous person runs to it and is safe.” These translations are similar. The only difference is the righteous and a righteous person. The MEV could refer to a group of people, and GW focuses on the person. They run into the name, the tower, and safety is the result.

Each reference the name of the Lord as a “strong tower.” Cape Hatteras’ double-walled structure makes its tower strong, but the internal wagon-wheel spoke design multiplies that strength. It has strength beyond other usual means. The name of our Lord has strength beyond all earthly, natural means.

Cape Hatteras’ entryway ~ Photographer Robyn Spradlin

The same way the natural tower has endured beatings from wild wind, water, flying debris and remained immovable, without visible damage, so is the name of the Lord. The wild winds of life may assail, but if you’re in the tower, in His name, it provides safety and protection.

Finally, let’s look at the Complete Jewish Bible (CJB), “The name of Adonai is a strong tower; a righteous person runs to it and is raised high [above danger].” Again, we see the strong tower and righteous runners, but look at the last phrase, “and is raised high [above danger].” WOW! In the name of the Lord, you are raised high above danger. In other words, the danger cannot touch you. Psalm 91 bears this out, “You who live in the shelter of ‘Elyon” who spend your nights in the shadow of Shaddai, who say to Adonai, “My refuge! My fortress! My God in whom I trust!” (Psalm 91:1, 2, CJB). In Cape Hatteras’ tower, 200-foot deep water wouldn’t drown you. Catastrophic winds might blow, but in the refuge, the fortress, you are safe.

This reminds me of Isaiah 43:2, “When you pass through rivers, they will not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire, you will not be scorched – the flame will not burn you, for I am Adonai, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…” (CJB). The benefits mentioned in this verse hinge on taking refuge in the name of the Lord.   Today, I would like to remind you, you have a place of protection and safety. Trust the tower of His name. Choose to run to the tower.