I’ve come to enjoy reading the Bible, but when I do I encounter words that are generally not a part of my vocabulary. Sometimes I loosely understand what they mean but I might not know various usages and meanings. On one particular day, I clicked on my Bible App and started to read. I stopped abruptly when I saw the word, “rampart.” “A wall around a city,” I thought.
I reflected for a second about its meaning and thought to look it up to be sure. My finger gently pressed the word on my tablet screen until it was highlighted in blue. A dialog box popped up with several definitions. “A defensive wall of a castle or walled city, having a broad top with a walkway and typically a stone parapet.” I was almost right.
I haven’t seen too many walled cities but I enjoy seeing photos of the Great Wall of China. I often see its large and thick stones towering out of green foliage over hills and mountains. Its purpose was to protect the country from invasions from the North. It is reported to be over 13,000 miles of wall and it is 16 – 26 feet high.
As I kept reading about my new word, rampart, I noticed that it has modern usages. Several movies are named, Rampart, or has “Rampart” in the title. There are streets named Rampart, and one is a couple of miles away from my home. A musical group and videos share the same name, Rampart; and to my surprise, the word is right in the middle of the song, “The Star Spangled Banner.”
With a little digging, I also learned that the original Hebrew word is actually, ‘sinnah’, which means a large shield or a standing shield. But the NIV translates ‘sinnah’ as “shield and rampart.” Perhaps both words are used here to help the reader understand how strong and big God’s faithfulness is to His children.
The Impact of a Word
Even though “rampart” is common, it did not impact my world in a significant way until now. I went back to reading my Bible text. “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart” (Psalm 91:4, NIV).
I sat in silence as thoughts and feelings of encountering greatness welled up within. This is an amazing promise written in this verse. The writer tells us that God will cover us, we will find refuge in Him and God’s faithfulness will be a shield and rampart.
Now whenever I read Psalm 91, I pause and see the faithfulness of God as a great shield and a mighty wall that protects His children from the enemy’s invasions. No matter how the trials impact our lives, no matter the pain and heartaches, God’s faithfulness stands big and strong. I can count on Him to be faithful to all that He promises to do for His people. I will never think of “rampart” the same.
Pamela Williams writes from Southern California.
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