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A Castle for All People

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As a boy, I had medieval playsets, watched movies about knights, and pretended to be on heroic quests with a stick for a sword. Unfortunately, I had to wait until my 20s to visit Europe for the first time. During that trip, I planned to see it in person: a castle.

Viewing my first castle was awe-inspiring. Visiting it (once I purchased my ticket and entered a small courtyard) was something else. The flow of traffic directed us to the gift shop as our first stop. I tried to navigate my way through groups of tourists, many of whom were speaking to each other in their native languages. It made me wonder: how frequently are the castles of Europe visited by “enemy” nationals—people from countries those castles were originally built to defend against?

Despite the unusual beginning of my visit, the castle itself exceeded my expectations. It was especially fascinating how many glimpses into medieval life I had there. Castles (if they’re in good enough condition) are nothing more than tourist draws today, but—next to cathedrals—they would have been the most important structures of their time.

A mighty castle must start with a mighty location. Many sit atop lonely hills, mountains, or even extinct volcanoes overlooking the plains and rolling hills below. Yet almost more important than where a castle’s built is what’s around it (town, farms, quarries, etc.). Simply put: the land must be worth defending.

Second, there must be a cooperation of skilled craftsmen, strategists, and laborers. Acquiring the knowledge to build a good castle takes time, and of course, building it takes time. The structure itself must be worth all that effort.

Finally, it’s no good to make an awe-inspiring fortress and then leave it. The authority of the castle must assign soldiers who know how to secure it. They also must provide for the villagers and farmers who will seek shelter within the walls if an enemy invades. Castles may house treasures, but mainly, they’re built and garrisoned because the people residing in and around it are worth saving.

God has always provided the best foundation for our lives. As we build atop that foundation each day, His enriching presence affirms that even though laboring for Him is not easy, it certainly is rewarding. However, as good as our personal fortress is in this world at war, the building and defending is not for us alone. God proclaims this in Isaiah 45:

“Gather together and come, you fugitives from surrounding nations. Let all the world look to me for salvation! For I am God; there is no other.’’ (v. 20, 22)

Throughout the Old Testament, we see a God who is concerned for and at work within Israel. Yet I believe they were supposed to be trained like soldiers to garrison God’s stronghold of truth, but then open the gates to all other peoples, because they were worth saving, too.

That is true today of every one of our family members, friends, neighbors, acquaintances, coworkers, and any stranger we may meet. Everyone is worth saving and worth the time and effort of helping them build–or rebuild–their lives on the foundation that alone is worthy: Jesus. And the guiding motivation for all this is love. As Paul exhorts the Thessalonians:

And may the Lord make your love for one another and for all people grow and overflow, just as our love for you overflows. (1 Thessalonians 3:12, emphasis added)


Scripture is quoted from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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About The Author

Ben Ledger

Ben has worked at CBN since 2014. He's the sort who will watch historical or geographical videos just for fun. He especially enjoys outdoor activities with his wife and three young boys.

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