A friend of mine, Georgia R. Wilson, recently published a speculative fiction book, "Lost Legend of Vahilele." I had the privilege of writing a blurb on the back cover. As many writers do, Georgia changed it from its working title, "Rampart of the Phoenix." I was partial to the original, but it is her book, so I tried to be supportive of her final choice. It's what writing buddies do.
This week, in one of my daily devotions by Catherine Marshall, the word rampart came up again, in a different context. Her subject was spiritual warfare, and she referred to the story in Genesis 2 of Abraham and Isaac as they climbed Mt. Moriah. Marshall speculated that Abraham probably listened to the devil all the way up the mountain, tempting him to doubt the God who had made a promise to him. God told Abraham that he would be the Father of many nations, and here God was asking him to kill his only covenant son. (Side note: Dennis wrote a great song about this story.)
Abraham may have been struggling with his thoughts as Marshall stated, but I tend to believe that the Father of Faith had no doubt that God had a plan. Abraham trusted Him and knew God would not break his promise. But either way, whether he battled doubt and fear from satan, or his faith was strong and steady in spite of the circumstances, something was happening on the other side of the mountain.
God's provision was climbing, too, toward the same altar. The ram had been provided and began his journey up the mountain at the same time Abraham and Isaac started theirs. The message? Our job is to obey and trust that God has a plan. God's job is the "ram-part."
That may be kind of funny, but it's worth thinking about. I looked up rampart in the dictionary and the definition in light of this story is interesting. Rampart: A solid protective barrier, a broad embankment, a strong fortified place surrounded with defenses. A safeguard or support.
Doesn't that sound like what God provides for us every day? Especially when we struggle to understand his instructions? When nothing makes sense to our minds? He protects, strengthens, fortifies, and defends. We run to Him and find support and safety. Next time the devil tells you lies, and everything he says is a lie, remember that God has provided a way of escape even if you can't see it yet. The answer is on the other side of the mountain making its way toward you. Let God take care of the ram-part. Our loving Heavenly Father will set you high above on His rampart of love.
Natural rampart photo: from headland on the west coast of Vatulele, setting of Georgia Wilson's book.
J.A. McPhail is the author of five books, has been married to Dennis since 1974, enjoys living in the North Carolina mountains. and is an avid collector of books and book related stuff.