Psalm 59:16b (ESV)
For you have been to me a fortress
and a refuge in the day of my distress.
Matthew 10:28 (ESV)
28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
In reading Psalm 59 this morning, I notice that David twice describes God as his fortress. A fortress is a place of protection. In a physical sense I visualize impenetrable walls and a defensible location when I think of a fortress. When under attack, I want my body protected.
Is David merely using symbolism in this description? Perhaps not.
The verse that came to me as I considered this was Matthew 10:28. There Jesus reminds me that God is the only one that has authority over my true self, my soul. Governments and thugs (sometimes two different groups, sometimes not) can kill my body but my soul is protected by God.
Perhaps David, the man after God’s own heart, had this in mind when describing God as his fortress. Saul, who was pursuing David at the time, could kill David’s body, but David’s soul was protected by his relationship with God.