January 5th, 2013| Topic: RaMbLeS | 0


I was in India the last couple of weeks, the first of which was spent sightseeing—yup, expect several weeks of RaMbLeS on this!

(I was teaching preaching the second week.)

One of the fascinating monuments that I’d heard of in my childhood days in India but never got to see was the Qutb Minar located in the capital city, New Delhi.

This remarkable structure was built by some of the sultans of Delhi in the early 1200s. It is about 240 feet tall, tapering from 10 feet in diameter at the top to 50 feet at the base. The Minar, built from red and buff sandstone blocks, is the highest stone tower in India. The column is five-storied, each separated from the other by highly decorated balconies. It’s all very intricately done with carvings and verses from the Qur’an. And the lowest story has alternating angular and rounded flutings, the second has rounded flutings alone, and the third with angular flutings alone (the last two are unfluted).

Until a fateful day in December 1981 one could ascend the tower on its narrow staircase. On that day—a Friday, when school children are given free admission to the Qutb—a power failure threw the passageway into darkness shortly after noon. The resulting stampede of the 300–400 people in the tower at the time killed forty-five, mostly children. Since then, the interior of the Minar has been closed to the public.

The Qutb also has the dubious distinction of having served as the pit stop on one of the legs of The Amazing Race of Australia, the Down Under version of the Emmy-winning The Amazing Race.

The function of this tower is debated. It likely served as a watchtower because of its height, giving advance warning of invaders. Protection.

Hear my cry, O God; Give heed to my prayer.
From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
For You have been a refuge for me,
A tower of strength against the enemy.
Let me dwell in Your tent forever;
Let me take refuge in the shelter of Your wings. Selah.
Psalm 61:1–4

Then again, a minar is traditionally employed to call faithful Muslims to prayer.

Indeed, the Tower of deliverance that our God is, provokes praise and prayer to him.

The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock;
And exalted be the God of my salvation.
He delivers me from my enemies;
Surely You lift me above those who rise up against me;
You rescue me from the violent man.
Therefore I will give thanks to You among the nations, O LORD,
And I will sing praises to Your name.
He is a tower of deliverance to His king,
And shows lovingkindness to His anointed,
To David and his descendants forever.
Psalm 18:46, 48–50

The Qutb also may have served as a memorial—a later inscription describes it as a vijaya stambha (“victory monument”) of one of the Delhi sultans involved in its construction.

In Christ, the victory has been won, over sin and over Satan. Triumph was accomplished at the cross.

The name of the LORD is a strong tower;
The righteous runs into it and is safe.
Proverbs 18:10

Would that we remember this more often in our daily skirmishes! The big campaign has been won. Now in these in-between days, as we await the consummation of Christ’s magnificent victory, let’s consolidate the smaller battles by finding refuge in the Tower.

Run to the tower! Be safe!


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