A wise [man] scaleth the city of the mighty, and casteth down the strength of the confidence thereof.
The Concise Oxford English Dictionary defines the adjective impregnable as “unable to be captured or broken into…unable to be overcome.”* It was used to describe such places as the Maginot Line, the Ardennes Forest, Fortress Singapore, Fortress Europe, and even America.
A similar word to impregnable is unsinkable. It was an adjective used to describe the Titanic, and we all know how that turned out – the “unsinkable ship” lies rusting away at the bottom of the Atlantic.
Sadly, many have placed their faith in the supposed strength and security of fortress walls, only to find out too late that they were unprepared to deal with resourceful invaders. Many have even trusted their lives to the audacious claims of engineers who defied the Almighty. This proverb reminds us that even the cities of the mighty can fall.
The same dictionary that defined impregnable also gives us a definition of scalable: “able to be scaled or climbed.” Believe it or not, there are a lot of walls built by the enemy which are thought to be impregnable, impenetrable, and impassable. They act as fortresses to rebuff any advance. In other cases they act as prisons to keep locked away the captive.
Happily, this proverb reminds us that the wise do not have to give up or walk away when faced with barriers to victory. If history tells us anything, it tells us that where there’s a will, there’s a way.
And hallelujah!, when it’s God’s will, there’s ALWAYS a way.
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. – 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 NIV
*Catherine Soanes and Angus Stevenson, Concise Oxford English Dictionary, 11th ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004).