Meditation – Proverb 18.10

The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous man run into it and they are saved…{Prov 18.10).

I can’t help bu think of the song that goes along with this verse. It is a song of jubilance and gratitude for who God is what he has done for us. As I sit and think about what this verse means particularly I need to pause and step thru the words.

The name of the Lord is a strong tower?
How can a name be a tower? Obviously a metaphor, but what is it about God’s ‘name’ that brings to mind a tower? God’s name, YHWH, was revealed to Moses and Israel when they entered into covenant with him. Specifically, God in Ex 34.6: ‘The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast flove and faithfulness.’ This is how he revealed himself and this is his name. In the ANE one’s name was representative of their person. That’s why there are so many names in the Bible that translate to a phrase or something with a more substantial meaning for the bearers of the name (ie Esau, Jacob, Maher-Shalal-Hashbaz, Benjamin, etc). These are names that refer to an inner quality or trait of the person. Thus, God’s defining characteristic is that of mercy, grace, patience, abounding covenant love and faithfulness.

God is a rock in the stream of fickle humans and culture. While tribes change their gods depending on which is politically advantageous. While the harvest god become angry at some sin not revealed to the people. When people do as they see fit – killing each other and oppressing the poor. In these, God is unmovable. He is constant. When we are faithless he remains faithful (2Tim 2.13). When people sin, he reveals in his Word what the sin is and his Spirit comes as a balm to comfort as we work through our muck. In this way God is a tower of consistency. He is a mountain in the midst of the tossing sea.

Who is righteous? The one whose hands are clean and who does not oppress the poor who swears to his own hurt (Psa 15). The one whose heart is pure and always does what honors God (Psa 24.3-4). And we are confronted with the fact that not even those in covenant are always true to that covenant (Psa 14. 1-3; Isa 1).

The righteous run into the tower, which is God’s Name and they are saved. Although none is pure and righteous we are told that those who are called righteous – those faithful to the covenant with YHWH run into the tower which is merciful, patient, and abounding in hesed and emet. Thus, the one who is considered to be righteous flees to the person of YHWH and he is saved. What else is this than the name of Jesus, by which men and women from every tribe and tongue are saved (Acts 2.38; Phil 2.10)? The NT writers are not ambiguous that the name of Jesus is the means by which a man is saved.

A man flees to a tower in times of war to be safe from injury. He flees to a tower to get a better view of the world around him. He is able to defend himself, his family, and hos community from a tower. And so it is with the Name of God. By hiding ourselves in the secure walls that are 10 feet thick we will be safe from the coming wrath. We can see the world clearly as God interprets it for us. We teach and are conformed by His self-revelation. Our families are saved; our communities are saved when we bring them into the tower of God’s faithfulness.

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