Proverbs 18:10 Commentary

Proverbs 18:10 The name of the LORD is a strong tower. The righteous runs into it and is safe. (Margin note = "set on high") (NASB: Lockman)

Greek (Septuagint - LXX): Ek (out of, marker of origin/cause) megalosunes (greatness, majesty, prominence) ischuos (capability or capacity to function effectively) onoma (name) kuriou (Lord, Master) auto (His) de prosdramontes (AAP) (to run to, toward) dikaioi (righteous) huphosuntai (3PPPPI) (lift up, raise high - see word study on hupsoo)

Translation of Greek (my version): Of great strength, power, might is the Name of the Lord, and the righteous who run towards it are continually lifted up, raised high, exalted.

Amplified: The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the [consistently] righteous man [upright and in right standing with God] runs into it and is safe, high [above evil] and strong. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)

ESV: The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe. (ESV)

Easy English: God is like a strong castle. Good men are safe, when they trust in God.

HCSB: The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are protected.

KJV: The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.

NET: The name of the LORD is like [supplied for the sake of clarity] a strong tower; the righteous person runs to it and is set safely on high. (NET Bible)

NIV: The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. (NIV - IBS)

NLT: The name of the Lord is a strong fortress; the godly run to Him and are safe. (NLT - Tyndale House)

Young's Literal: A tower of strength is the name of Jehovah, Into it the righteous runneth, and is set on high.

Consider taking a moment before you read the comments on Pr 18:10 and listen to the simple vocalization of the Names of God by Laurell Hubick, even as you perhaps recall some of Jehovah's Names that may have been important in your life journey. Consider viewing the video in full screen to allow you to focus more fully on His Names. As an aside, the Names of God would make an excellent backdrop for a time of "remembrance of" Christ, the Name above all names, as you celebrate the Lord's Supper with other brethren in Christ. May God grant us the Spirit's enabling grace and power to daily live our lives as an act of worship to His holy Name in everything we think, say and do for His glory. Amen.

THE NAME OF THE LORD:
WHAT IS IN A NAME?

So what is in a name? Remember to begin your study of a passage with prayer asking your Teacher the Spirit (1Jn 2:20, 28, 1Cor 2:12-16) to illuminate the text as you begin to simply observe what God says (avoiding the temptation to move to what God means [interpretation] before you have accurately assessed what God says! For help see Observation - Interrogation with 5W'S & H)

Jamieson - name of the Lord = manifested perfections (Psalm 8:1-note; Psalm 20:2-note), as faithfulness, power, mercy, etc., on which men rely. Safe = literally, “set on high, out of danger” (Psalm 18:2-note; Psalm 91:4-note).

Hawker - The name of the Lord, i.e. the Lord, as he hath revealed himself in his works, and especially in his word by his promises, and the declarations of his infinite perfections, and of his good will to his people In who though they live in a gross neglect and contempt of God, will expect salvation from him.

A C Gaebelein - The Name (Ha-Shem, in Hebrew) stands for Jehovah Himself. He is the place of refuge, of shelter, protection and safety for all who in faith turn to Him. In Him is our peace and safety. The Hebrew meaning of “is safe” is “set on high.” Even so if we flee to Him and become His, we are exalted in Him, seated in Christ in heavenly places (Eph 2:6-note).

Daniel Whedon - Meaning Himself, as He is revealed to man in His faithfulness, love, compassion, power, etc. “May the Name of the God of Jacob set you securely on high!” Psalms 20:1-note.

G Campbell Morgan - Proverbs 18:10-11. Each of these verses taken separately constitutes a perfect proverb; but the force of either is diminished unless we note the antithesis created by considering them together. On the one hand, the true refuge of the soul is declared. On the other, a false refuge is described.

Steveson - The phrase “name of the Lord” is here equivalent to the person of the Lord; cf. 2 Chronicles 6:7; Psalm 7:17; Isaiah 30:27. (A Commentary on Proverbs, BJU Press)

Moses Stuart - The name of Jehovah, is a periphrasis (but a very significant one), which designates Jehovah himself. To call on the name of the Lord, is to invoke him by calling his name. The word name, in such a connection, designates all that we include under the appellation of the being addressed. (A Commentary on the Book of Proverb, 1852).

Name (08034) (shem/šēm) is a masculine noun occurring over 864x in the OT (90x in plural) and describes the word or combination of words by which something or someone is called and by means of which it or they can be distinguished or identified. It is a word or term by which a person, place or thing is commonly and distinctively known. Name is a designation that sets a person, place or thing apart from another.

In Bible times a person’s name stood for the person. The name stood for the character and characteristics or "attributes", if you will, of that person.

The 1828 Webster's Dictionary says that name is

"That by which a thing is called; the sound or combination of sounds used to express an idea, or any material substance, quality or act; an appellation attached to a thing by customary use, by which it may be vocally distinguished from other things. A name may be attached to an individual only, and is then proper or appropriate, as John, Thomas, London, Paris; or it may be attached to a species, genus or class of things, as sheep, goat, horse, tree, animal, which are called common names, specific or generic… (Name can also mean) Reputation; character; that which is commonly said of a person; Renown; fame; honor; celebrity; eminence; praise; distinction. But in this sense, the word is often qualified by an epithet; as a great name; a mighty name."

G F Hawthorne adds that in Scripture a…

name” is that which (1) reveals the true nature of its bearer (1Sa 25:25), so that to know the name is to know the person (Ps. 9:10), or (2) designates the relationship that exists between entities, especially between God and His people (2Chr7:14; Isa 43:6f). (Bromiley, Geoffrey W.: The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised)

Allen Myers writes that…

Names carry more value and importance in biblical than in modern usage. Not only may a name identify, but it frequently expresses the essential nature of its bearer; to know the name is to know the person (cf. Ps 9:10). (The Eerdmans Bible Dictionary)

Shem is used in 765 verses in the OT (Click and scroll down for list of uses in KJV and NAS) Shem is variously translated in the NAS = byword(1), defamed*(1), defames*(1), fame(8), famous(3), famous*(1), memorial(1), Name(3), name(654), name's(11), name*(4), named(7), named*(66), names(80), renown(6), renowned(1), report(1), repute(1), same names(1).

Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Dictionary explains that…

Personal names (and even place names) were formed from words that had their own meanings. Thus, the people of the Bible were very conscious of the meaning of names. They believed there was a vital connection between the name and the person it identified. A name somehow represented the nature of the person. This means that the naming of a baby was very important in the Bible. In choosing a name, the parents could reflect the circumstances of the child’s birth, their own feelings, their gratitude to God, their hopes and prayers for the child, and their commitment of the child to God. The name Isaac reflected the “laughter” of his mother at his birth (Ge 21:6). Esau was named “hairy” because of his appearance. Jacob was named “supplanter” because he grasped his brother Esau’s heel (Ge 25:25–26). Moses received his name because he was drawn out of the water: “So she called his name Moses, saying, ‘Because I drew him out of the water’ ” (Ex. 2:10). A popular custom of Bible times was to compose names by using the shortened forms of the divine name El or Ya (Je) as the beginning or ending syllable. Examples of this practice are Elisha, which means “God is salvation”; Daniel, “God is my judge”; Jehoiakim, “the Lord has established”; and Isaiah, “the Lord is salvation.” (Youngblood, R. F., Bruce, F. F., Harrison, R. K., & Thomas Nelson Publishers. Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Dictionary)

See Also Related Resources: Name in Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology, International Std Bible Encyclopedia, Fausset's Bible Dictionary

On a number of occasions, the names of individual's would be changed to reflect a new aspect of their life. For example, when God cut His immutable covenant with Abram, his name was changed to Abraham to reflect his new calling to be “a father of many nations” (Ge. 17:5) (See also The Oneness of Covenant - The Exchange of Names). God gave Jacob the new name Israel (“God strives”) because he “struggled with God and with men, and prevailed” (Gen. 32:28; 35:10).

When shem is used as a personal name in the OT it often conveys the sense of the person's "existence, character and reputation (1Sa 25:25)" (TWOT). When shem is used in the phrase of someone's name being cut off or perishing, it signified their "liquidation" so to speak. In the OT parents would often give their children names that expressed their hopes, wishes or expectations for that child (e.g., God's desire for Jacob in changing his name in Ge 35:10).

Some 79 uses of shem in the OT reflect a "play on words" in that the name given to someone reflected in some way of something would happen (e.g., Hos 1:4-5).

In a number of OT uses of shem, the phrase "name of the LORD" is tantamount to describing the being of God or the appearance of God (e.g., trusting His Name = faith in God = Ps 20:7, Isa 50:10). For example Genesis repeatedly uses the phrase "call upon the Name of the LORD", the first use being Ge 4:26 where men began to call upon His Name, which was a picture of calling on His Person, of worshipping His Person. (Ge 12:8, Gen 13:4, Gen 16:13, Gen 21:33, Gen 26:25, Ex 34:5) Micah says "we will walk In the name of the LORD our God forever and ever." (Mic 4:5)

To "take the name of the LORD" in vain was strictly prohibited lest His holy Name might be profaned (Ex 20:7, cp Lev 24:16, Dt 5:11). The related phrase "in the name of the LORD" often refers to speaking (including giving a blessing, an oath, a prophecy) or serving (cp Col 3:17), which signifies that which is done in Jehovah's place, in His authority and power and/or for His glory. (Dt 18:5, 7, 22, 21:5, 1Sa 17:45, 20:42, 2Sa 6:18, 1Ki 18:32, 22:16, 2Ki 2:24, 1Chr 16:2, 1Chr 21:19, 2Chr 18:15, 33:18, Ps 118:26 [refers to Jesus in NT = Mt 21:9, 23:39, Mk 11:9, Lk 19:38, Jn 12:13], Jer 11:21, 26:9, 44:16)

GOD'S SHEM (NAME)
AND WORSHIP

God's Name is frequently invoked in association with various aspects of worship

  • “Praise the Name of the LORD” (Ps 113:1; 135:1; cf. 148:5, 13; 149:3; Joel 2:26);

  • “To give thanks to the Name of the LORD” (Ps 122:4; cf. Ps 54:8; 138:2; 140:14; 142:8),

  • To give thanks to His holy Name ” (Ps 106:47; 1Chr 16:35)

  • “Let them give thanks (to) your great and terrible Name , for it is holy” (Ps 99:3);

    “(They) will fear the Name of the LORD” (Isa 59:19)

  • “Let him trust in the Name of the LORD” (Isa 50:10; cf. Zeph 3:12)

  • “We trust in His holy Name ” (Ps 33:21);

  • “To love the Name of the LORD” (Isa 56:6).

  • “Glorify the LORD…the Name of the LORD” (Isa 24:15).

  • “Great is Your Name in might” (Jer 10:6)

  • The temple is built “to/for the Name of the LORD” (1Kgs 3:2; 5:3, 5:5; 8:20).

  • God has placed His Name in His Temple (Dt 12:5, 21; 14:24; 1Kgs 9:3; 11:36; 14:21; 2Kgs 21:4, 7)

  • God’s Name ‘tabernacles’ or dwells in His Temple (Dt 12:11; 14:23; 16:2, 6, 11; 26:2; Jer 7:12; Neh 1:9)

Other OT passages echo the truth of Pr 18:10 of Jehovah's Name as a place of safety

  • Our help is in the Name of the LORD, Who made heaven and earth. (Ps 124:8)

  • But I will leave among you a humble and lowly people, and they will take refuge in the Name of the LORD. (Zeph 3:12)

THE NAME OF GOD:
THREE FOUNDATIONAL PRINCIPLES

As you study the Names of God in Scripture, keep in mind the following three principles:

(1) God's Names are His "Self" Revelation to men, the Creator unveiling His character to His creatures. His Names are not the thoughts of men about how they picture God as is the case with pagan deities! At times God reveals His Name in response to a question from man (cp Moses in Ex 3:13 and God's revelation in Ex 3:14) and at other times he simply declares His Name, often in the setting of a time of man's need (e.g., Ge 22:11, 12, 13, 14 - while Abraham named the place Jehovah Jireh, it was a Name reflecting God's revelation of His timely provision of a substitutionary sacrifice!)

(2) God reveals His Names to men so that we might come to know Him personally (See Jn 17:4). Each Name is in a sense an invitation to know God more intimately and to grow in relationship with Him. As you study the Names of God, do not forget to ask whether you know Him in your own life by the Name He reveals Himself?

(3) God's revelation of His Names is progressive, so that each Name demonstrates a new aspect or attribute of His glorious Character. As you study His Names, you will find yourself growing in the knowledge of Who God is. At the same time you will (or should) experience a deepening of your faith and increasing trust in His attitude and actions toward you, as you see His attributes revealed in His Names (cp Ro 10:13).

Matthew Henry amplifies this foundational truth: The better God is known the more He is trusted. Those who know Him to be a God of infinite wisdom will trust Him further than they can see Him (Job 35:14); those who know Him to be a God of almighty power will trust Him when creature-confidences fail and they have nothing else to trust to (2Chr. 20:12 "but our eyes are on You"! What a good word!); and those who know Him to be a God of infinite grace and goodness will trust Him though He slay them (Job 13:15). Those who know Him to be a God of inviolable truth and faithfulness will rejoice in His word of promise (cp Nu 23:19, Josh 21:45, 23:14), and rest upon that, though the performance be deferred and intermediate providences seem to contradict it. Those who know Him to be the Father of spirits, and an everlasting Father, will trust Him with their souls as their main care and trust in Him at all times, even to the end.

The more God is trusted the more He is sought unto (Ed: compare "run into"). If we trust God we shall seek Him by faithful and fervent prayer, and by a constant care to approve ourselves to Him in the whole course of our conduct.

God never did, nor ever will, disown or desert any that duly seek to Him and trust in Him (He 13:5-note - Note there are 5 negatives that He will never desert or forsake us!). Though He afflict them, He will not leave them comfortless; though He seem to forsake them for a while, yet He will gather them with everlasting mercies. (Ps 9:10-note)

Puritan writer Thomas Watson speaks of the importance of the knowledge of God and Faith in Him: Faith is an intelligent grace; though there can be knowledge without faith, yet there can be no faith without knowledge. One calls it quick sighted faith. Knowledge must carry the torch before faith… A blind faith is as bad as a dead faith: that eye may as well be said to be a good eye which is without sight, as that faith is good without knowledge.

Note that in the context of Pr 18:10 the word Name (shem/sem) is a metonymy (figure of speech in which one thing is designated by the mention of something associated with it). Thus the metonymy of a strong tower stands for one or more attributes such as His power to protect or keep safe. In context the attribute that is most clearly emphasized is God's power (Omnipotent) to protect.

Related Resources:

Remember that whenever you encounter LORD written in all caps (NAS, ESV, KJV, etc), it identifies the English translation of the Hebrew YHWH, the tetragrammaton, which is transliterated into English as "Yahweh" or more commonly Jehovah, His covenant Name by which He made Himself known to Israel.

Many of the proverbs use very figurative language to "paint a picture". In the present passage the Name of the LORD is said to be a strong tower. Obviously this does not refer to a literal tower but is a figurative description to help us understand what God is like. Solomon says He is like a tower and not just any tower but a strong tower (cp Ps 61:3-note where God is compared to a "tower of strength", the same picture as in this proverb). And when Solomon refers to "the name of the LORD" (explained in more detail below), he uses this phrase to stand for the LORD Himself or His attributes. And when he says the "righteous run", the language is again figurative. Clearly the righteous cannot literally run into God, but they can trust Him wholeheartedly, read His Word eagerly, pray to Him without ceasing, etc, all ways a righteous person can "run" into His Name. The idea of run also pictures carrying this out with some degree of haste. These "pictures" are elaborated on more in the following notes.

H A Ironside - The Name of Jehovah stands for the Lord Himself. To run into it, as into a strong tower, is to confide in Him in the time of trouble. This is the blessed privilege of every true saint. “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep [i.e., garrison] your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7-note). All that perplexes and oppresses the human spirit can be poured into God’s ear. Then the soul can leave all burdens with Him and can confide in His love. Thus the heart will be at peace, protected as in a garrisoned tower, however the enemy may rage. See a lovely picture of this in the tower of Thebez (Jdg 9:50-57-note).

John Trapp - The name of the Lord is a strong tower. God’s attributes are called "His name"; because by them he is known as a man is, by his name. These are said to be Arx roboris, a tower so deep, no pioneer can undermine it; so thick, no cannon can pierce it; so high, no ladder can scale it; - "a rock," an "old rock"; [Isaiah 26:4] yea, "munitions of rocks"; [Isaiah 33:16] rocks within rocks; a tower impregnable - inexpugnable. (a) The righteous run into it.] All creatures run to their refuges when hunted, [Proverbs 30:26 Ps 104:18-note Proverbs 18:11 Da 4:10-11-note, Jdg 9:50-51-note] which yet fail them many times, as the tower of Shechem did; [Judges 9:46-49] as the stronghold of Sion did those Jebusites that scorned David and his host - as conceited, that the very lame and blind, those most shiftless creatures, might there easily hold it out against him. [2Samuel 5:6-7] The hunted hare runs to her form, but that cannot secure her; the traveler to his bush, but that, when once wet through, does him more hurt than good; as the physicians did the hemorrhoids. [Mark 5:26] But as she, when she had spent all before, came to Christ and was cured, so the righteous being poor and destitute of wealth - which is the rich man’s strong city [Proverbs 18:11] - and of all human helps (God loves to relieve such as are forsaken of their hopes), runs to this strong refuge, and is not only safe, but ‘set aloft,’ as the word signifies, out of the gunshot. (b) None can pull them out of his hands. Run therefore to God, by praying and not fainting. [Luke 18:1] This is the best policy for security. That which is said of wily persons that are full of fetches, of windings, and of turnings in the world, that such will never break, is much more true of a righteous, praying Christian. He hath but one grand policy to secure him in all dangers; and that is, to run to God.

Pulpit Commentary - Proverbs 18:10 The Name of the Lord is a strong tower. The Name of the Lord signifies all that God is in himself—his attributes, his love, mercy, power, knowledge; which allow man to regard him as a sure Refuge. "Thou hast been a Shelter for me," says the psalmist (Psalms 61:3), "and a strong Tower from the enemy." The words bring before us a picture of a capitol, or central fortress, in which, at times of danger, the surrounding population could take refuge. Into this Name we Christians are baptized; and trusting in it, and doing the duties to which our profession calls, with faith and prayer, we are safe in the storms of life and the attacks of spiritual enemies. The righteous runneth into it (the tower), and is safe; literally, is set on high; exaltabitur, Vulgate; he reaches a position where he in set above the trouble or the danger that besets him. Thus St. Peter, speaking of Christ, exclaims (Acts 4:12), "Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other Name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." "Prayer," says Tertullian ('De Orat.,' 29), "is the wall of faith, our arms and weapons against man who is always watching us. Therefore let us never go unarmed, night or day. Under the arms of prayer let us guard the standard of our Leader; let us wait for the angel's trumpet, praying." Septuagint, "From the greatness of his might is the Name of the Lord; and running unto it the righteous are exalted."

Keil and Delitzsch - Two proverbs, of the fortress of faith, and of the fortress of presumption: A strong tower is the name of Jahve;The righteous runneth into it, and is high. The name of Jahve is the Revelation of God, and the God of Revelation Himself, the creative and historical Revelation, and who is always continually revealing Himself; His name is His nature representing itself, and therefore capable of being described and named, before all the Tetragramm, as the Anagramm of the overruling and inworking historical being of God, as the Chiffre of His free and all-powerful government in grace and truth, as the self-naming of God the Saviour. This name, which is afterwards interwoven in the name Jesus, is מגדּל־עז (Psalm 61:4-note), a strong high tower bidding defiance to every hostile assault. Into this the righteous runneth, to hide himself behind its walls, and is thus lifted (perf. consec.) high above all danger (cf. ישׂגּב, Proverbs 29:25). רוּץ אל means, Job 15:26, to run against anything, רוץ, seq. acc., to invest, blockade anything, רוץ בּ, to hasten within; Hitzig's conjecture, ירוּם riseth up high, instead of ירוּץ, is a freak. רוץ בּ is speedily בוא בּ, the idea the same as Psalm 27:5-note; Psalm 31:21-note.

Matthew Poole - What a refuge there is in a covenant God in Christ for a believer, however buffeted, to take shelter in? Let a child of God sit down if he will, and ponder over all his discouragements and difficulties; and I will be bold to say, that in the Lord's name, that is in Christ Jesus, he will find somewhat exactly corresponding, to suit and answer for all. Is he poor? Christ's name is riches; yea, durable riches and righteousness. Proverbs 8:18. Is he surrounded with enemies? Then Christ is the mighty God. Isaiah 9:6. Is he sick? He saith, I am the Lord that healeth thee (Jehovah Rapha). Ex 15:26. Do his people need in critical moments a thousand supplies, they know not what, and they know not how? How blessed is that name by which Abraham called the Lord in his moment of necessity; Jehovah Jireh, the Lord shall provide; and at this day in the mount of the Lord it shall be seen. Genesis 22:14. In short, in the name of Jehovah we have all; wisdom to guide, power to help, grace to save, mercy to pardon, righteousness to justify, and all temporal, spiritual, and eternal blessings. Surely, Lord, they that know thy name will put their trust in thee; for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee. Ps 9:10-note.

Matthew Henry - Here is, 1. God's sufficiency for the saints: His name is a strong tower for them, in which they may take rest when they are weary and take sanctuary when they are pursued, where they may be lifted up above their enemies and fortified against them. There is enough in God, and in the discoveries which he has made of himself to us, to make us easy at all times. The wealth laid up in this tower is enough to enrich them, to be a continual feast and a continuing treasure to them. The strength of this tower is enough to protect them; the name of the Lord is all that whereby he has made himself known as God, and our God, not only his titles and attributes, but his covenant and all the promises of it; these make up a tower, a strong tower, impenetrable, impregnable, for all God's people. 2. The saints' security in God. It is a strong tower to those who know how to make use of it as such. The righteous, by faith and prayer, devotion towards God and dependence on him, run into it, as their city of refuge. Having made sure their interest in God's name, they take the comfort and benefit of it; they go out of themselves, retire from the world, live above, dwell in God and God in them, and so they are safe, they think themselves so, and they shall find themselves so.

Joseph Benson - Proverbs 18:10-11. The name of the Lord — That is, the Lord, as he hath revealed himself in his works, and especially in his word, by his promises, and the declarations of his infinite perfections, and of his good-will to his people; is a strong tower — Is sufficient for our protection in the greatest dangers. The righteous — By faith and prayer, devotion toward God, and dependence on him; run into it — As their city of refuge. Having made sure of their interest in God’s name, they take the comfort and benefit of it: they go out of themselves, retire from the world, live above it, dwell in God and God in them, and so they are safe, as if they were in an impregnable fortress. They think themselves so, and they shall find themselves so. Observe, reader, there is enough in God, and in the discoveries which he has made of himself to us, to make us easy at all times. The wealth laid up in this tower is enough to enrich us, to be a continual feast, and a continuing treasure to us; the strength of this tower is enough to protect us; the name of the Lord, or that whereby he has made himself known as God, and as our God; his titles and attributes; his covenant, and all the promises of it, make up a tower, and a strong tower, impenetrable, impregnable, for us, if we be his people. This is necessary; for it is only the righteous that run into this tower, as is here stated, or that have access to it, according to Isaiah 26:2, which is signified to beat down the vain confidences of those who, though they live in a gross neglect and contempt of God, yet presume to expect salvation from him.

B E Nicholls -

  • Illustrations from Scripture.
  • Job under his deep affliction, Job 19:25, 26;
  • Asa, when attacked by Zerah, 2Chr. 14:11, etc.
  • Hezekiah under his alarm from Sennacherib, 2 Kings 19:14–20, 32–34.
  • The Apostles, when threatened by the Sanhedrim, Acts 4:24–33.

Practical Remarks and References.

  • See on Pr. 14:26.
  • Ro 8:35–39.
  • Zech 2:8.
  • Ps 17:8.
  • Visitation of the sick.
  • “The Almighty Lord, &c. a strong tower,” &c.

THE RELATIONSHIP OF
JEHOVAH AND JESUS

In short, Jehovah is Jesus. How do we know Jesus is Jehovah? Let's compare some OT and NT passages…

In the year of King Uzziah's death, I saw the Lord ('adonay) sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. 2 Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings; with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one called out to another and said, "Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD (Jehovah) of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory. And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, while the temple was filling with smoke. Then I said, "Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I live among a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts." (Isaiah 6:1-5)

The apostle John records that…

These things Isaiah said (John 12:39, 40), because he saw His glory, and he spoke of Him. (John 12:41)

Comment: Isaiah recorded that he saw Jehovah's glory and John records that Isaiah saw Jesus' glory and that the OT prophet spoke of Jesus. John is clearly saying that Jesus is God, the God Isaiah referred to as Jehovah of Hosts. In other words, it was Christ's glory which Isaiah saw. As John MacArthur concludes "John unambiguously ties Jesus to God or Yahweh (Jehovah) of the OT." (MacArthur Study Bible)

Pastor Chuck Smith speaks of running to His Name when you are

discouraged, depressed, edgy, anxious, worried (each of these will lead to doubt)… , interpersonal relationships - strong disagreement with your spouse, Maybe they have left you, and your life was built around them - What am I going to do? Where shall I go? How will I survive? The deeper you have loved them, the more devastating the experience can be. Maybe you are on different wave lengths than your child. Constant tension. Meal times have become disasters. It could be at work. Someone has it in for you. They try to make you look bad. They call attention and laugh at your mistakes. Life itself. Why do the ungodly prosper?. Some seem to get along quite well without God.. Why is there suffering? Why must death come to someone I loved so deeply? Where can we turn? The name "Jehovah"… the Name of Jesus." (From his message The Name of Jesus)

Beloved are you hurting even as you read these notes? He is there, Jehovah Shammah. Run to Him. Hide in Him (Read - Ps 17:8, Ps 27:5, Ps 31:20, Ps 64:2). Let me encourage you to listen to the song Names of God and focus on Him as you see and hear the beautiful sound of His names, asking your personal Teacher, the Holy Spirit, to make His glorious Names (reflective of His manifold attributes) your strong tower (experientially). You may still feel the way you feel, but He is able to lift you up and place your feet on on high places (cp Hab 3:19 - be sure to note the context Hab 3:16, 17, 18 - What does this suggest about the way Habakkuk must have felt? Notice how he focuses not on his feelings, which are very real, but on God) and on the Rock of your salvation (Ps 89:26, Ps 40:2, Ps 62:2, 6, Ps 61:2). And over time, as your Comforter, the Holy Spirit, ministers to your hurting heart, you will find that "the things of the earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace" (Play the hymn and as you listen ask God to help you turn your focus from self to Savior so that you might Turn Your Eyes upon Jesus). (Indeed, is this not "running" into the "strong tower"!)

C H Spurgeon explains that running into His Name…

also meant an experimental acquaintance (i.e., it's not just knowledge in your head but a personal experience you have had in your heart) with the attributes of God, which are every one of them anchors to hold the soul from drifting in seasons of peril. The Lord may hide His face for a season from His people, but He never has utterly, finally, really, or angrily forsaken them that seek Him. Let the poor seekers draw comfort from this fact, and let the finders rejoice yet more exceedingly, for what must be the Lord's faithfulness to those who find if He is so gracious to those who seek… The names of God inspire trust. JehovahJireh, Tsidkenu, Rophi, Shammah, Nissi, Elohim, Shaddai, Adonai, etc.

Charles Simeon (brief biography) explains that the Name of the LORD refers to…

The character of God—By “the name of the LORD” we are not to understand the mere word, Jehovah, as though that would afford us any security. This is a vain and foolish superstition, that has no foundation whatever in the Oracles of God. But, by “the name of the LORD” we must understand his character; as we learn from that expression of David, “They that know thy name,” i. e. thy character, “will put their trust in thee.” Consider then the character of Jehovah,

1. As described by Himself—God, in infinite condescension, was pleased to make himself known to Moses, and by an audible voice to “proclaim his name: (Ex 34:5)” “The Lord passed by and proclaimed, The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth; keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty. (Ex 34:6,7)” Now we would ask the trembling sinner, What character he would wish Jehovah to bear? Would he wish God in no instance to testify his displeasure against sin, but to treat all men alike, putting no difference between “the guilty” who are going on in all manner of wickedness, and the penitent, who are turning from all iniquity? No: there is not a penitent in the universe that would wish God to act in a way so unworthy of his Divine Majesty. But if he desire to be assured of mercy to returning penitents, it is not possible that any words he could devise could more richly portray this attribute, than those which God himself has used. Consider them distinctly and separately, — — — and see how constantly they have been verified towards you hitherto, and how abundantly they contain all that you can desire.

2. As revealed to us in Christ Jesus—The Lord Jesus Christ is “Emmanuel, God with us;” and he is particularly called, “The image of the invisible God.” because in him the whole character of the Deity is made, as it were, visible to mortal men. He is “the brightness of his Father’s glory, and the express image of his person;” and his whole character is marked in the name given him before he was conceived in the womb (Mt 1:21, 23). The name “Jesus” is the same with Joshua, or “Jehoshua,” that is, Jah Hosea, Divine Saviour. What a glorious and comprehensive name is this! All that he has done and suffered for us, and all that he has promised to us, is contained in it; together with his perfect sufficiency for all that he has undertaken to effect. The trembling sinner finds in the very name of Jesus a pledge of all that he wants. Besides, whilst we contemplate him in the whole of his work and offices, we are expressly authorized to apply to ourselves the benefit of them all, and to call him, “The Lord our Righteousness.” Follow this idea in all its bearings, and what unsearchable mysteries of love and mercy will it unfold to our view! (Proverbs 18:10 The Name of the Lord a Strong Tower)

Toy adds that…

The Name = the Person, because it expressed His nature and qualities (as early names commonly did), and because in very ancient times the name was regarded… as having an objective existence and as identical with its possessor … Every people came to associate with the name of its god all that it attributed to the god. The name Yahweh was significant to the Jews at this time… because, as the proper name of the national Deity, it represented for them all ideas of divine guidance and protection. (A critical and exegetical commentary on the book of Proverbs)

This is the only occurrence in Proverbs for this commonly used OT phrase "name of the LORD". Here are the 105 uses in the Old and New Testaments (Look at the repeated theme in the uses in Genesis - Interesting!): Ge 4:26; 12:8; 13:4; 16:13; 21:33; 26:25; Exod 20:7; 33:19; 34:5; Lev 24:16; Deut 5:11; 18:5, 7, 22; 21:5; 28:10; 32:3; 1 Sam 17:45; 20:42; 2 Sam 6:2, 18; 1Kgs 3:2; 5:3, 5; 8:17, 20; 10:1; 18:24, 32; 22:16; 2 Kgs 2:24; 5:11; 1 Chr 16:2; 21:19; 22:7, 19; 2 Chr 2:1, 4; 6:7, 10; 18:15; 33:18; Job 1:21; Ps 7:17; 20:7; 102:15, 21; 113:1ff; 116:4, 13, 17; 118:10ff, 26; 122:4; 124:8; 129:8; 135:1; 148:5, 13; Prov 18:10; Isa 18:7; 24:15; 30:27; 48:1; 50:10; 56:6; 59:19; 60:9; Jer 3:17; 11:21; 26:9, 16, 20; 44:16; Joel 2:26, 32; Amos 6:10; Mic 4:5; 5:4; Zeph 3:9, 12; Zech 13:3; Matt 21:9; 23:39; Mark 11:9; Luke 13:35; 19:38; John 12:13; Acts 2:21; 8:16; 9:28; 19:5, 13, 17; 21:13; Rom 10:13; 1 Cor 6:11; Col 3:17; 2 Tim 2:19; Jas 5:10, 14

Persons may confidently and safely take refuge in God's covenant Name which conveys an assurance of security to those who are in covenant with Him by grace through faith ("the righteous" in Pr 18:10).

James Montgomery Boice writes that…

the name of God is a Semitic phrase for speaking of God's attributes. To be protected by the name is therefore to be protected by the One Who is sovereign, holy, all-knowing, wise, compassionate, and anything else that can properly be said of God. And there is more, for to be kept "in the name" is not merely to be kept by God, as if He were only some distant force that could be called in to defend us if that were necessary. It is rather that we are actually in Him, much like being in a fortress. Thus, His power and other attributes surround us constantly. (The Gospel of John)

Comment: The verse Boice is commenting on is in Jesus prayer to His Father for His disciples where He prays…

And I am no more in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to Thee. Holy Father, keep (tereo in the present imperative = continually) them in Thy name, the name which Thou hast given Me, that they may be one, even as We are. (John 17:11)

Wiersbe notes that…

The name of the Lord" signifies all the glorious attributes of the Lord. Because of Who He is and what He is, those who trust Him don't have to worry—because He is always their refuge and strength (Ps. 46:1).

If you want to know how strong His name is, study the names of God in the Old Testament (see index to onsite studies) and the "I AM" statements of Jesus in the Gospel of John.

Comment: John uses Seven “I Am's" to describe Jesus: Bread = Jn 6:35,41,48, 51 Light = Jn 8:12 Door = Jn10:9 Good Shepherd = Jn 10:14 Resurrection and Life = Jn 11:25, The Way = Jn14:6 The Vine =Jn 15:1,5

Matthew Poole explains that… `

The name of the LORD, i.e. the Lord, as he hath revealed Himself in His works, and especially in His word by His promises, and the declarations of His infinite perfections, and of His good will to His people.

J R Miller asks "What are we to understand by the name of God?". The answer…

Among the ancient Jews there was one divine name which had peculiar sacredness. It was so holy that they never pronounced it in public. When they came to it in reading, they would pass over it in reverent silence, not daring to take it upon their lips. The Mohammedans, also, have a great reverence for the divine name. They will not tread upon a piece of paper, even the smallest torn fragment which they see lying upon the ground, but will reverently pick it up, saying, “It may contain the name of God.” In this there may be little more than superstition in the outward honor shown to the diving name. Oft times men with wicked heart will treat the written or spoken name of God with seeming reverence, bowing at its every mention, while in their own life they have no true regard for God. It is very evident that more than this is meant in this petition for the hollowing of God’s name. We must honor it in our heart and in our life.

In the Bible a name stands for the whole of the character of the person. Many scripture names have meanings in which are enshrined the qualities which belonged to the man. Even among us a name comes to stand for all there is in the person’s life and character. A little child is born without a name, and when a name is given to it it means nothing as yet, for the child has no biography, no character, no personality, has done nothing to individualize itself. But as the days and years go on, and the child grows into manhood, everything he does and all that he is are gathered into his name, until by and by the name has a meaning wherever the man is known; is, as it were, a composite photograph made up of all the phases and aspects of his life. Any man’s name when spoken in the ears of his friends conveys to them a conception of his personality, his character, his disposition, his whole story; all that his is is enshrined in his name. There are certain names in every community that by reason of the noble life which the persons live, or the great or good things they have done, mean a great deal, standing for honor, for patriotism, for heroism, for philanthropy, for beneficence, for religion.

So the name of God includes all that God is and all that he has done, that is, all the revelations which have been made to us of him. When we speak His name there arises before our mind a vision which gathers in itself all that we know about God — all our thoughts of him, our impressions of him, our experiences of His goodness, His mercy, His help. When we mention the name of Jesus Christ, the whole story of His life is suggested to us, — His condescension, His beautiful character, His gentleness, His works of power, His teaching — above all , His atoning death, and then His resurrection and ascension. Thus the name of God stands for God himself, all that God is. In this petition we pray, therefore, not merely for the formal honoring of a name, but for the honoring of God himself in the revelations of him which have been made in the world.

Of course we cannot add a particle to the essential glory of God’s name. Nothing we could do would make His character any more glorious. We cannot add to the sun’s brightness by lighting candles and lamps on the earth; nor can we, by anything we may say or do, make God any more glorious than he is in His essential character. (from The Hollowed Name)

Play:

A STRONG
TOWER

A strong tower (2Sa 22:3,51 Ps 18:2 27:1 61:3,4 91:2 144:2 Isa 26:4) - Clearly God's name is not a literal strong tower, so one could add "like a strong tower" to clarity (see metaphor). The point is that just as a strong tower is to a besieged village, Jehovah is the same to the persecuted believer.

Though Troubles Assail Us
by John Newton

No strength of our own and no goodness we claim;
Yet, since we have known of the Savior’s great Name,
In this our strong tower for safety we hide:
The Lord is our power, “The Lord will provide.”

Ancient readers could easily understand the value of a strong tower. Modern readers would not grasp the picture quite as readily (which is why we must always seek [if possible] to interpret Scripture in its cultural and historical context.) The metaphor “strong tower” indicates that God is our secure refuge.

Here is a parallel passage that teaches a similar idea…

For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; In the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock. (Ps 27:5, cp Ps 31:21)

Comment: Notice how David "runs" in the context of this Psalm -- Ps 27:3 = He expresses in confidence in God even in the face of encirclement by enemies. The Hebrew word for "confident" in Ps 27:3 is batach = Expresses sense of well-being & security from having something or someone in whom to place confidence, pertaining to placing reliance or belief in someone (One) or some thing. Figuratively batach means to trust, be confident or sure David: Ps26:1, 34:21, 37:3, 62:8.

The NET Bible Note explains that in Proverbs 18:10…

Hebrew (literally reads) "a tower of strength," with "strength" regarded as attributive by most English versions. The metaphor "strong tower" indicates that God is a secure refuge. The figure is qualified in the second colon. The metaphor of "running" to the LORD refers to a whole-hearted and unwavering trust in God's protection (e.g., Isa 40:31).

Kenneth Hemphill comments that in Pr 18:10…

God's name is like a fort that provides protection for the believer. Through this study, we will come to understand the significance of names like Jehovah Rophe or Jehovah Nissi. In each case, we will learn how understanding that name becomes a SPIRITUAL FORTRESS. For example, we will discover that Jehovah Rophe can bring healing, thus turning bitter experiences into sweet. We will find that Jehovah Nissi is a banner of protection that can give us spiritual victory. We will discover that Jehovah Jireh is a God of infinite provision who can meet every need of our lives. As we grow to understand he very nature and character of God we will find ourselves running to His name to find safety and strength. His name is like a strong tower! God's name stands for the manifestation of His presence in His revelation and His relation to His people. This can be one of the most exciting and encouraging studies that you have ever undertaken. It is essential to know God's name because we bear that I f name and we are commanded to live in such a way that will bring it honor. As we come to know the significance of each name, we will enhance the breadth of our ability to praise God and to live in His protection. (The Names of God - Highly Recommended!)

Strong (05797) ('oz) is a masculine noun which speaks of strength, might or power. 'Oz is used primarily of God, especially in the Psalms (accounting for most uses of 'oz = 44x).

'Oz referring to God's strength = Ex 15:2, 13, 1Chr 16:27, 28, Job 12:16, Ps 21:1, 13, Ps 61:3,

Ark of God's might = Ark of Covenant = 2Chr 6:41

Man's intrinsic strength = Lev 26:19

God's gives strength to men = 1Sa 2:10, Ps 28:7, 8, 29:11, 30:7, Ps 46:1, Ps 59:9, (See below for "my" or "our/their" strength - God's strength was their personal possession)

Men are charged to seek God's strength =1Chr 16:11

Strength associated with praise and/or worship of God = 2Sa 6:14, 1Chr 13:8, Ps 8:2 (? see note below), Ps 21:13, Ps 29:1, Ps 59:16, 17

Strength associated with a tower - Literally = Jdg 9:51 and figuratively = Pr 18:10

Strong (loud) instruments = 2Chr 30:21

Strong rain (? heavy) = Job 37:6

Strong creature (behemoth) = Job 41:22

In view of the fact that Hebrew does not lend itself to the abstract, the concept of strength is often expressed in picture language as in the present passage.

'Oz - 92v in the NAS translated fortress*(1), loud(1), might(3), mighty(4), power(12), stern(1), strength(53), strong(16), stronghold(2).

Exodus 15:2 "The LORD is my strength (Lxx = boethos = help) and song, And He has become my salvation; This is my God, and I will praise Him; My father's God, and I will extol Him.

Exodus 15:13 "In Your lovingkindness You have led the people whom You have redeemed; In Your strength You have guided them to Your holy habitation.

Leviticus 26:19 'I will also break down your pride of power; I will also make your sky like iron and your earth like bronze.

Judges 5:21 "The torrent of Kishon swept them away, The ancient torrent, the torrent Kishon. O my soul, march on with strength.

Judges 9:51 But there was a strong tower in the center of the city, and all the men and women with all the leaders of the city fled there and shut themselves in; and they went up on the roof of the tower.

1 Samuel 2:10 "Those who contend with the LORD will be shattered; Against them He will thunder in the heavens, The LORD will judge the ends of the earth; And He will give strength to His king, And will exalt the horn of His anointed."

2 Samuel 6:14 And David was dancing before the LORD with all his might, and David was wearing a linen ephod.

1 Chronicles 13:8 David and all Israel were celebrating before God with all their might, even with songs and with lyres, harps, tambourines, cymbals and with trumpets.

1 Chronicles 16:11 Seek the LORD and His strength; Seek His face continually.

1 Chronicles 16:27 Splendor and majesty are before Him, Strength and joy are in His place.

1 Chronicles 16:28 Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples, Ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.

2 Chronicles 6:41 "Now therefore arise, O LORD God, to Your resting place, You and the ark of Your might; let Your priests, O LORD God, be clothed with salvation and let Your godly ones rejoice in what is good.

2 Chronicles 30:21 The sons of Israel present in Jerusalem celebrated the Feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days with great joy, and the Levites and the priests praised the LORD day after day with loud instruments (literally "instruments of strength") to the LORD.

NET translates 'oz: The Levites and priests were praising the LORD every day with all their might.

Ezra 8:22 For I was ashamed to request from the king troops and horsemen to protect us from the enemy on the way, because we had said to the king, "The hand of our God is favorably disposed to all those who seek Him, but His power and His anger are against all those who forsake Him."

Comment: Notice that the "hand of God" is paralleled with "His power." One can have the "good" or "bad" hand of the Lord upon them (cp Ezra 7:9, Ezra 8:22).

Job 12:16 "With Him are strength and sound wisdom, The misled and the misleader belong to Him.

Job 26:2 "What a help you are to the weak! How you have saved the arm without strength!

Job 37:6 "For to the snow He says, 'Fall on the earth,' And to the downpour and the rain, 'Be strong.'

Job 41:22 "In his neck lodges strength, And dismay leaps before him.

Psalm 8:2 From the mouth of infants and nursing babes You have established strength Because of Your adversaries, To make the enemy and the revengeful cease.

Comment: "From the mouth… You have established strength" is difficult to understand. The Greek actually translates strength ('oz) with the word "ainos" which means praise. Thus the NET renders it "You have ordained praise."

Psalm 21:1 For the choir director. A Psalm of David. O LORD, in Your strength the king will be glad, And in Your salvation how greatly he will rejoice!

Psalm 21:13 Be exalted, O LORD, in Your strength; We will sing and praise Your power.

Psalm 28:7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, And with my song I shall thank Him.

Psalm 28:8 The LORD is their strength, And He is a saving defense to His anointed.

Psalm 29:1 A Psalm of David. Ascribe to the LORD, O sons of the mighty, Ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.

Psalm 29:11 The LORD will give strength to His people; The LORD will bless His people with peace.

Psalm 30:7 O LORD, by Your favor You have made my mountain to stand strong; You hid Your face, I was dismayed.

Psalm 46:1 For the choir director. A Psalm of the sons of Korah, set to Alamoth. A Song. God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.

Psalm 59:9 Because of his strength I will watch for You, For God is my stronghold.

NLT rendering: You are my strength; I wait for you to rescue me,

Psalm 59:16 But as for me, I shall sing of Your strength; Yes, I shall joyfully sing of Your lovingkindness in the morning, For You have been my stronghold And a refuge in the day of my distress. 17 O my strength, I will sing praises to You; For God is my stronghold, the God who shows me lovingkindness.

Psalm 61:3 For You have been a refuge for me, A tower of strength against the enemy.

Psalm 62:7 On God my salvation and my glory rest; The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God.

Psalm 62:11 Once God has spoken; Twice I have heard this: That power belongs to God;

Psalm 63:2 Thus I have seen You in the sanctuary, To see Your power and Your glory.

Psalm 66:3 Say to God, "How awesome are Your works! Because of the greatness of Your power Your enemies will give feigned obedience to You.

Psalm 68:28 Your God has commanded your strength; Show Yourself strong, O God, who have acted on our behalf.

Psalm 68:33 To Him who rides upon the highest heavens, which are from ancient times; Behold, He speaks forth with His voice, a mighty voice. 34 Ascribe strength to God; His majesty is over Israel And His strength is in the skies. 35 O God, You are awesome from Your sanctuary. The God of Israel Himself gives strength and power to the people. Blessed be God!

Psalm 71:7 I have become a marvel to many, For You are my strong refuge.

Psalm 74:13 You divided the sea by Your strength; You broke the heads of the sea monsters in the waters.

Psalm 77:14 You are the God who works wonders; You have made known Your strength among the peoples.

Psalm 78:26 He caused the east wind to blow in the heavens And by His power He directed the south wind.

Psalm 78:61 And gave up His strength to captivity And His glory into the hand of the adversary.

Comment; "His strength" is figurative language standing for the "Ark of the Covenant" (a metonym) which had been housed at the temporary tabernacle at Shiloh.

Psalm 81:1 For the choir director; on the Gittith. A Psalm of Asaph. Sing for joy to God our strength; Shout joyfully to the God of Jacob.

Psalm 84:5 How blessed is the man whose strength is in You, In whose heart are the highways to Zion!

Psalm 86:16 Turn to me, and be gracious to me; Oh grant Your strength to Your servant, And save the son of Your handmaid.

Psalm 89:10 You Yourself crushed Rahab like one who is slain; You scattered Your enemies with Your mighty arm.

Psalm 89:17 For You are the glory of their strength, And by Your favor our horn is exalted.

Psalm 90:11 Who understands the power of Your anger And Your fury, according to the fear that is due You?

Psalm 93:1 The LORD reigns, He is clothed with majesty; The LORD has clothed and girded Himself with strength; Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved.

Psalm 96:6 Splendor and majesty are before Him, Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary. 7 Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples, Ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.

Psalm 99:4 The strength of the King loves justice; You have established equity; You have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob.

Psalm 105:4 Seek the LORD and His strength; Seek His face continually.

Psalm 110:2 The LORD will stretch forth Your strong scepter from Zion, saying, "Rule in the midst of Your enemies."

Psalm 118:14 The LORD is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation.

Psalm 132:8 Arise, O LORD, to Your resting place, You and the ark of Your strength.

Psalm 138:3 On the day I called, You answered me; You made me bold with strength in my soul.

Psalm 140:7 "O GOD the Lord, the strength of my salvation, You have covered my head in the day of battle.

Psalm 150:1 Praise the LORD! Praise God in His sanctuary; Praise Him in His mighty expanse.

Proverbs 10:15 The rich man's wealth is his fortress (strong city where "strong" = 'oz), The ruin of the poor is their poverty.

Proverbs 14:26 In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence, And his children will have refuge.

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

Proverbs 18:11 A rich man's wealth is his strong city, And like a high wall in his own imagination.

Proverbs 18:19 A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city, And contentions are like the bars of a citadel.

Proverbs 21:22 A wise man scales the city of the mighty And brings down the stronghold in which they trust.

Proverbs 24:5 A wise man is strong, And a man of knowledge increases power.

Proverbs 31:17 She girds herself with strength And makes her arms strong.

Proverbs 31:25 Strength and dignity are her clothing, And she smiles at the future.

Ecclesiastes 8:1 Who is like the wise man and who knows the interpretation of a matter? A man's wisdom illumines him and causes his stern face to beam.

NET Bible comment: "the strength of his face is changed." The expression 'oz panayv, "strength of his face") is an idiom for "boldness; impudence" or "hard face" = harsh countenance.

Isaiah 12:2 "Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; For the LORD GOD is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation."

Isaiah 26:1 In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah: "We have a strong city; He sets up walls and ramparts for security.

Isaiah 45:24 "They will say of Me, 'Only in the LORD are righteousness and strength.' Men will come to Him, And all who were angry at Him will be put to shame.

Isaiah 49:5 And now says the LORD, who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant, To bring Jacob back to Him, so that Israel might be gathered to Him (For I am honored in the sight of the LORD, And My God is My strength),

Isaiah 51:9 Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD; Awake as in the days of old, the generations of long ago. Was it not You who cut Rahab in pieces, Who pierced the dragon?

Isaiah 52:1 Awake, awake, Clothe yourself in your strength, O Zion; Clothe yourself in your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city; For the uncircumcised and the unclean Will no longer come into you.

Isaiah 62:8 The LORD has sworn by His right hand and by His strong arm, "I will never again give your grain as food for your enemies; Nor will foreigners drink your new wine for which you have labored."

Comment: Clearly this will not be completely fulfilled until the Millennium.

Jeremiah 16:19 O LORD, my strength and my stronghold, And my refuge in the day of distress, To You the nations will come From the ends of the earth and say, "Our fathers have inherited nothing but falsehood, Futility and things of no profit."

Jeremiah 48:17 "Mourn for him, all you who live around him, Even all of you who know his name; Say, 'How has the mighty scepter been broken, A staff of splendor!'

Comment: Man's so-called strength will fail (sooner or later), as described here for Moab.

Jeremiah 51:53 "Though Babylon should ascend to the heavens, And though she should fortify her lofty stronghold (Literally = "the high place of its strength"), From Me destroyers will come to her," declares the LORD.

Ezekiel 19:11 'And it (Judah) had strong branches fit for scepters of rulers, And its height was raised above the clouds So that it was seen in its height with the mass of its branches.

Ezekiel 19:12 'But it (Judah) was plucked up in fury (Babylon's destruction of Jerusalem in 586BC); It was cast down to the ground; And the east wind dried up its fruit. Its strong branch was torn off So that it withered; The fire consumed it.

Ezekiel 19:14 'And fire has gone out from its (Judah and King Zedekiah) branch; It has consumed its shoots and fruit, So that there is not in it a strong branch, A scepter to rule.'" This is a lamentation, and has become a lamentation.

Ezekiel 24:21 'Speak to the house of Israel (The Holy Temple), "Thus says the Lord GOD, 'Behold, I am about to profane My sanctuary (Temple), the pride of your power, the desire of your eyes and the delight of your soul; and your sons and your daughters whom you have left behind will fall by the sword.

Comment: Babylon destroyed the Temple in 586BC.

Ezekiel 26:11 (Context = Destruction of Tyre) With the hoofs of his (Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon's) horses he will trample all your streets. He will slay your people with the sword; and your strong pillars will come down to the ground.

Ezekiel 30:6 (Context = Destruction of Egypt)' Thus says the LORD, "Indeed, those who support Egypt will fall And the pride of her power will come down; From Migdol to Syene They will fall within her by the sword," Declares the Lord GOD.

Ezekiel 30:18 (Context = Destruction of Egypt) "In Tehaphnehes the day will be dark When I break there the yoke bars of Egypt. Then the pride of her power will cease in her; A cloud will cover her, And her daughters will go into captivity.

Ezekiel 33:28 "I will make the land a desolation and a waste, and the pride of her power will cease; and the mountains of Israel will be desolate so that no one will pass through.

Amos 3:11 Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD, "An enemy (Assyria would sack the Northern Kingdom), even one surrounding the land, Will pull down your (Northern Kingdom's) strength from you And your citadels will be looted."

Micah 5:4 And He will arise and shepherd His flock In the strength of the LORD, In the majesty of the name of the LORD His God. And they will remain, Because at that time He will be great To the ends of the earth.

Habakkuk 3:4 His radiance is like the sunlight; He has rays flashing from His hand, And there is the hiding of His power.

Carl Schultz summarizes 'oz

Material and physical strength can be indicated by this word. In Jud 5:1, it is descriptive of a tower; in Isa 26:1, of a city. Used with face (Eccl 8:1) it clearly means “stern.” It can be descriptive of actions: dancing (2Sa 6:14), rejoicing (1Chr 13:8), and singing (2Chr 30:21). To “gird the loins with strength” is to work industriously (Pr 31:17). Used with rain it indicates torrents of drenching rain (Job 37:6). This word is also used with “scepter” to depict political power (Jer 48:17, of Moab; Ezek 19:11, 12, 14, of Zedekiah; Ps 110:2, messianic; cf. Ps 2:9; 99:4).

Primarily this word is related to God. Strength is an essential attribute of God (Ps 62:11; 63:2), his voice (Ps 68:33) and his arm (Isa 62:8; cf. Isa 51:9; Ps 89:10) are mighty. While the ark is a symbol of his power (2Chr 6:41; Ps 78:61; 132:8; cf. Nu 10:35, 36), it is also observable in the skies (Ps 150:1).

God bestows strength on man: the king (1Sa 2:10), his people (Ps 29:11; 68:35), and on Zion (Isa 52:1). But not only is strength a quality given by God, he himself is that strength. Frequently the personal possessive pronouns are attached to strength in the Psalms to show this (Ps 28:7; 81:1; 118:14). In seeking His presence, strength is found (Ps 105:4 = 1Chr 16:11). God exercises this strength on behalf of His people against their foes. This is particularly well illustrated in the Exodus (Ex 15:13).

This word is used figuratively to describe the security enjoyed by the righteous. The Lord is a strong tower against the enemy (Ps 61:3) and a mighty rock (Ps 62:7). His name (i.e. person) is the strong tower in which the righteous are safe (Pr 18:10). The impartation of his strength, made the psalmist secure as a strong mountain (Ps 30:7). Zion is a strong city because it is surrounded not only by material walls but also by his salvation (Isa 26:1).

The strength of the Lord is to be a common theme of our praise. We are to ascribe strength to him. We are to recognize his glorious might and to praise him for it (Ps 29:1; 96:7; 1Chr 16:28). Thus in hymns of praise God’s strength shows itself as his overwhelming majesty, and in the laments it appears as his helping protection. (Harris, R L, Archer, G L & Waltke, B K Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament. Moody Press or Logos or Wordsearch)

Adam Clarke writes that…

The name of the Lord may be taken for the Lord himself; He is a strong tower, a refuge, and place of complete safety, to all that trust in Him. What a strong fortress is to the besieged, the like is God to His persecuted, tempted, afflicted followers.

Spurgeon gives some excellent background on strong tower in the ancient world…

Strong towers were a greater security in a bygone age than they are now. Then when troops of marauders invaded the land, strong castles were set upon the various hill-tops, and the inhabitants gathered up their little wealth and fled thither at once. Castles were looked upon as being very difficult places for attack; and ancient troops would rather fight a hundred battles than endure a single siege. Towns which would be taken by modern artillery in twelve hours, held out for twelve years against the most potent forces of the ancient times. He that possessed a castle was lord of all the region round about, and made their inhabitants either his clients who sought his protection, or his dependents whom he ruled at will. He who owned a strong tower, felt however potent might be his adversary, his walls and bulwarks would be his sure’ salvation. Generous rulers provided strongholds for their people; mountain fastnesses where the peasantry might be sheltered from marauders. Transfer your thoughts to a thousand years ago, and picture a people, who after ploughing and sowing, have gathered in their harvest, but when they are about to make merry with the harvest festival, a startling signal banishes their joy. A trumpet is blown from yonder mountain, the tocsin answers it from the village tower, hordes of ferocious robbers are approaching, their corn will be devoured by strangers; burying their corn and furniture, and gathering up the little portable wealth they have, they hasten with all their might to their tower of defense which stands on yonder ridge. The gates are shut; the drawbridge is pulled up; the portcullis is let down; the warders are on the battlements, and the inhabitants within feel that they are safe. The enemy will rifle their deserted farms, and search for hidden treasure, and finding that the inhabitants are quite beyond their reach, they will betake themselves to some other place. Such is the figure which is in the text. (Our Stronghold - sermon by C H Spurgeon on Proverbs18:10)

Tower (04026)(migdal) is a masculine noun that refers to a tower such as watchtower (as in a vineyard = Isa 5:2) or a strong place ("Tower of Babel" = Ge 11:4, tower for defense = Jdg 9:51), a wooden podium or rostrum (Neh 8:4), mound of perfume (Song 5:13ESV), breasts (figuratively = Song 8:10)

Migdal = 44v in the NAS - Ge 11:4f; Jdg 8:9, 17; 9:46f, 49, 51f; 2Kgs 9:17; 17:9; 18:8; 1Chr 27:25; 2Chr 14:7; 26:9f, 15; 27:4; 32:5; Neh 3:1, 11, 25ff; 8:4; 12:38f; Ps 48:12; 61:3; Pr 18:10; Song 4:4; 5:13; 7:4; 8:10; Isa 2:15; 5:2; 30:25; 33:18; Jer 31:38; Ezek 26:4, 9; 27:11; Mic 4:8; Zech 14:10.

NAS = banks(1), podium(1), Tower(8), tower(23), towers(14), watchtower(2).

Webster defines a "tower" as

a building, either round or square, raised to a considerable elevation and consisting of several stories. When towers are erected with other buildings, as they usually are, they rise above the main edifice. They are generally flat on the top, and thus differ from steeples or spires. Before the invention of guns, places were fortified with towers and attacked with movable towers mounted on wheels, which placed the besiegers on a level with the walls.

Another source adds that it is

a towering citadel, a fortress, one that provides support or protection, a bulwark.

Erdman's Dictionary defines "tower" as…

A defensive structure either built into a city wall or located on a hill as a watchtower. Towers (Heb. migdāl) were built into city walls at strategic positions such as corners, city gates, and vulnerable locations. Massive towers built as part of the city gate structure (e.g., Megiddo, Samaria, Hazor, Dan, Beer-sheba, Timnah) increased defense capabilities at a city’s most vulnerable location. Towers, built into the walls at intervals to increase defense capabilities, usually jutted out beyond the city wall giving defenders a clear view of the wall’s foundation and anyone attempting to breech the wall. This type of tower is typically taller than the adjoining city wall."

The image of a "tower" or "citadel" reminds us that as believers we are aliens and strangers in this world and are in a very real struggle every day for the rest of our life until we see Jesus face to face. In the meantime, we need to remember that when the battle wages fierce against us, we have an ever present towering citadel, our Jehovah God, wherein we can run and be safe, though the battle continues all around us! God’s almighty providence is the surest and strongest defense against all enemies of whatever kind.

The Lily of the Valley
by Charles Fry

He all my grief has taken, and all my sorrows borne;
In temptation He’s my strong and mighty tower
I have all for Him forsaken, and all my idols torn
From my heart and now He keeps me by His power.
Though all the world forsake me, and Satan tempt me sore,
Through Jesus I shall safely reach the goal.

Pr 10:15KJV is identical to Pr 18:11KJV in its first line…

The rich man's wealth is his strong city: the destruction of the poor is their poverty.

Comment: As discussed more in the comments on Pr 18:11 (see note), the phrase "strong city" is used to picture the rich man's place of refuge, the place they look for their security and their protection in time of trouble. The "strong city" may seem to be a good refuge for a season but it will eventually be "penetrated" by the enemy and will one day crumble completely! Not so with the "city of God"!

J Vernon McGee writes that…

The name of Jehovah is also the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is called Jesus because He saves His people from their sins. And He is called Christ because He is the Anointed One. He is the Lord of our life and our salvation. The Lord is a strong tower. You can run into it and be completely safe. This is a verse that many have used in speaking to children, and I have used it myself and found it very effective. It speaks of security and reminds us that no one can pluck us out of His hands. What a beautiful picture this is! (McGee, J V: Thru the Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson or Logos) (Or listen to an Mp3)

The Bible Illustrator has this note on ancient towers…

Strong towers were a greater security in a bygone age than they are now. Castles were looked upon as being very difficult places for attack; and ancient troops would rather fight a hundred battles than endure a single siege. He who owned a strong tower felt, however potent might be his adversary, his walls and bulwarks would be his sure salvation.

Poole - Is a strong tower; is sufficient for our protection in case of the greatest dangers.

Whedon - He is a sure defense and hiding-place.

Thomas Watson on the strong towerGod is …

so strong a tower that no cannon can pierce it,
so high a tower that no ladder can scale it,
so deep a tower that no subverter can undermine it.
Therefore they must needs be safe and secure—who lodge
within a tower so impregnable, so indomitable.

Charles Simeon (brief biography) describes the strong tower as follows…

Consider every perfection of the Deity: there is not one which is not “a chamber where we may hide ourselves till every calamity be overpast.” (Isa 26:20) The wisdom, the goodness, the love, the power, the faithfulness of Jehovah—who that is encompassed by them does not feel himself in an impregnable fortress? Truly they are not merely a wall, but “a wall of fire” round about the righteous (Zech 2:1); of fire, which whilst it protects the fugitive, will devour the assailant.

What a tower too is the Lord Jesus Christ in the whole of His work and offices! Well is he said to be “a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.” (Isa 26:4) Yes, “the man” Christ Jesus, in his Mediatorial character, is such “a hiding-place,” (Is 32:2) where no adversary shall “ever penetrate.” (Proverbs 18:10 The Name of the Lord a Strong Tower)

Simeon in his sermon on Ps 125:1,2 writes that "Mount Zion was a place of so much strength, that, from the days of Joshua to the time of David, the Israelites could never take it. They occupied Jerusalem: but Mount Zion was too strong for them; insomuch that the Jebusites who inhabited it laughed them to scorn, vaunting, that if there were none left but blind and lame to defend the fortress, the Jews should never be able to prevail against it. But far more impregnable is the fortress in which they dwell who trust in the Lord: “The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth to it, and is safe.” They may be assaulted both by men and devils; but they are assured, that “God will keep them by his own power, through faith, unto everlasting salvation.” (1Pe 1:5) They are in the Saviour’s hands; and he has pledged himself that “none shall ever pluck them out of his hands.” (John 10:28, 29) In themselves they remain weak as ever, as both David and Peter have clearly shewn; but in Christ they are strong: and in the Covenant which is made with them in Christ, and “which is ordered in all things and sure,” it is engaged, on the part of God, that they shall never be moved, and that “the gates of hell shall never prevail against them.” (Matt. 16:18)] (Simeon, C. Horae Homileticae Vol. 6: Psalms, LXXIII-CL. Page 392. London).

There is a sense in which Jesus has prayed for us to experience the truth of Pr 18:10. In His great prayer in John 17 Jesus prayed to His Father in heaven

I am no longer in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep (aorist imperative - tereo = watch over them as precious and protect) them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are. While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled. (Jn 17:11, 12)

Boice asks: What does it mean to be kept in God's Name? We have already seen a partial answer to this question in our study of Jn 17:6. There Jesus said that he had revealed God's Name to those who had been given to Him. We saw in studying that verse that "the name of God" is a Semitic phrase for speaking of God's attributes. To be protected by the Name is therefore to be protected by the One who is sovereign, holy, all-knowing, wise, compassionate, and anything else that can properly be said of God. And there is more, for to be kept "in the name" is not merely to be kept by God, as if He were only some distant force that could be called in to defend us if that were necessary. It is rather that we are actually in Him, much like being in a fortress. Thus, His power and other attributes surround us constantly. Pr 18:10 catches this exactly by saying, "The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe." Indeed we are! Can anything touch us when we are safe in that fortress? (Boice Expositional Commentary – John, Volume 4: Peace in Storm John 13-17)

Spurgeon describes the reality (in our trials, in our battle with our fallen flesh) of what it means for God to be our strong tower

The name of the Lord is a strong tower to the Christian, not only in opposition to other men’s refuges but as a matter of fact and reality. Even when he is not able to perceive it by experience, yet God’s character is the refuge the saint.

THE CHARACTER
OF GOD

If we come to the bottom of things, we shall find that the basis of the security of the believer lies in the character of God.

I know you will tell me it is the covenant; but what is the covenant worth, if God were changeable, unjust, untrue?

I know you will tell me that the confidence of the believer is in the blood of Christ; but what were the blood of Christ if God were false; if after Christ had paid the ransom the Lord should deny him the ransomed, if after Christ had stood the substitute, the Judge of Men should yet visit upon our heads, for whom he suffered, our own guilt; if Jehovah could be unrighteous; if he could violate his promise and become faithless as we are, then I say that even the blood of Christ would afford us no security.

You tell me that there is His promise, but again I remind you that the value of a man’s promise must depend on his character. If God were not such that he cannot lie, if he were not so faithful that he cannot repent, if he were not so mighty that he cannot be frustrated when he intends to perform, then his promise were but waste paper; his words like our words, would be but wind, and afford no satisfactory shelter for a soul distressed and anxious.

But you will tell me he has sworn with an oath. Brethren, I know he has. He has given us two immutable things in which it is impossible for him to lie, that we may have strong consolation. But still what is a man’s oath worth irrespective of his character? Is it not after all what a man is, that makes his asseveration to be eminently mistrusted or profoundly believed. And it is because our God cannot by any means foreswear himself but must be true, that his oath becomes of value to you and to me.

Brethren, after all, let us remember that the purpose of God in our salvation is the glorifying of His own character, and this it is that makes our salvation positively sure, if everyone that trusts in Christ be not saved then is God dishonored, the Lord of Hosts hath hung up His escutcheon, and if in the face of the whole earth He accomplishes not that which He declares He will perform in this book, then is His escutcheon stained.

I say it, He hath flung down the gauntlet to sin, and death, and hell, and if he be not the conqueror over all these in the heart of every soul that trusts in Him, then He is no more the God of Victories, nor can we shout his everlasting praise as the Lord mighty in battle.

His character then, you see, when we come to the basis of all, is the great granite formation upon which must rest all the pillars of the covenant of grace and the sure mercies thereof. His Wisdom, Truth, Mercy, Justice, Power, Eternality, and Immutability, are the seven pillars of the house of sure salvation. If we would have comfort, we can surely find it in the character of God. This is our strong tower, we run into it and we are safe.

Mark you, beloved, not only is this true as a matter of fact, but it is true as a matter of experience. I hope I shall now speak the feelings of your hearts, while I say, we have found the character of God to be an abundant safeguard to us.

THE TRIALS
OF LIFE

We have known full well the trials of life! thank God we have, for what would any of us be worth, if we had no troubles?

Troubles, like files, take away our rust;
like furnaces, they consume our dross;
like winnowing-fans they drive away the chaff,
and we should have had but little value,
we should have had but little usefulness,
if we had not been made to pass through the furnace.

(Ed: O for grace to grasp the hand of this truth!)

But in all our troubles we have found the character of God a comfort. You have been poor — very poor: I know some of you here have been out of work a long time, and you have wondered where your bread would come from, even for the next meal. Now what has been your comfort? Have you not said, “God is too good to let me starve; he is too bountiful to let me want.” And so, you see, you have found his character to be your strong tower. Or else you have had personal sickness; you have long lain on the bed of weariness, tossing to and fro, and then the temptation has come into your heart to be impatient: “God has dealt hardly with you,” so the Evil One whispers; but how do you escape? Why you say, “No, he is no tyrant, I know him to be a sympathizing God.” “In all their afflictions he was afflicted, the angel of his presence saved them.” Or else you have had losses — many losses, and you have been apt to ask, “How can these things be? How is it I have to work so long and plod so hard, and have to look about me with all my wits to earn but little, and yet when I have made money it melts? I see my wealth, like a flock of birds upon the fields, here one moment and gone the next, for a passer by claps his hand, and everything takes to itself wings and flies away.” Then we are apt to think that God is unwise to let us toil for naught; but, lo, we run into our strong tower, and we feel it cannot be. No; the God who sent this affliction could not have acted in a thoughtless, reckless, wisdomless manner; there must be something here that shall work for my good.

You know, brethren, it is useless for me to attempt to describe the various ways in which your trials come; but I am sure they that know Jehovah’s name will put their trust in him. Perhaps your trial has been want, and then you have said, “His name is Jehovah-Jireh, the Lord will provide;” or else you have been banished from friends, perhaps from country, but you have said, “Ah! his name is Jehovah-Shammah, the Lord is there;” or else you have had a disturbance in your family; there has been war within, and war without, but you have run into your strong tower, for you have said, “His name is Jehovah-Shalom, the Lord send peace;” or else the world has slandered you, and you your-. self have been conscious of sin, but you have said, “His name is Jehovah-Tsidkenu, the Lord our righteousness,” and so you have gone there, and been safe; or else many have been your enemies, then his name has been “Jehovah-Nissi, the Lord my banner;” and so he has been a strong tower to you.

Defy, then, brethren — defy, in God’s strength, tribulations of every sort and size. Say, with the poet,

“There is a safe and secret place
Beneath the vyings divine,
Reserved for all the heirs of grace;
That refuge now is mine.
The least and feeblest here may hide
Uninjured and unawed;
While thousands fall on every side, |
I rest secure in God.”

THE SINS
OF THE FLESH

But, beloved, besides the trials of this life, we have the sins of the flesh, and what a tribulation these are; but the name of our God is our strong tower then. At certain seasons we are more than ordinarily conscious of our guilt; and I would give little for your piety, if you do not sometimes creep into a corner with the poor publican and say.

“God be merciful to me a sinner.” (Ge 18:13)

Broken hearts and humble walkers, these are dear in Jesu’s eyes.

There will be times with all of us when our saintship is not very clear,
but our sinnership is very apparent;
(Ed: "Amen or Oh my!")

Well, then, the Name of our God (His character of mercy) must be our defense: “He is very merciful “

“For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness,
and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.”
(Heb 8:12-note)

Yea, in the person of Christ we even dare to look at his justice with confidence, since

“He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins,
and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
(1Jn 1:9-note)

Possibly it is not so much the guilt of sin that troubles you, as the power of Sin. You feel as if you must one day fall by the hand of this enemy within. You have been striving and struggling, but the old Adam is too much for you. It is a stern (severe) conflict, and you fear that the "sons of Anak" will never be driven out. You feel you carry a bombshell within your heart; your passions are like a powder magazine; you are walking where the flakes of fire are flying, and you are afraid a spark may fall and then there will be a terrible destruction of everything

Ah! then there is the power of God, there is the truth of God, there is the faithfulness of God, and, despite all the desperate power of Sin, we find a shelter here in the character of the Most High.

Sin sometimes comes with all the terrors of the law; then, if you do not know how to hide yourself behind your God, you will be in an evil plight (condition). It will come at times with all the fury of the flesh (the fallen flesh), and if thou cannot understand that your flesh was crucified in Christ (Ro 6:6-note, Gal 2:20-note, Gal 6:14-note), and that your life is a life in Him (Col 3:3-note), and not in yourself, then you will soon be routed (defeated). But he who lives in his God (Col 3:4-note), and not in himself, and he who wraps Christ’s righteousness about him (cp Ps 132:9, Is 61:10, 1Co 1:30), and is righteous in Christ (1Co 1:30, Php 3:9-note), such a man may defy all the attacks of the flesh (1Pe 2:11-note - "wage war" = present tense = continually) and all the temptations of the world; he shall overcome through the blood of the Lamb.

For whatever is born of God overcomes (present tense = continually) the world;
and this is the victory that has overcome the world-- our faith.
And who is the one who overcomes the world,
but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
(1Jn 5:4, 5)

THE TEMPTATIONS
OF THE DEVIL

Then, beloved, there are the temptations of the devil, and these are very dreadful; but how sweet it is still to feel that the character of God is our strong tower.

Walls of grace
Bulwarks of mercy

Without walls of grace and bulwarks of mercy, how can a tempted soul escape the clutches of the arch destroyer? But where the soul lies in the entrenchments of divine Promise all the devils in hell cannot carry it by storm.

I saw this week, one whom many of you greatly respect — the former pastor of this Church, Mr. James Smith (1802-1862 - Index to some of his writings - very good!), of Cheltenham Since departed “to be with Christ, which is far better.” — a name well-known by his innumerable little works which are scattered everywhere, and cannot fail to do good. You will remember that about a year ago, he was struck with paralysis, and one half of his body is dead. But yet, when I saw him on the bed, I had not seen a more cheerful man in the full heyday of strength. I had been told that he was the subject of very fearful conflicts at times; so after I had shaken hands with him, I said,

“Friend Smith, I hear you have many doubts and fears!”

“Who told you that?” said he, “for I have none.”

“Never have any? why I understood you had many conflicts.”

“Yes,” he said, “I have many conflicts, but I have no doubts; I have many wars within, but I have no fears. Who could have told you that? I hope I have not led any one to think that. It is a hard battle, but I know the victory is sure. After I have had an ill night’s rest — of course, through physical debility — my mind is troubled, and then that old coward, Satan, who would be afraid to meddle with me perhaps if I were strong, attacks me when I am weak; but I am not afraid of him; don’t you go away with that opinion; he does throw many fiery darts at me, but I have no doubt as to my final victory.”

Then, he said, in his own way,

“I am just like a packet that is all ready to go by train, packed, corded, labeled, paid for, and on the platform, waiting for the express to come by and take me to glory. I wish I could hear the whistle now,” said he, “I had hoped I should have been carried to heaven long ago; but still I am right.”

“And then,” he said, “I have been telling your George Moore, over there, that I am not only on the rock, but that I am cemented to the rock, and that the cement is as hard as the rock, so there is no fear of my perishing; unless the rock falls, I cannot; unless the gospel perishes, I cannot perish.”

Now, here was a man attacked by Satan, he did not tell me of the bitter conflicts he had within, I know they were severe enough; he was anxious to bear a good testimony to the faithfulness of his gracious Lord; but you see, it was his God that was his stronghold; he ran to this — the immutability, the faithfulness, the truthfulness, the mightiness of that God upon whose arm he leaned.

If you and I will do the same, we can always find an attribute of God to oppose to each suggestion of the Evil One.

“God will leave thee,” says the Evil One. “Thou old liar, he cannot, for he is a faithful God.”

“But thou wilt perish after all.” “O thou vile deceiver, that can never be, for he is a mighty God and strong to deliver.”

“But one of these times he will abhor thee.” “No; thou false accuser and father of lies, that cannot be, for he is a God of love.”

“The time shall happen when he shall forget thee.” “No, traitor; that cannot be, for he is a God omniscient, and knows and sees all things.”

I say, thus we may rebut every mischievous slander of Satan, running still into the character of God as our strong tower.

WHEN THE LORD HIMSELF
CHASTENS US

Brethren, even when the Lord Himself chastens us, it is most blessed to appeal against God to God. Do you understand what I mean? He smites us with His rod, but then to look up and say,

“Father, if I could believe what Thy rod seems to say, I should say Thou lovest me not; but I know Thou art a God of love, and my faith tells me that Thou lovest me none the less because of that hard blow.” (See He 12:5, 6-note, He 12:7, 8, 9, 10-note, He 12:11-note)

See here, brethren, I will put myself in the case a moment — Lo, He spurns me as though He hated me; drives me from His presence; gives me no caresses; denies me sweet promises; shuts me up in prison, and gives me the water of affliction and the bread of distress; but my faith declares,

“He is such a God that I cannot think hardly of him; he has been so good to me that I know he is good now, and in the teeth of all his providences, even when he puts a black mask over his face, I still believe that

“Behind a frowning providence,
He hides a smiling face.”

(Play William Cowper's God Moves in a Mysterious Way)
[Read John Piper's biography on Cowper  "Insanity and Spiritual Songs in the Soul of a Saint]

But, friends, I hope you know, I hope each of us may know by experience, the blessed art of running into the bosom of God and hiding therein.

This word to the sinner who has not yet found peace. Do not you see, man, the Christian is not saved by what he is, but by what his God is, and this is the groundwork of our comfort — that God is perfect, not that we are perfect.

When I preached last Thursday night about the snuffers of the temple, and the golden snuffer trays, and the necessity there was for the lamps in the sanctuary to be trimmed, one foolish woman said,

“Ah, you see, according to the minister’s own confession, these Christians are as bad as the rest of us, they have many faults; oh!” said she, “I dare say I shall be as well off at the last as they will.”

Poor soul! she did not see that the Christian’s hope does not lie in what he is, but in what Christ is; our trust is not in what we suffer, but in what Jesus suffered; not in what we do, but in what He has done. It is not our name, I say again, that is a strong tower to us, it is not even our prayer, it is not our good works; it is the name, the promise, the truth, the work, the finished righteousness of our God in Christ Jesus. Here the believer finds his defense, and nowhere besides.

Run sinner, run, for the castle gate is free to all
who seek a shelter, be they who they may.
(Proverbs 18:10 Our Stronghold)

THE
RIGHTEOUS

The righteous (Ge 15:6, 32:11,28,29 1Sa 30:6 2Sa 22:45, 46, 47 Ps 56:3,4) - What word do you see in "righteous"? "Right"! The idea then is that righteous describes the person who is "right" with God. In theological terms we called that justified or declared righteous (right). How righteous does a man have to be before God? 100% righteous which is impossible for fallen men to achieve because we always fall short of perfection. The only man who was ever perfect (sinless) was Jesus and belief in His death, burial and resurrection is the only way I can become 100% righteous before God. When I believe in Jesus, His "righteousness" is placed on my "bank account" (imputed) in heaven (so to speak). Stated another way, on the cross, our sins were put on Jesus’ account (“numbered [counted] with the transgressors,” Isa 53:12) when He suffered the punishment that belonged to us (Isa 53:6). When an unregenerate sinner trusts Him, His righteousness is put on their account (2Co. 5:21), and they stand forever righteous and forgiven before a holy God. Now when God looks at me, albeit still a sinner, He sees me covered by the righteousness of His sinless Son (1Co 1:30).

Hawker - The righteous; which limitation he adds to beat down the vain confidences of those men, who though they live in a gross neglect and contempt of God, will expect salvation from him.

How did someone become righteous in the OT (before Jesus came and was crucified, buried and resurrected)? Abraham who became the "friend of God" gives us the answer, Moses recording that after God had promised Abram his "descendants" (seed) would be as the stars of heaven that…

Then he believed in the LORD (Jehovah); and He reckoned (imputed) it to him as righteousness. (Ge 15:6)

Comment: Sinners were saved the same way in the OT as in the NT - by faith. Abraham believed. He believed in the revelatory truth that he had received about the Messiah (cp Ge 3:15). He was in essence looking by faith toward the Cross while today we look by faith back to the Cross. Salvation is by faith alone in Christ alone in both testaments! Not by works. Not by obeying the Law. Not by carrying out the prescribed sacrifices and feasts. Salvation has always been by faith! The regenerate man or woman is then "righteous" in God's economy and is "qualified" to run into the strong tower of His Name.

Righteous (06662) (saddiq) is an adjective meaning just, righteous. The root idea is one conforms to an ethical or moral standard. That standard could be "man" but the only standard acceptable to God is Himself. For practical purposes, one can say that righteousness is all that God is, all that God commands, all that God demands, all that God approves, and ultimately all that God provides in Christ.

Paul summarized it in the introduction to his magnum opus, the epistle to the Romans writing that he was

"not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power (dunamis = inherent power, God's power present in the message independent of the one who speaks it) of God for salvation (deliverance, rescue from penalty [eternal death] and power of sin) to everyone who believes (mental = mind understands the gospel and truth about Christ; emotional = embraces the truthfulness of those facts with sorrow over sin and joy over God’s mercy and grace and volitional = sinner submits will to Christ and trusts in Him alone as the only hope of salvation. Genuine faith produces authentic obedience), to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God (better translated “righteousness from God”) is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written (Hab 2:4 the gospel is in the Old Testament and has always been God's way of declaring sinners righteous as stated in Galatians 3:8), "BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH." (Romans 1:16, 17-note)

"But now (not a time reference, but a change in flow of argument) apart from the Law (entirely independent of obedience to any law) the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets (the gospel was present in the OT - it was foretold in types and shadows of sacrificial system requiring the shedding of blood for atonement and it was foretold by direct prophecies), even the righteousness of God through faith (utter reliance on the living Lord Jesus Christ as one’s only Savior from sin and one’s only hope for heaven) in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; for all have sinned (all are born in Adam, inherit his propensity to sin and therefore commit sins) and fall short of the glory of God, being justified (declared righteous - pardoned from guilt and penalty of sin receiving imputation of Christ’s righteousness on one's "account", providing the righteousness sinners need to be accepted by God) as a gift by His grace through the redemption (click here for Greek word apolutrosis; see also How to do Greek Word Study) which is in Christ Jesus… For we maintain that a man is justified (declared righteous) by faith apart from works of the Law." (Romans 3:21-24-note; Ro 3:28-note)

There Is a Fountain Filled with Blood
by William Cowper

There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel’s veins;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.
Lose all their guilty stains, lose all their guilty stains;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.

"What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, has found? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about; but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? "AND ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS… Is this blessing then upon the circumcised, or upon the uncircumcised also? For we say, "FAITH WAS RECKONED TO ABRAHAM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS." (Romans 4:1, 2, 3-note; Ro 4:9- note)

From the passages clearly a man or woman is declared to be righteous the moment they place their faith and trust in the gospel of Jesus Christ, Old Testament saints doing so by believing the promises of the coming Messiah and New Testament saints by looking back in faith to the finished work of Christ on the Cross.

I would agree with the Amplified translation that it is the one who is "consistently" righteous who can run into the strong tower of Jehovah. In other words, it is not only the one who had been (past tense) declared righteous (Justified) upon the exercise of faith but the one who is living daily in the power God provides to live a righteous life (Sanctification). Proverbs 28:18 states a similar truth…

He who walks blamelessly will be delivered, But he who is crooked will fall all at once.

RUN
DON'T WALK

There is no safety in looking at the "strong tower". And when danger is pressing in walking is not the approach to take. The passage says they must "run".

Run (rus/ruwts) means to make haste, to travel or to journey by moving one’s legs more rapidly than in walking and in some contexts it conveys the idea of a sense of urgency or a need to hurry. "To run against anything" (Keil). In Job 15:26 rus/ruwts is translated "rushes"

How do you run into God's Name? Read His Word (especially His Names), Believe His Word, Obey His Word, Pray His Word. That's how we can run today. This truth begs the question - Are you running toward Him or from Him? How is your time in the Word? Are you a hearer of the Word and not a Doer and thus deluded? Where do you put your trust when fear producing circumstances/thoughts/people attack you? O beloved, run… run quickly… run with full assurance that He is there waiting… run to His Name.

Later in Proverbs we read…

Every word of God is tested. He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.

Comment: In context how does one take refuge in Him (Pr 30:5KJV = "put their trust in Him")? Clearly it is His tested and trustworthy Word (cp Ro 10:17). When the "loins of our mind" are girded with His Word of Truth, we are safe from the lies and half-truths that come at us from all quarters.

The psalmist says…

I shall run the way of Thy commandments, for Thou wilt enlarge my heart. (Ps 119:32)

David illustrates what it means to "run" to the LORD…

When I am afraid, I will put my trust (~"run") in Thee. In God, whose word I praise, In God I have put my trust (~"run"); I shall not be afraid. What can mere man do to me? (Ed: Why does David say this? Because he is in the "strong tower"!) (Ps 56:1,2)

C H Spurgeon comments on how the righteous run into the tower…

They run into it. Now, running seems to me to imply that they do not stop to make any preparation. You will remember our Lord Jesus Christ said to his disciples, that when the Romans surrounded Jerusalem, he that was on the house-top was not to come down into his house, but to run down the outer staircase, and escape (Lk 21:21 Destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman General Titus in 70AD).

So the Christian, when he is attacked by his enemies, should not stop for anything, but just run into his God and be safe. There is no need for thee to tarry until thou hast prepared thy mind, until thou hast performed sundry ablutions ((washing of the body as a preparation for religious duties), but run man straight away at once.

When the pigeons are attacked by the hawk, their better plan is not to parley (confer with one another), nor to stay, but swift as they can cut the air fly to the dove-cot (A small building or box in which domestic pigeons breed).

So be it with you. Leave fools who will to parley with the fiend (An enemy in the worst sense, implacably malicious) of hell; but as for you, fly to your God, and enter into His secret places till the tempest be over, past.

A gracious hint this to you anxious souls who are seeking to fit (make suitable) yourselves for Jesus. Away with such legal rubbish, run at once; you are safe in following the good example of the righteous.

This running appears to me to imply, that they have nothing to carry. A man who has a load, the heavier the load may be, the more will he be impeded in his flight. But the righteous run, like racers in the games, who have thrown off everything, their sins they leave to mercy, and their righteousness to the moles and bats. If I had any righteousness I would not carry it, but run to the righteousness of Christ (1Co 1:30, Ro 3:21, 22, Isa 61:10, Php 3:8, 9) without it; for my own righteousness must be a drag upon me which I could not bear (Ro 3:10).

Sinners I know, when they come to Christ, want to bring tons of "good" works, wagon loads of good feelings, and fitnesses, and repentings, and such like; but the righteous do no such thing; they just foreswear every thing they have of their own, and count it but dross and dung, that they may run to Christ and be found in Him (Ro 8:1 = no condemnation, Ro 8:39 = no separation). Gospel righteousness lies in all in Jesus (and remember Jesus is Jehovah Who Isaiah saw - Isa 6:1, 5, Jn 12:41), not in the believer.

It seems to me too, that this expression not only implies a want of preparation, and having nothing to carry, but it imports that fear quickens them. Men do not run to a castle unless they are afraid. But when the avenger of death is close behind, then swiftly they fly. It is marvellous how godly fear helps faith.

There is a man sinking there in the river; he cannot swim, he must be drowned! See! see he is going down! We push him a plank; with what a clutch he grasps it; and the more he is convinced that he has no power to float, the more firmly doth he grip at this one hope. Fear may even drive a man, I say, to faith, and lend him wings to fly, where else he might have crept with laggard feet. The flight is the flight of fear, but the refuge is the refuge of faith. O sinner, if the righteous fly, what ought thy pace to be?

Again, it seems to me that there is great eagerness here, as if the Christian did not feel safe till he had entered into his God. And therefore, as the stag pursued by the hounds quickens its flight by reason of the baying of the dogs, as the clamor grows louder, and louder, see how the stag leaps from crag to crag, dashes through the stream, flies over yonder hill, is lost in yonder brake, and anon springs through the valley; so the Christian flies to his dear God for safety, when the hounds of hell, and the dogs of temptation are let loose against him.

Eagerness! Where indeed shall the like be found?

As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? (Ps 42:1-2KJV)

O convinced sinner, what should thine eagerness be if thus the righteous pant for God?

Brethren, I may add here, that there is an absence of all hesitation. He runs. You know, if we want somebody to help us, we put our hand to our brow, and consider, “Let us see, where shall we go? I am in great straits, to whom shall I fly? Who will be the best friend to me?” The righteous never ask that question, at least when they are in a right mind they never do; but the moment their trouble comes they run at once to their God, for they feel that they have full permission to repair to him; and again they feel they have nowhere else to fly. “To whom, or whither should I go, if I could turn from thee,” is a question which is its own answer.

Then understand, in our text there is eagerness, the absence of all hesitation, there is fear, and yet there is courage; there is no preparation, there is the flinging aside every burden.

“The righteous runneth into his high tower, and is safe.”

Beloved, I will leave that point, when I have just said, please to remember that when a man gets into a castle, he is safe because of the impregnability of the castle; he is not safe because of the way in which he entered into the castle.

You hear some man inside saying, “I shall never be hurt, because I came into the castle the right way.” You will tell him, “No, no, no, it is not the way you came into the castle but the castle itself is our defense.” So some of you may be thinking, “I do come to Christ, but I am afraid that I do not come aright.” But it is not your coming, it is Christ that saves you. If you are in Christ, I do not care a pin how you got in, for I am sure you could not get in except by the door; if you are once in, he will never throw you out; he will never drive away a soul that cometh unto him, for any reason whatsoever. Your safety does not lie in how you came, for in very truth, your safety is in Him. If a man should run into a castle and carry all the jewels of a kingdom with him, he would not be safer because of the jewels; and if another man should run in with hardly a fresh suit of clothes with him, he would not be any the more in danger because of his raggedness. It is the castle, it is the castle, not the man. The solid walls, the strong bastions, the frowning ramparts, the mighty munitions, these make up the defense, not the man, nor yet the man’s wealth, nor yet the way the man came. Beloved, it is most true that salvation is of the Lord, and whosoever shall look out of self to-night, whosoever shall look to Christ only, shall find him to be a strong tower, he may run into his Lord and be safe.

O Lord, Thou Judge
by Karl Reissiger

The wicked, in their might arrayed,
Against the righteous join their power,
But to the Lord I flee for help,
He is my Refuge and my Tower.

Lane - the illustration not only indicates what the Lord is, but that we have a responsibility if we are to avail ourselves of His ministry. A city’s fortress is not where people live and work, but there for refuge in emergencies, so that the citizens can run to it and be safe. Thus there is no automatic security in having wisdom and being righteous — we have to exercise them. The running describes faith and prayer, which give direct access to God who responds by warding off the danger. Safe is literally ‘lifted high’, as if one who trusts God is not only behind thick walls, but above the range of the enemy’s weapons." (Lane, E. Focus on the Bible: Proverbs) (Bolding added)

Peter Muffet - We are exhorted herein to repair unto the Lord in all our distresses and necessities. The name of the Lord is the favour of God towards the elect in Christ, joined together with his mighty power and truth. It is resembled unto a strong tower, for that, like a castle, it protects and makes secure those that fly unto it; for the which cause the just man runs into it, as he that is pursued by his enemy is wont to fly to some strong tower; so the righteous person, who is justified by the blood of Jesus Christ, and sanctified by the Holy Ghost, not placing any confidence in earthly things, nor in men, speedily repairs in time of necessity and adversity, by faith and prayer, unto the mercy and defense of the Almighty. Which, whensoever he doth, he loses not his labour, for he is exalted or lifted up on high; that is, so preserved from the rage of troubles, and kept out of the reach of all his adversaries, as if he were taken up into some high turret, or set on some place aloft, whither his enemies could not pierce or enter. (A Commentary on the Whole Book of Proverbs - 1868)

George Lawson -

Nations use to provide fortifications and arms for their defence, even in time of peace; and if they are so imprudent as to neglect these precautions, they are in imminent danger of destruction when an enemy makes an attack. In like manner, when we know that life is exposed to the incursions of calamity, and that we are surrounded with legions of invisible enemies, it is our wisdom to be provided with a sure defence, that we may be safe in the day of battle and war.

No creature in heaven or earth can defend us against the assaults of misfortune, or the more dangerous attacks of invisible adversaries, nor have we any power or wisdom of our own to afford us security. Our safety is only in the name of the Lord, that God with whom is everlasting strength and sufficiency, and who reveals himself through his blessed Son our Saviour, as the refuge of fallen men. In this great name protection is to be found from the distresses of the present life, from the tyranny of sin, from everlasting wrath, from the temptations of the devil, from the terrors of death, from every evil, and from every fear.

David in the day of his distress haunted the caves of Engedi, and the mountains of the wild goats; but we find in his history, and in many of his psalms, that these were insufficient for his protection, and that his confidence was ever placed on God himself as his tower of salvation. In him he trusted, and was helped; and therefore his heart greatly rejoiced, and with his tongue did he praise him.

But he was not the confidence of David alone; he has ever been the dwelling-place of the generation of the righteous. They run by faith and prayer into this high tower in the day of their calamity and danger, and they are not at a loss when unexpected dangers are ready to overwhelm them, for no enemy can be so near to distress as God is to preserve. He is ever a present, a very present help in the time of trouble*.

But are poor sinners excluded from this refuge? Will they be expelled from it, if they come to shelter themselves under the protection of the merciful God? No, in no wise. The righteous runneth into it, and none that run into it continue unrighteous. But it is accessible to sinners also, for the name of the Lord is “the Lord, the Lord God merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity†,” &c. And sinners are invited into this tower of salvation by God himself‡.

Eternal safety is enjoyed by all that run into this tower, for it can never be undermined, or scaled, or destroyed, by all the devils in hell; and no enemy can break into it by force, or find a way by fraud to enter. None can so much as climb up to this refuge, to endanger the safety of those happy persons who have made it their habitation; nor is there any want of necessaries ever felt in it, for he that is the defence of his people is their all-sufficient portion, and heavenly Father. The place of their defence is the munition of rocks; bread shall be given them, and their water shall be sure.

Surely if we have any wisdom, we will endeavour diligently to learn the way of running into this tower; and we cannot learn it better than by taking David for our pattern, whom we see, in many of his psalms, fleeing unto God to hide him. Let us read these divine compositions, and pray for the same spirit of faith which animated that holy man, and endeavour to follow the steps of his faith*. Few of the rich are righteous. God is the hope and strength of his people; but the rich are generally dazzled with the lustre of their gold and jewels, and mistake those precious metals for gods; and so they say unto the gold, Thou art our hope, and to the fine gold, Thou art our confidence. They trust not to the Rock of ages, but lean upon a broken reed which will soon break, and pierce their arms, and leave them to fall into perdition, after they have been pierced through with many sorrows.

Riches are good things when they are well used, but confidence in riches is a grievous sin, because it is an alienation of the spirit from God, who requires the homage of the heart still more than the worship of the knee. It is a source of many iniquities, because it prompts men to injustice and oppression, to despise God, and to forget death and judgment. It shuts up men’s bowels of compassion from the indigent, and makes it as difficult for men to get into the kingdom of God, as for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle.

This second warning the wise man here gives against this vain confidence. Examine yourselves, ye rich men, and see whether you have not the symptoms of this vain confidence. Trust not in uncertain riches, but in the living God, and shew that your confidence is in God by a readiness to lend unto the Lord*.

Murmur not, ye that are poor, because you are not under the same temptation with some others, to make to yourselves god’s of gold. Trust in the Lord, and you shall want no good thing.

(Exposition of the Book of Proverbs, Volume 1, 1821)

Charles Bridges comments on Pr 18:10 that…

Consciousness of danger induces even the animal creation to seek for a refuge (Pr 30:26, Ps 104:18). To man, a strong tower offers such a covert (Jdg 9:51, 2Chr 14:7, 26:9). But man as a sinner-does he realize his imminent peril, his threatened ruin? Oh! let him believe his welcome into the strong tower set before him. Such is the name of the LORD; not the bare outward words, operating as a charm, but His character; that by which He is known, as a man by his name. The full "declaration of this name" sets outmost powerfully the strength of the tower. Every letter adds confirmation to our faith. (Ex 34:5, 6, 7.) Every renewed manifestation brings a fresh sunbeam of light and blessing. (See NT Names of God. Ro 15:5, 13, 2Co 1:3, 5:19, 1Pe 1:10, cp Ps 9:10)

Take the sinner in his first awakening conviction. He trembles at the thought of eternal condemnation. He looks forward-all is terror; backward-nothing but remorse; inward-all is darkness. Till now, he had no idea of his need of salvation. His enemy now suggests that it is beyond his reach; that he has sinned too long and too much, against too much light and knowledge; how can he be saved? But the name of the Lord meets his eye. He spells out every letter, and putting it together, cries-"Who is a God like unto thee?" (Mic 7:18.) He runs to it, as to a strong tower. His burden of conscience is relieved. His soul is set free, and he enjoys his safety.

Take-again-the child of God-feeble, distressed, assaulted. What, if I should return to the world, look back, give up my profession, yield to my own deceitful heart, and perish at last with aggravated condemnation?' You are walking outside the gates of your tower; no wonder that your imprudence exposes you to "the fiery darts of the wicked." Read again the name of the LORD! Go back within the walls-See upon the tower the name-"I am the Lord; I change not." (Mal. 3:6.)

Read the direction to trust in it-

Who is there among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant: that walketh in darkness, and path no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God. (Isa. 1:10.)

Mark the warrant of experience in this trust-

They that know thy name shall put their trust in thee; for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them, that seek thee. (Ps. 9:10.)

Thus sense of danger-knowledge of the way--confidence in the strength of the tower -- all give a spring of life and earnestness to run into it. (E.g., Jacob = Ge 32:11, 28, 29, David = 1Sa 30:6, Ps 56:3, Asa = 2Chr 14:11; Jehoshaphat = 2Chr 20:12; Hezekiah = 2Ki 19:14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19). We fear not here the sharpest or swiftest dart that may be shot against us. We realize our security from external trouble (Dt 33:33:27, 28, 29, Ps 61:3, Ps 91:2, Is 54:14), and in trying exercises of faith (Isa 1:10). We are safe from His avenging justice, from the curse of His law, from sin, from condemnation, from the second death.

We joy in our safety (Ps 18:1,2,3, Isa 25:4)--yea--in our exaltation. (Is 33:16) Our best interests are beyond the reach of harm (Col 3:3); and "the righteous nation" takes up the song of triumph-‘We have a strong city; Salvation will God appoint for walls and for bulwarks." (Isa 26:1, 2, 3, 4) (Proverbs 18:10 Commentary)

But only the righteous are found here. What know the ungodly of this refuge?

Our God's mercy is holy mercy. He knows how to pardon sin, not to protect it. He is a sanctuary to the penitent, not to the presumptuous. (Bishop Reynolds on Ho 14:1,2)

Yet what joy is it, that the gates of this city are always open! No time is unseasonable. No distance, no feebleness, hinders the entrance. The cripple may run, like "Asahel, swift of foot." (2Sa 2:18.) All that enter are garrisoned to salvation.

Satan is raising batteries against the fort, using all means to take it, by strength or stratagem, unwearied in his assaults, and very skilful to know his advantages. (Read Robert Leighton on 1Pe 1:5 )

But notwithstanding all his disturbing power, "the peace of God" daily fortifies our hearts from fear of evil. (Php 4:8) Such is our strong tower! What owe we to our gracious Saviour, Who has made our way to it so free, so bright? (Mt 11:27, Jn 1:18, 14:6) We repose in the bosom of God, and are at peace. (Proverbs 18:10 Commentary)

How can we "run" into the Name of Jehovah? Clearly this is not literal running (although that may be what we feel like doing when trouble knocks). The metaphor of “running” into the strong tower refers to a whole-hearted and unwavering trust in God’s Name and His willingness and ability to provide protection. It is only by faith that we can go to an invisible God.

The Biblical Illustrator adds that one way to run into the Name of Jehovah is…

by the exercise of fervent prayer. Praying is the immediate and direct means of imploring the Divine assistance and protection. Faith is the habitual principle, and prayer is the actual application of it. Though God knows all our wants perfectly, He requires that we implore His assistance by prayer. And prayer is the natural remedy to which all are ready to fly in extremity.

Ray Pritchard says in view of the "signs of the times" including the fall of the "twin towers" on 9/11, a wise man or woman would run into the strong tower of the Jehovah…

Evil has been let loose in the world in a way that has shocked us out of our false sense of security. Now as never before, people are looking for hope. They truly need the Lord. The mighty Twin Towers have crumbled to the dust. Where will we go to find safety? Solomon gave us the answer 3,000 years ago: “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe” (Proverbs 18:10). These are days of uncertainty, fear, and for many people, deep sadness. Our only hope is in the Lord. He is our hope for today and also for tomorrow for he holds the future in his hands. Those who trust in him will never be put to shame. Whatever else you do to get ready for tomorrow, make sure you trust Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. And don’t keep the Good News to yourself. The world is full of people who are searching for the answer. They are searching for Jesus and don’t even know it.

SAFE

Is safe (Ps 91:14 Hab 3:19) - Marginal reading - Is Lifted Up.

Whedon - Literally, is set on high, that is, out of the reach of enemies. Towers were built on high places that they might be unapproachable by enemies. Compare Proverbs 29:25; Ps 18:2-note; Ps 18:33-note; Ps 27:1-note; Ps 144:2-note.

Safe (7682) (sagab - word study) means to be raised, to be exalted; to be high; to defend. It refers to physical size indicating great height such as found in city walls. In the original Hebrew text "sagab" is in the perfect tense which expresses completed action.

Zodhiates writes that sagab

In a figurative sense, it indicates a high, impregnable city or habitation (Isa. 26:5); or God’s exalted name or person (Job 36:22; Is 12:4). Its figurative use is developed most fully: of high inaccessible knowledge (Ps 139:6); of the security of God’s high name (Pr 18:10, 11). Trust in the Lord results in the exaltation of a person (Prov. 29:25). It refers to persons’ advancement or promotion, setting them on high (Job 5:11); or of their being placed in a place of safety (Ps 20:1; 59:1; 69:29). To know God’s name leads to security (Ps 91:14); and the Lord secures the poor and needy (Ps 107:41).

The NET Bible Note explains that in Proverbs 18:10…

Hebrew (literally reads) "is high" or "is inaccessible." This military-type expression stresses the effect of the trust – security, being out of danger (see HALOT 1305). Other scriptures will supply the ways that God actually protects people who trust Him.

With this definition we can "amplify" the meaning of Proverbs 18:10 as follows

The Name of the LORD is a Strong Tower. The righteous runs into it and is safe or set securely on high above the difficult circumstances, afflictions, persecutions, etc.

Comment: The circumstances may still be present (and in my experience often are) but one's perspective is altered as the one in the strong tower of Jehovah views those circumstances from "above the fray" even though still surrounded by it. Where do you run when trouble comes? Who do you go to seek respite and comfort? The righteous run to the Name of the LORD. God is opposed to the proud but gives grace to the humble, to those who are willing to run to Him and to cry to Him.

Now considering that Jehovah is Jesus and He is the one we are to run to for safety, we do well to remember that we are "lifted up" (safety) because He was first lifted up for us (John 3:14 - speaking of the Crucifixion) that He might be made sin and we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2Cor 5:21).

The Preacher's Commentary adds that

Safety in danger is what He (Ed: The strong tower of His name) offers as well as deliverance in battle.

The Pulpit Commentary adds that

The Name of the Lord signifies all that God is in Himself — His attributes, His love, mercy, power, knowledge; which allow man to regard Him as a sure Refuge. “Thou hast been a Shelter for me,” says the psalmist (Psalm 61:3), “and a strong Tower from the enemy.” The words bring before us a picture of a capitol, or central fortress, in which, at times of danger, the surrounding population could take refuge. Into this Name we Christians are baptized; and trusting in it, and doing the duties to which our profession calls, with faith and prayer, we are safe in the storms of life and the attacks of spiritual enemies.

C H Spurgeon comments…

The believer in his high days {and they ought to be every day) is like an eagle perched aloft on a towering crag. Yonder is a hunter down below, who would fain strike the royal bird; he has his rifle with him, but his rifle would not reach one-third of the way. So the royal bird looks down upon him in quiet contempt, not intending even to take the trouble to stretch one of his wings, for he is quite safe, he is up aloft. Such is the faithful Christian’s state before God.

The tower is so deep that no pioneer can undermine it,
so thick that no cannon can breach it,
so high that no ladder can scale it.

Charles Simeon (brief biography) describes the safety of the righteous who have run into His Name…

Who shall ever approach “to harm” those who are thus protected? (1Pe 3:13-note) Surely “they shall be kept in perfect peace.” (Isa 26:3) They are “safe:” safe from the curses of the broken law: for “there is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus” (Ro 8:1-note) — — — They are safe too from the assaults of Satan; for “their lives are hid with Christ in God,” (Col 3:3, 4-note) where Satan can never come — — — In a word, they are safe from every kind of evil: for God has said of those who make the Most High their habitation, that “no evil shall befall them” (Ps 91:9,10) — — — The persecutor may touch their body, but cannot reach their soul: they shall sooner be fed with ravens, than be suffered to “want any manner of thing that is good.” (Lk 12:4, 5) And if any thing occur that has the semblance of evil, they may be assured that it shall work for their present and eternal good (Ro 8:28-note. 2Co 4:17, 18). Like Elisha, they are surrounded with horses of fire and chariots of fire (2Ki 6:14, 15, 16, 17): and any assaults made upon them shall only terminate as in Elijah’s case, with the confusion and ruin of their enemies (2Ki 1:9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14). (Proverbs 18:10 The Name of the Lord a Strong Tower)

Truly, “his name is a strong tower, to which you may run at all times, and be safe:” and whatever your circumstances may be, “he will be to you as a hiding-place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest, as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. (Is 32:2)” Enjoy, then, the exalted privilege which is here vouchsafed unto you. And let there not be a day, or an hour, wherein you do not resort to God under this endearing character, dwelling in him, abiding in him, and finding in him all that your necessities can require. (Simeon, C.. Horae Homileticae Vol. 5: Psalms, I-LXXII 522. London).

In his exposition of Ps 91:9, 10 Simeon notes that God is our "Sure protection—If storms descend, or dangers menace, we take refuge in our house, and find it a place of safety. Thus “The name of God also is a strong tower, into which the righteous runneth and is safe.” It is to Himself that God invites us, when He says, “Come my people, enter thou into thy chambers, shut the door about thee, and hide thyself for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. (Is 26:20)” And that this was a primary idea in the mind of the Psalmist, appears from the very words of the text, wherein he calls God “his Refuge,” and from the whole scope of the psalm, from the beginning to the end. With this also agrees the beautiful description given of Jesus by the Prophet, as “an hiding-place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest.” (Is 32:2) (Simeon, C. Horae Homileticae Vol. 6: Psalms, LXXIII-CL page 138. London.)

Sagab - 20v in the NAS - Dt. 2:36; Job 5:11; 36:22; Ps. 20:1; 59:1; 69:29; 91:14; 107:41; 139:6; 148:13; Pr 18:10, 11; Pr 29:25; Isa 2:11, 17; 9:11; 12:4; 26:5; 30:13; 33:5.

NAS translates sagab as -- exalted, 7; high, 4; lifted, 1; raises, 1; safe, 1; securely on high, 1; set him securely on high, 1; set me securely on high, 2; set you securely on high, 1; sets the securely, 1; unassailable, 1. Here are some illustrative uses…

The fear of man brings a snare, but he who trusts in the LORD will be exalted (sagab) (Pr 29:25, Pr 29:25KJV = "safe") (See commentary by William Arnot - Laws from heaven for life on earth)

From Aroer which is on the edge of the valley of Arnon and from the city which is in the valley, even to Gilead, there was no city that was too high (sagab) for us; the LORD our God delivered all over to us. (Deut 2:36)

(God) sets on high those who are lowly (humble), and those who mourn are lifted (sagab) to safety (Hebrew = yesha' = deliverance, protection that produces freedom from present danger) (Job 5:11)

May the LORD answer you in the day of trouble (Hebrew = tsarah meaning anything narrow or confining = a situation or a time of extreme discomfort with focus on the emotional pain of the distress; Lxx = thlipsis = originally meant crushing beneath a weight)! May the Name of the God of Jacob set you securely on high (sagab)! (Ps 20:1)

Comment: The Name speaks of both the authority and the presence of the person. “The name of the God of Jacob” refers to the God of the patriarch whose family was delivered from Egypt. The KJV translates "sagab" as "defend". The request that God “defend” literally means “to set on high” and so to place in a defensible position against enemies as the "God of Jacob" did for Israel in the Exodus. This is a great passage for we all at one time or another need the Lord’s protection in the “day of trouble.”

Spurgeon comments: The Name of the God of Jacob defend thee; or, as some read it, "set thee in a high place." By the Name is meant the revealed character and Word of God; we are not to worship "the unknown God," but we should seek to know the covenant God of Jacob, Who has been pleased to reveal His Name and attributes to His people. There may be much in a royal name, or a learned name, or a venerable name, but it will be a theme for heavenly scholarship to discover all that is contained in the Divine Name. The glorious power of God defended and preserved the Lord Jesus through the battle of His life and death, and exalted Him above all His enemies. His warfare is now accomplished in His own proper person, but in His mystical body, the church, He is still beset with dangers, and only the eternal arm of our God in covenant can defend the soldiers of the cross, and set them on high out of the reach of their foes. The day of trouble is not over, the pleading Saviour is not silent, and the Name of the God of Israel is still the defence of the faithful. The Name, God of Jacob, is suggestive; Jacob had his day of trouble, he wrestled, was heard, was defended, and in due time was set on high, and his God is our God still, the same God to all his "wrestling Jacobs". The whole verse is a very fitting benediction to be pronounced by a gracious heart over a child, a friend, or a minister, in prospect of trial; it includes both temporal and spiritual protection, and directs the mind to the great source of all good. How delightful to believe that our heavenly Father has pronounced it upon our favoured heads! (Bolding added)

Warren Wiersbe: David wrote, "Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will remember the name of the Lord our God" (Ps 20:7). The big question is, What are you trusting today? Everybody trusts in or believes in something. Some people trust in their money or credit cards. Some trust in their strength or expertise or experience. Psalm 20:1 and Psalm 20:2 say, "May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble; may the name of the God of Jacob defend you; may He send you help from the sanctuary, and strengthen you out of Zion."

The Christian trusts in the Lord, and he exemplifies this trust by praying. When we are in trouble, what we do to solve our problems and turn our trouble into triumph is evidence of what or whom we're trusting. When the day of trouble arrives, some people reach for their checkbooks. They think money will solve their problems. Others reach for the telephone. They look to friends to solve their problems. While "some trust in chariots, and some in horses," Christians remember the name of the Lord (Psalm 20:7).

Our faith is in Jesus Christ, and we should not be afraid to let people know about it. "We will rejoice in your salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners!" (Psalm 20:5). In other words, we do not hesitate to wave the banner of faith because He will not fail us. God's name is good. "The name of the God of Jacob defend you" (Psalm 20:1). Take time to trust the Lord. Roll your burden on Him. Get your strength from Him. Wave your banner in the name of the Lord, and He will turn your burden into a blessing. Where do you place your trust? Whereas wealth and others fail you, Jesus never fails. Take whatever burden you are carrying today and give it to the Lord. Trust Him, and He will work on your behalf. (in his devotional on the Psalms which I highly recommend entitled Prayer, Praise and Promise).

Deliver (imperative) me from my enemies, O my God; Set me securely on high (sagab) away from those who rise up against me. (Psalm 59:1, Ps 59:1KJV renders sagab = defend)

Spurgeon comments: Deliver me from mine enemies, O my God. They were all round the house with the warrant of authority, and a force equal to the carrying of it out. He was to be taken dead or alive, well or ill, and carried to the slaughter. No prowess could avail him to break the cordon of armed men, neither could any eloquence stay the hand of his bloody persecutor. He was taken like a bird in a net, and no friend was near to set him free. Unlike the famous starling, he did not cry, "I cannot get out," but his faith uttered quite another note. Unbelief would have suggested that prayer was a waste of breath, but not so thought the good man, for he makes it his sole resort. He cries for deliverance and leaves ways and means with his God.

Defend me from them that rise up against me. Saul was a king, and therefore sat in high places, and used all his authority to crush David; the persecuted one therefore beseeches the Lord to set him on high also, only in another sense. He asks to be lifted up, as into a lofty tower, beyond the reach of his adversary. Note how he sets the title, My God, over against the word, mine enemies. This is the right method of effectually catching and quenching the fiery darts of the enemy upon the shield of faith. God is our God, and therefore deliverance and defence are ours.

I am afflicted and in pain. May Your salvation, O God, set me securely on high (sagab). (Psalm 69:29)

Spurgeon comments: How fully has this been answered in our great Master’s case, for he not only escaped his foes personally, but he had become the author of eternal salvation to all who obey him, and this continues to glorify him more and more. O poor and sorrowful ones, lift up your heads, for as with your Lord so will it be with you. You are trodden down today, but you will ride upon the high places of the earth ere long, and even now you are raised up together, and made to sit together in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus.

Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him securely on high (sagab), because he has known My name. (Psalm 91:14)

Spurgeon comments: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. The man has known the attributes of God so as to trust in him, and then by experience has arrived at a yet deeper knowledge, this shall be regarded by the Lord as a pledge of his grace, and he will set the owner of it above danger or fear, where he shall dwell in peace and joy. None abide in intimate fellowship with God unless they possess a warm affection towards God, and an intelligent trust in him; these gifts of grace are precious in Jehovah's eyes, and wherever he sees them he smiles upon them. How elevated is the standing which the Lord gives to the believer. We ought to covet it right earnestly. If we climb on high it may be dangerous, but if God sets us there it is glorious.

But He sets the needy securely on high (sagab) away from affliction, And makes his families like a flock. (Psalm 107:41)

Joseph Irons comments: Above the reach of the curse, which shall never touch him; above the power of Satan, which shall never ruin him; above the reigning influence of sin, which "shall not have dominion over him"; above the possibility of being banished from his presence, for "Israel shall be saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation." This is the way God sets his people on high, instructing them in the mysteries of his word, and giving them to partake the joys that are contained therein. - -Joseph Irons, 1786-1852.

In summary, the idea of sagab is to to make lofty and inaccessible and therefore safe and secure.

Charles Simeon (brief biography) gives us a final exhortation based on the truth in Proverbs 18:10…

“SUFFER NOW A
WORD OF EXHORTATION”

1. Study much the character of God—

“To know God, and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent (Jn 17:3), is,” as our Lord informs us, “eternal life.” (Jn 3:15, 16, 36, 5:24, 39-40, 6:27, 6:40, 47, 54, 68, 10:27-28. 17:2) All other knowledge is mere vanity in comparison of this. Without this we have nothing to warrant our hopes, or to dissipate our fears — — — “Acquaint then yourselves with God, and be at peace” (Job 22:21) (Ed comment: If you have never done it consider studying the Names of God - it is a powerful study - I strongly recommend Kay Arthur's wonderful study - Lord, I Want to Know You A Devotional Study on the Names of God - Do it in your devotional time or in a small group - you will never be the same! Guaranteed!)

2. Maintain constant and intimate communion with Him—

You know how a child runs to his parent on every occasion: do ye in like manner run unto your God. This is the very character of the true Christian; “The righteous runneth unto God as his strong tower.” Get to Him under every fear, and every want, and every distress: and “cast your care on Him who careth for you” (1Pe 5:7-note, Ps 55:22)

3. Assure yourselves of the safety which you are privileged to enjoy—

Well may you say, “If God be for me, who can be against me?” See how David exulted in his security! (Ps. 18:1, 2. Ps 27:1) — — — and learn like him to glory in your God: for it is God’s desire that you should enjoy all possible consolation (He 6:18). Your Saviour has assured you, that “none shall pluck you out of his hands (Jn 10:28KJV, Jn 10:29KJV):” lie there then in peace and safety, “knowing in whom you have believed, and that he is able to keep that which you have committed to him” (2Ti 1:12-note) — — — When he has lost his power to save, then, and not till then, shall any enemy prevail against you. (Ed comment: WHICH IS NEVER EVER, NO NEVER!) (Proverbs 18:10 The Name of the Lord a Strong Tower)

I Know Whom I Have Believed
by Daniel W Whittle

 

I know not why God’s wondrous grace
To me He hath made known,
Nor why, unworthy, Christ in love
Redeemed me for His own.

Refrain
But I know Whom I have believèd,
And am persuaded that He is able
To keep that which I’ve committed
Unto Him against that day.


I know not how this saving faith
To me He did impart,
Nor how believing in His Word
Wrought peace within my heart.
Refrain

I know not how the Spirit moves,
Convincing us of sin,
Revealing Jesus through the Word,
Creating faith in Him.
Refrain

I know not what of good or ill
May be reserved for me,
Of weary ways or golden days,
Before His face I see.
Refrain

I know not when my Lord may come,
At night or noonday fair,
Nor if I walk the vale with Him,
Or meet Him in the air.
Refrain

"The Name of God"
John MacDuff

"The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe." Proverbs 18:10

Strong indeed! "We have a strong city; God makes salvation its walls and ramparts."

Every ATTRIBUTE of Godhead is such a tower. Every perfection such a rampart- all combined to insure the believer's everlasting security. Reader, "Go, inspect the city of Jerusalem. Walk around and count the many towers. Take note of the fortified walls, and tour all the citadels, that you may describe them to future generations. For that is what God is like. He is our God forever and ever, and He will be our guide until we die." Psalm 48:12, 13, 14.

Mark the strong Tower of OMNIPOTENCE. It proclaims that Almightiness is on your side- that there is One with you and for you, boundless in His resources, greater far than all that can be against you!

Mark the strong Tower of UNCHANGEABLENESS. All earthly fabrics are tottering and crumbling around you. The dearest of all your earthly refuges has written on it the doom of the dust. But, sheltered here, you can gaze unawed on all the fitful changes of life, and exult in an unchanging God!

Mark the strong Tower of WISDOM. When dealings are dark, and chastisements mysterious, do you know what it is to retire within this fortress, and to be reminded that all, all that befalls you, is the planning of unerring rectitude and faithfulness?- to see inscribed on the chamber-walls, "The only Wise God!"

Mark the strong Tower of LOVE. When the hurricane has been fierce, your heart breaking with new trials, the past dark, the future a dreary waste, no lull in the storm, no light in the clouds– oh! is it no comfort to you to retire into this most hallowed of bulwarks, and read the living motto emblazoned on its every turret- "God is love!" My soul! are you safe in this impregnable fortress? Have you entered within the gate? Remember, it is not to be "near" the city, but "in" it. Not to know about Christ, but to "win Him, and be found in Him." One footstep outside the walls, and the Avenger of blood can cut you down! "Turn, then, to the stronghold!" as a "prisoner of hope!"

Once, these were colossal walls to 'exclude'. Now, they are unassailable barriers to 'protect'- a citadel where His saints are "kept" by the power of God. Every portal is open; and the God of Mercy issues the gracious proclamation- "Come, my people, enter into your chambers!" How safe! how happy here!

"If there be tossing and doubting, it is the heaving of a ship at anchor- not the dashing on the rocks." (Evans)

IN GOD!

"There is, in this," says Jonathan Edwards, speaking of the same blessed truth, "secured to me, as it were, a calm, sweet aspect, or appearance, of glory in almost everything."

We can hear, amid the surges of life, a voice high above the storm, the Name of the Lord- "It is I!"

"It is I," remarks Bishop Hall, "were as much as an hundred names. It is I! I, your Lord and Master. I, the Commander of winds and waters. I, the Sovereign Lord of Heaven and Earth. I, the God of Spirits. Let Heaven be but as one Scroll, and let it be written all over with titles- they cannot express more than- It is I! Oh, sweet and seasonable word of a gracious Savior!- able to calm all tempests- able to revive all hearts- say but so to my soul, and I am safe!" "I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety." Psalm 4:8

Proverbs 18:10,11
A DRAMATIC CONTRAST
Righteous
Pr 18:10

Trust in (see next)
(Place faith in… )
(Believe in… )

Name of Yahweh
Jehovah
Is Safe
(Fact)
Rich
Pr 18:11
Money
(mammon)
Imagines safe
(Fiction)

Go to - Proverbs 18:11 Commentary

HOMILETICS Proverbs 18:10 = A strong tower.

These words suggest to us an image of a disturbed country with a massive fortified tower standing in its midst, ready to serve as a refuge for the peasants, who till the fields when all is peaceful, but who flee to the tower for shelter when they see the enemy scouring over the plain. The baronial castles of England served the same purpose when our own country was suffering from the ravages of war. In the dangers of life the Name of the Lord is a similar refuge for his people.

I. NOTE THE NATURE OF THE TOWER. "The Name of the Lord."

1. God himself. "God is our Refuge and Strength" (Psalms 46:1). He does not send an angel to protect us. The Church is not a citadel for those who have not first found their shelter in God. But God is with his people for their protection. Even when we have sinned we must "flee from God to God"—from his wrath to his mercy.

2. The God of Israel. The Lord, Jehovah. He is known in revelation, and he has been proved in history. This is no new tower that has not been tried and may be found faulty in the hour of need, like a fortress that has never been besieged. The story of God's people in all ages is one long confirmation of its venerable strength.

3. God as he is revealed—in his Name. This implies two things.

II. OBSERVE THE CHARACTER OF THE REFUGE. A tower.

1. Strong. God is a Fortress. We do not confide in a weak goodness. Our security is in God's strength.

2. Lofty. The tower stands high up above the plain. It is the opposite to a mine. We must look up for shelter. We must climb to God. Our safety is in aspiration,

3. In our midst. Though the top of the tower soars above our heads, its foundation is at our feet, and we can enter it from where we stand. God is near at hand for shelter and safety.

4. Conspicuous. A cave may not be easily discovered among the rocks of the hillside, but a tower is visible to all. Though the presence of God is not visible to the eye of sense, the revelation of the gospel is open and conspicuous.

III. CONSIDER HOW THE REFUGE MAY BE USED.

1. For the righteous. The tower is a shelter from undeserved suffering, as in the case of Job. Here wronged innocence is safe. It is also for all the redeemed who stand before God in the new righteousness of Christ. We cannot be sheltered by God till we are reconciled to God.

2. By entering it. There is no safety in looking at it. It is necessary to flee to God in order to be protected by him. The fugitive may even need to run to reach the tower before the foe overtakes him.

3. With safety. It is not a palace with a banqueting hall and couches of ease. It is a fortress, and therefore it may not always be comfortable; but it is safe. We are safe with God.

Homily by W Clarkson - God our Refuge

By "the Name of the Lord" we understand the Lord as he has revealed himself to us, the Lord as he has taught us to think and to speak of him. He is our strong Tower in the time of trouble.

I. OUR NEED OF A REFUGE IN THE BATTLE OF LIFE.

There may be much in our life that may lead us to speak of it as a song or a tale, or as a march or pilgrimage; but there is much that compels us to consider it a battle or a struggle. Many are the occasions when we have to look about us for a refuge to which we may flee; for we have, at different times and under different circumstances, to confront:

1. Oppression. Ill treatment, severity; the injustice, or the inconsiderateness, or the assumption of those who can afflict us.

2. Disaster. The loss of that which is valuable or of those who are precious to us.

3. Difficulty. The uprising of great obstacles which seem to be insurmountable.

4. Temptaion. Which may act upon us quietly but continuously, and therefore effectively, or which may come down upon us with almost overwhelming suddenness and force. Then we ask ourselves—What is the refuge, the high tower, to which we shall resort?

II. TWO RESOURCES WHICH ARE GOOD, BUT INSUFFICIENT.

1. Our own fortitude. This is that to which Stoicism, the noblest form of ancient philosophy, had recourse—our courage and determination as brave men, who are

"Strong in will

To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield."

2. The sympathy and succour of our friends. The kind heart and the helping hand of those who love us, with whom we have walked along the path of life, and who have linked their heart and hand with ours. Both of these are good; but, as all history and observation teach us, they do not suffice. We want another heart that comes nearer to us, another power that can do more for us than these. So we thankfully turn to—

III. THE REFUGE WE HAVE IN GOD. We know that with him is:

1. Perfect sympathy. He is "afflicted in all our affliction;" he is "touched with a feeling of our infirmity;" he "knows what is in" us—what pain of body, what desolateness of spirit, what wrestlings and agonies of the soul.

2. Boundless wisdom. He knows what to save us from, and what to let us suffer; how far and in what way he may relieve and restore us; how he can help us so as to bless us truly and permanently.

3. Almighty power. Our eyes may well be lifted up unto him, for he can "pluck our feet out of the net." "Our God is a Rock;" all the billows of human rebellion will break in vain upon his power. Into the "strong tower" of his Divine protection we may well "run and be safe." "Who is he that can harm us" there?—C.

Commentary on Proverbs
by George Lawson

Proverbs 18:10

Nations use to provide fortifications and arms for their defense, even in time of peace; and if they are so imprudent as to neglect these precautions, they are in imminent danger of destruction when an enemy makes an attack. In like manner, when we know that life is exposed to the incursions of calamity, and that we are surrounded with legions of invisible enemies, it is our wisdom to be provided with a sure defense, that we may be safe in the day of battle and war.

No creature in heaven or earth can defend us against the assaults of misfortune, or the more dangerous attacks of invisible adversaries, nor have we any power or wisdom of our own to afford us security. Our safety is only in the name of the Lord, that God with whom is everlasting strength and sufficiency, and who reveals himself through his blessed Son our Saviour, as the refuge of fallen men. In this great name protection is to be found from the distresses of the present life, from the tyranny of sin, from everlasting wrath, from the temptations of the devil, from the terrors of death, from every evil, and from every fear.

David in the day or his distress haunted the caves of Engedi, and the mountains of the wild goats; but we find in his history, and in many of his psalms, that these were insufficient for his protection, and that his confidence was ever placed on God himself as his tower of salvation. In him he trusted, and was helped; and therefore his heart greatly rejoiced, and with his tongue did he praise him. But he was not the confidence of David alone; he has ever been the dwelling-place of the generation of the righteous. They run by faith and prayer, into this high tower in the day of their calamity and danger, and they are not at a loss when unexpected dangers are ready to overwhelm them, for no enemy can be so near to distress as God is to preserve. He is ever a present, a very present help in the time of trouble *.

But are poor sinners excluded from this refuge? Will they be expelled from it, if they come to shelter themselves under the protection of the merciful God? No, in no wise. The righteous runneth into it, and none that run into it continue unrighteous. But it is accessible to sinners also, for the name of the Lord is "the Lord, the Lord God merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness, and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity. And sinners are invited into this tower of salvation by God himself.

Eternal safety is enjoyed by all that run into this tower, for it can never be undermined, or sealed, or destroyed, by all the devils in hell; and no enemy can break into it by force, or find a way by fraud to enter. None can so much as climb up to this refuge, to endanger the safety of those happy persons who have made it their habitation; nor is there any want of necessities ever felt in it, for he that is the defence of his people is their all-sufficient portion, and heavenly Father. The place of their defence is the munition of rocks; bread shall be given them, and their water shall be sure.

Surely if we have any wisdom, we will endeavour diligently to learn the way of running into this tower; and we cannot learn it better than by taking David for our pattern, whom we see, in many of his psalms, fleeing unto God to hide him. Let us read these divine compositions, and pray for the same spirit of faith which animated that holy man, and endeavour to follow the steps of his faith.

Proverbs 18:11. The rich man’s wealth is his strong city, and as an high wall in his own conceit. Few of the rich are righteous. God is the hope and strength of his people; but the rich are generally dazzled with the lustre of their gold and jewels, and mistake those precious metals for gods; and so they say unto the gold, Thou art our hope, and to the fine gold, Thou art our confidence. They trust not to the Rock of ages, but lean upon a broken reed which will soon break, and pierce their arms, and leave them to fall into perdition, after they have been pierced through with many sorrows.

Riches are good things when they are well used, but confidence in riches is a grievous sin, because it is an alienation of the spirit from God, who requires the homage of the heart still more than the worship of the knee. It is a source of many iniquities, because it prompts men to injustice and oppression, to despise God, and to forget death and judgment. It shuts up men's bowels of compassion from the indigent, and makes it as difficult for men to get into the kingdom of God, as for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle.

This second warning the wise man here gives against this vain confidence. Examine yourselves, ye rich men, and see whether you have not the symptoms of this vain confidence. Trust not in uncertain riches, but in the living God, and shew that your confidence is in God by a readiness to lend unto the Lord Murmur not, ye that are poor, because you are not under the same temptation with some others, to make to yourselves god of gold. Trust in the Lord, and you shall want no good thing.

Proverbs 18:10
The Strength Of The Name
G Campbell Morgan

The name of Jehovah is a strong tower: The righteous runneth into it, and is safe.

Life is full of strain and stress. Sooner or later we all come to the consciousness of this fact. The illustrative figures of the inspired Scriptures all remind us of this fact.

Life is described as a race, for the running of which it is necessary that we should lay aside all weights, and forgetting the things we pass, as soon as they are passed, with eyes earnestly fixed upon the goal, so run that we may obtain.

Or life is described as a voyage, and the suggestion is that of the need the mariner has for skill and constant watchfulness, that he may escape the perils of rocks and sand-banks and shoals.

Or life is described as a battle in which the warrior must be fully panoplied and prepared to stand, and to withstand, in order that, having done all, he may stand.

Or life is considered as a great problem, full of perplexity, in which every day brings its new amazement, and all the way is a way in which the pilgrim passes through mystery and into mystery.

All these figures suggest the strain and stress of life.

There come to every one of us, sooner or later, days when strength is weakened. These are the days of disaster or victory in human life, the days in which we find that of ourselves and in ourselves we are unequal to navigating the vessel, to prosecuting the battle to finality, to discovering the way along which we should walk, and to continuing therein in spite of difficulty. The day when we have to say we cannot is a day of disaster or a day of victory, and whether it be disaster or victory depends entirely upon whether or not we believe our text of the morning, and have entered into the full meaning of its profound and comforting suggestiveness. "The name of Jehovah is a strong tower: The righteous runneth into it, and is set on high."

Shall we first remind ourselves of the forces that are against us, in order that we may then consider what this text suggests as to the place of safety, in order that we may finally consider the proofs of safety.

Of the forces that have been and still are against us, the first are mystic and strange, and not perfectly understood; they are spiritual antagonisms. We have been conscious in the midst of life of the sudden assaults of evil. We deny absolutely that they came from within. They were not part of ourselves. We do not believe that they came from God, but we are quite sure of the assaults. Over and over again we are made conscious, whatever our philosophy may be, that there are spiritual forces, insidious and subtle, which suggest evil; and we are appalled by the overwhelming strength of these spiritual antagonisms.

Or, to speak of these things as they are personified according to Scripture, we have to take our way through life perpetually antagonized by one who has been described as "seeking whom he may devour," one who finds his way, if Scripture be true, into the immediate presence of God, there to slander and to ask permission to test us that he may sift us as wheat. The revelation of the antagonism of this evil spirit flames into supreme revelation in the Book of Job, and especially in one very remarkable sentence in that Book, where it is said that God inquires of him, "Hast thou considered My servant Job?" "Hast thou considered?" The question reveals an enemy who is patiently watching—watching for the weakest place in the chain, that there he may attempt to break it; watching for the least guarded door in the citadel of man-soul, that there he may force an entrance.

But there are other forces against us. The age in which we live is full of things that hinder us in our attempt to live the godly life. Let me name one or two of them. First, there is the fact that men are so eminently successful without God. That may sound a strange thing to say. The preacher is always denying it, and there is a sense in which we shall still continue to deny it. But it is impossible for the man of business, who is attempting to be a godly man, to look out upon his age without seeing how marvelously well men seem to get on without God.

Or, there is the problem of the long continued victory of evil in the world, the fact that time after time, when it seems as though morning were breaking, it suddenly darkens into midnight.

Then there is the problem of universal pain, the problem that floods me with letters, which I am always in amazed difficulty as to how to answer.

These are among the things that make life strenuous, and create the sense of strain, and demand some place of quietness and some place of peace.

Or, again, we have to do with the persistence of the self-life. I often feel that the enemy I dread most is not the devil, not the problems by which I am surrounded, but myself. The reappearance of the self-life is perpetual. Immediately a man thinks he has gained a victory over it, mastered it, it garbs itself in other vestments, and appears anew.

And then, there are the sorrows of life, the bereavements that come to us, the empty places in the home, the hope deferred that makes the heart sick, the disappointments that crush the spirit in personal friendships, the hour in which a man has to say:

Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat my bread,

Hath lifted up his heel against me.

These are some of the forces against us. Individually they defeat us; united they destroy us.

Now what are we to do? It is in the midst of a Book that is full of the revelation of these contrary forces, a Book that recognizes the spiritual antagonisms, that this wonderful verse flames out. It seems to be very much alone in this chapter of Proverbs. Yet, there is a wonderful fitness that this verse is put down into the midst of words that seem to have no connection with it. Into the chaos it comes with its suggestion of cosmos, into the darkness with its flaming light, into a sob and a sigh with its song. "The name of Jehovah is a strong tower: The righteous runneth into it, and is safe."

Let us attempt to interpret the meaning of this text by the Book, because the name of Jehovah is related to the whole of the old economy. I pray you remember the use these Hebrew people made of that name, the fact that they never pronounced it as we pronounce it, the fact that they never wrote it in fulness, so that they have created for us unto this hour a difficulty as to what the full name really was. On all the pages of their ancient Scriptures this particular name, to which the preacher now refers, stands revealed by four consonants, with no vowels, indicating a reverent reticence in the pronunciation of a name so full of rich suggestiveness. And remember, moreover, that as you study these Old Testament Scriptures, you never find this name linked with any qualifying or distinguishing adjective. You never read, the Jehovah, or my Jehovah, or the living Jehovah. The Adonahy, the Lord; my Elohim, my God; the living Elohim, the living God; but never the, my, or the living Jehovah. It always stands alone as the tetragrammaton, four consonants from which the light seems to break. There was a singular reverence and reticence in the use of the name, and yet, it was the very center of the Hebrew religion, and the measure in which these people rose to any height of religious life was the measure in which they saw the light of that name, and took their refuge in its signification, and were made strong by all it said to them.

I know the difficulty of interpretation, but I do not hesitate to adopt the interpretation that it means the Becoming One—that is, the One Who becomes to His people all they need. It suggests the adaptation of Infinite Being to finite being, in order to bring about the strengthening of finite being with all the strength of Infinite Being. If it is difficult to follow that line, and to discover the mystery of the tetragrammaton, then let us turn to the name as it is illustrated for us in the Old Testament, in five pictures.

The first is that of Abraham on a mountain with Isaac. The second is of Moses on a mountain. In the valley are the hosts that he has led from Egypt's slavery engaged in deadly conflict with Amalek. Moses' hands are lifted in prayer, and while they are so lifted Israel prevails, and when they faint and droop Amalek prevails. The third is the picture of Gideon, the peaceful farmer, suddenly called to national service, commanded to gather an army and to strike a blow that shall break the power of Midian. The fourth is a picture of a prophet in prison—Jeremiah, exercising a ministry in which there is no gleam of hope as to immediate result; knowing this from the commencement, and becoming more profoundly conscious of it as he continues, until at last he is in prison, and in the prison house he is singing a song of hope. And the last is the picture of yet another prophet, an exile from his own land, by the River Chebar—Ezekiel, looking through all the clouds and the darkness by which he is surrounded, ever through and through until there breaks upon his astonished vision the ultimate realization of all for which he has long hoped.

We know the pictures: Abraham on Moriah; Moses on the mountain, with hands uplifted while Amalek fights Israel; Gideon acting to set his people free from Midianitish oppression; Jeremiah in the midst of utter failure, the prophet of failure; and Ezekiel in exile by the river banks.

Now all these men knew the meaning of my text, and knew it in one particular way in each case. In connection with these five pictures I find the name illustrated. Abraham on Moriah said, "Jehovah-Jireh." Moses on the mountain said, "Jehovah-Nissi." Gideon facing the conflict said, "Jehovah-Shalom." Jeremiah in the dungeon heard the word, "Jehovah-Tsidkenu." And Ezekiel by the river said as the last thing in his prophecy, "Jehovah-Shammah."

Jehovah-Jireh, the Lord will see and provide. Jehovah-Nissi, the Lord our banner. Jehovah-Shalom, the Lord our peace. Jehovah-Tsidkenu, the Lord our righteousness. Jehovah-Shammah, the Lord is there.

In these pictures, I find an interpretation of the meaning of my text which is full of value. "The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe."

In the case of Abraham, we have an illustration of the obedience of faith in extremity. And by extremity I mean that he had come to the last test of his faith. Faith had been tried and tested and proved through all the years, but this was the final test. "Take now thy son, thine only son, whom thou lovest, even Isaac." All the promises of God were to be fulfilled in and through Isaac, and there was no other way in sight. Nevertheless, this man, in the hour of faith's stern and awful and overwhelming extremity, found the tower of refuge a place of strength, a high rock pinnacle where he was set above the stress and strain. "Jehovah-Jireh" means, quite literally, the Lord will see; but inferentially, and by intention, the Lord will provide. There is not a great distance between seeing and providing, vision and provision. Provision is the outcome of vision; and this man, when the command was given, and the altar was prepared, and he was at the end of everything upon which he had been learning, did not say, "I cannot see"; but he said, "God can see"; and thus he ran into the tower of refuge. The Divine vision and provision was the place of strength to a man when his faith was obedient to the very last extremity of its testing.

Again, the picture of Moses upon the mountain is that of the conflict of faith. The hour had come when the men of faith, who had been redeemed because of their belief in him who had endured having seen Him Who is invisible, were gathered in conflict; and in the conflict Moses knew that everything depended not upon the strength of their fighting, but upon the presence and the power of God. In that hour he uttered these great words, "Jehovah-Nissi," the Lord our banner. I like to imagine the picture from Moses' standpoint. There in the valley are the hosts of Amalek—cruel, overwhelming hosts. And there also is this little company of fighting Israelites. But what did Moses say that day when, conscious of the stress of the conflict, he ran into the name of the Lord? Like a banner floating and fluttering in the breeze he saw that name, and knew that victory depended upon God's presence with them. The name of the Lord to him was a strong tower, to which he ran and was set on high.

Or Gideon yonder is seen shrinking from service; and I have no criticism for him. I have already said that he was a farmer, a man of simple tastes, unused to the things of war. This man was apprehended, and appointed in the midst of his toil to be the deliverer of the people from long and brutal and cruel oppression. Oh, how he shrank, afraid even of the vision of the angel that had come to him for his commissioning. He said, I have seen the angel of the Lord, and I shall die. It was then that the great word came, "Jehovah-Shalom," the Lord send peace. And he went into the name of God, and was set on high above his own fears, above his own anxieties; and in that moment he became the intrepid leader who presently was content to fight with three hundred rather than thirty-two thousand, because such was the revealed will and method and purpose of God.

Or, I go once more to that dungeon, and see Jeremiah therein—a man who is the witness of faith in the midst of the most hopeless circumstances, and what is his hope? He says, "Jehovah-Tsidkenu," the Lord our righteousness. He knows perfectly well that there can be no civic strength that is not based on righteousness, no national restoration and uplifting that is not founded upon righteousness. And where is righteousness? Absent from the counsels of kings, absent from the policies of the men who were ruling, absent from the national leaders at that moment. Then he entered into the name of the Lord, "Jehovah-Tsidkenu," and was certain that because He was righteous the victory must be won; and he sang the song of the certainty thereof.

And, finally, Ezekiel by the Chebar, seeing his visions of God, was a man of faith in the hour of exile, when all upon which human hope had been set was broken to a thousand pieces; and he saw through the mists and through the clouds, and as he looked to the ultimate, that on which he finally dwelt was not the glory of a temple or the prosperity of a people, but the presence of God. Ezekiel saw Jehovah present in the process, and consequently, present finally in the fulfilment of purpose. "The name of Jehovah is a strong tower."

I leave those illustrations, and I ask you for a moment to think with me of the proofs of safety. My brethren, all these I have referred to are in themselves proofs of how safe men are when they enter into this name. Abraham, Moses, Gideon, Jeremiah and Ezekiel; you notice that the illustrations coincide with the history of the nation. The whole history of Israel is in these illustrations. Abraham, the father and founder; Moses, the law-giver and leader; Gideon, the leader at a particular time of peril; Jeremiah, the prophet of failure; Ezekiel amid the failure. All these men were able to sing the song of victory, and to achieve a present victory, and pass its power on to coming days because they knew the strength of this great name. In every case these men were set on high above the tumult and the stress, entering into the place of peace even in the midst of conflict.

The Bible abounds with illustrations. Daniel knew conflict; he was persecuted, and they took him and put him in the den of lions. But if you tell me that Daniel was in the den of lions you have discovered only the most superficial truth. Where then was Daniel? In the name of Jehovah, in the den of lions; and when the king in the morning said, "O, Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, Whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?" Daniel answered, "O, king, live forever. My God hath sent His angel, and hath shut the lions' mouths." He went into the tower, and was set on high.

Or Job, who came to the fulfilment of his own life when he found his way through the flaming glory of the Theophany into the secret place of the name, and rested therein.

Or David, if indeed the psalm we read this morning was David's psalm. Did you notice the growth of experience and the growth of the sense of safety? At the beginning of the psalm he said, "I shall not be greatly moved," but before the song was done he said, "I shall not be moved." And how did he climb from trembling confidence to matchless assurance? Read the psalm again, and it will be seen that it is the psalm of God and the song of the name of the Lord—the song of a soul gathering courage and heroism in the secret place.

We need not confine ourselves to Biblical illustration. "Saints, apostles, prophets, martyrs," who passed through conflicts as severe, if not severer, than we can ever know, put their trust in this name, and found it safe. Or may I not appeal to some of you who are in the midst of conflict to prove the assertion of the text by the memory of things you have known in the lives of your loved ones? Will you let me help you by an illustration? I remember, seven and thirty years ago, when God took from my side—the side of an only boy—his one playmate, his sister. Do not ever indulge in the heresy that a child is incapable of sorrow. I remember coming back one morning—only a lad as I then was—from the grave where I had sat in loneliness, and I found in the house my father and mother. And, boy as I was, I crept up to where they were sitting together, and, if you like the heathenism of the word, it happened—there is a better word than that—my father's hand was resting on his Bible, and I looked at where his finger rested, and I saw these words: "The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away: blessed be the name of the Lord." And, boy as I was, I knew there was a connection between that verse and the light I saw on the faces of father and mother; and I never lost the impression of it. And, twenty-four years after, when my own first girlie was taken out of my own home, I got the Bible and turned up the same verse, and laid my hand where my father had laid his hand. "The name of the Lord is a strong tower: The righteous runneth into it, and is set on high."

The proof is scattered through the experience of the saints in all the ages, and is as near to you as father and mother's trust in God. Nay, verily, brethren, have you not yourselves proved it?

Of the supreme onslaught and victory, we have the story in the New Testament. Jesus knew the conflict of life as none other has ever known it. He knew the forces of spiritual antagonism. He lived in the midst of the problems that vex us. And the subtle forms of temptation with which we are familiar, He knew them and entered deeply and profoundly into them. He knew the sorrows of bereavement and difficulty; He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And how did He overcome them? To Him the name of the Lord was a strong tower into which He passed and was set on high. The supreme secret of all His victory over sin and sorrow is contained in His own confession, "I and My Father are one." In fellowship with Him He overcame. But there is a deeper signification in that story of Jesus. The name Jesus in itself is composed of the ancient name Jehovah, and yet another word that speaks of salvation. The name Jesus essentially means Jehovah is salvation. The name Jesus is Joshua. Now let my young friends take their Bibles and find out when the name was made. The Son of Nun did not bear it first. It was given to him. The significance is that of Jehovah and salvation interwoven, making the name Joshua, which is our name Jesus; and into that name finally we may run and be set on high.

Jesus, name of sweetness,
Jesus, sound of love,
Cheering exiles onward
To their rest above.

My brethren, what is the conflict to you this morning? Are you at the extremity of faith? Are you asked to walk a pathway that seems as though it must end in disaster? Are you sure it is God's will? Then, in comradeship with this Christ, Who walked the via dolorosa, and walked the way to victory, take your way along that pathway. Are you in conflict with foes in the valley that are against faith and against God? Let your hands be uplifted, and in that name Jesus there is a banner of Jehovah, and victory must come as you follow Him. Are you commissioned to some work from which you shrink, as did Gideon of old? In Jesus is the fulfilment of the great word "Jehovah-Shalom," for He is our peace; and we may enter into all service in perfect peace in Him. Are you feeling, rightly or wrongly, that you are strangely in company with Jeremiah, that all the foundations are breaking down around you, and that the national outlook is of the darkest? I pray you, in your dungeon, look higher and see "Jehovah-Tsidkenu." Or, if you would translate it into modern language, sing this: "Jesus shall reign where'er the sun doth his successive journeys run." And if today the thickening battle and the darkening gloom overwhelm you, stay a little by the river, and look far enough and earnestly enough, and beyond all the mystery of the hour you will see the glory of God's victory; and its chief word is this, "Jehovah-Shammah," the Lord is there. The crowned Christ, having won the kingdoms of the world, will make them His own to the glory of God.

John Gill -
Comments on Proverbs 18:10-11

The name of the Lord is a strong tower - By "the name of the Lord" may be meant, either the attributes and perfections of God, by which he is made known, and which are the strength and security of his people; his goodness, grace, and mercy, are their defense; his favor encompasses them about, as a shield; his justice protects them from all injuries and insults; his truth and faithfulness preserve them; they are kept by his power, as in a garrison; and his unchangeableness is a reason why they are not consumed: or else the Lord himself; his name is put for himself, Psalm 20:1; and may be well interpreted of the Messiah, as it is by the ancient Jew,F17; in and by whom God is manifested unto men as the God of grace; in whom he proclaims his name, a God gracious and merciful; whose name is in him, and who has the same nature and perfections with him; his name is Jehovah, our righteousness; Immanuel, God with us; the mighty God, and Prince of peace; and who is called Jesus, because he saves his people from their sins, and so is their security from eternal destruction. What a strong tower is to them that are within it, against an enemy without, that is the power, strength, and might of Christ to his people; as a divine Person, he is strong and mighty, the most mighty, the Almighty; as man, he is the man of God's right hand, made strong for himself and us; as Mediator, he has all power in heaven and earth: in him is everlasting strength for his people; he is their Betzer, their fortified place, or city of refuge, to flee unto on all occasions; he is the strong hold, whither prisoners of hope are directed to turn to; he is their place of defence, and the munition of rocks; a strong tower, inexpugnable; so deeply founded, no enemy can work under it; and plant a mine to blow it up; so highly built; no scaling ladders can reach it; so fortified, no cannon balls can break through it, or demolish any of its walls and bulwarks, which are his salvation; the gates of hell cannot prevail against it; it is not to be taken by storm, or by the most violent attack of the whole posse of men and devils;

the righteous runs into it; not self-righteous persons, they run from Christ and his righteousness, not to him and that; but such who see their own righteousness will not justify them; who indeed are sinners, know and acknowledge themselves to be such; as sinners go to Christ, who, as such, receives them; and these are righteous through the righteousness of Christ imputed to them, and live soberly, righteously, and godly: and it is the continual business or employment of their faith to betake themselves to Christ upon all occasions; they are continually coming to him, and exercising faith upon him, as the Lord their righteousness, which is meant by "running" to him; this supposes knowledge of him, as the strong tower and city of refuge; of the way unto him, and of the reception by him which may be expected; it supposes a principle of spiritual life, and some degree of spiritual strength; a sense of danger or of want in themselves, and of safety and fulness in Christ; it is expressive of haste, readiness, and cheerfulness, and is owing to the drawings of efficacious grace; and such an one that thus runs is safe; from the avenging justice of God; from the curse and condemnation of the law; from sin, and all its dreadful consequences; from Satan, and all spiritual enemies; from wrath to come, hell, and the second death: or is "set aloft"F18; is on high; for this tower, as it is a strong one, it is a high one; a rock of refuge, higher than men, or angels, or heaven itself; and such who are in it are out of the reach of all danger and every enemy.

Proverbs 18:11 - The rich man's wealth is his strong city,… In which he dwells, over which he presides; in which he places his trust and confidence, and thinks himself safe from every enemy and from all trouble: as one observes, "the abundance of a rich man's wealth he conceives to be as it were the abundance of people in a "city"; the telling of his money he imagines to be the walking of people up and down the streets; his bags standing thick together to be so many houses standing close one to the other; his iron barred chests to be so mary bulwarks; his bonds and bills to be his cannons and demi-cannons, his great ordinance; and in the midst of these he thinketh himself environed with a "great wall", which no trouble is able to leap over, which no misery is able to break through.' As it follows; and as a high wall in his own conceit: which not only separates and distinguishes him from others; but, as he imagines, will secure him from all dangers, and will be abiding, lasting, and durable: but all this is only "in his own conceit", or "imagery"F20; in the chambers of his imagery, as Jarchi, referring to Ezekiel 8:12; where the same word is used; for this wall shall not stand; these riches cannot secure themselves, they take wing and fly away; and much less the owner of them, not from public calamities, nor from personal diseases of body, nor from death, nor from wrath to come.

Ralph Wardlaw
Lectures on the Book of Proverbs, Vol. 2 (1869)

Pr 18:10–12. “The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe. The rich man’s wealth is his strong city, and as an high wall in his own conceit. Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honour is humility.”

Between these verses there is a manifest and interesting connection; and we therefore take them together in illustration. “The NAME of the Lord” means his character—his perfections, as revealed in His word;—what any one is, being naturally associated with, and suggested by, his name. When the Psalmist says, “They that know Thy name will put their trust in thee” (Ps 9:10)—it is quite obvious, that by knowing Jehovah’s name he means more than merely knowing that God was called Jehovah. It is to know God Himself;—the idiom being quite common in the Scriptures of using the name of a person as a phrase for the person to whom the name belongs. The comparison of Jehovah’s name to “a strong tower” is frequent. (Ps. 18:2; 27:7; 61:3, 4; 91:2; 144:2) There is in this, occasion for grateful wonder; that to a sinner God’s name should be a refuge!—Surely, it was not to have been expected that a rebellious and guilty creature should find his refuge there! It is that from which such a creature might be supposed to shrink and to flee, as yielding him anything but the prospect of protection and safety. It is God as revealed in His word that is meant. The grand object of that word is to make known the gospel—the way of salvation;—God in his true character as light and love; “delighting in mercy;” “in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them.” It is in this character—in which he made himself known before the law, under the law, and more clearly under the dispensation of “the fulness of time,”—that God invites sinners to come to him, and to put their trust in him; in his name,—in his character, in the truths and promises of his covenant. To “the righteous—the name of the Lord”—the Lord in whom they have believed—“is a strong tower:”—a tower of impregnable security. And in times of temptation, trial, difficulty, and danger, it is always at hand,—so that they may “run into it,” and feel their safety. All that can be imagined necessary to ensure protection is combined in JEHOVAH’S NAME. There is the union of mercy and love, wisdom, righteousness, faithfulness, and power, all pledged in covenant promise, by their God and Father in Christ. Thither, then, may the tried, afflicted, imperiled, tempted child of God ever betake himself; and there he will delightfully feel that all is safe and well. There he can sit secure and sing—“God is our refuge and our strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea,” Ps 46:1, 2.

In the next verse Pr 18:11, a temptation is mentioned to a very different kind of confidence:—“The rich man’s wealth is his strong city, and as an high wall in his own conceit.” This is a “strong delusion,” and shows the tendency of our nature, under various influences, to “believe a lie.” Surely he is going on with “a lie in his right hand,” who is thus “trusting in his wealth, and boasting himself of the multitude of his riches;”—who is thus “saying to the gold, Thou art my hope, and to the fine gold, Thou art my confidence;” who is thus “setting his heart upon that which is not.” While he exults in his security, and regards his wealth as his “high wall” of protection from evils and sufferings that abound around him,—and alas! from within its entrenchments even sets at defiance the salutary admonitions of that God who gives him all, and warns him of a reckoning to come,—it is a “high wall” only “in his own conceit.” It is a wall of no real strength, and affording no real safety,—either from the ills of time, or from the woes of eternity. It is a wall that is only “daubed with untempered mortar,” and to which the words of the prophet may, in all their emphasis, be accommodated:—“Say unto them who daub it with untempered mortar, that it shall fall: there shall be an overflowing shower, and ye, O great hailstones, shall fall, and a stormy wind shall rend it,” Ezek. 13:11. It is a wall which, even although no desolating storm should overthrow it in the rich worldling’s life time, is to him, in the very decay of his own life, molding away, and coming to ruin; and leaving him, in the end, to the full and torturing experience of all that is meant by the simple but alarming question—“Then, whose shall those things be which thou hast provided?”—Or, to change the figure—Death, like an armed man, in the might of his resistless commission, shall invade his stronghold, at the very moment, it may be, when he is most confidently vaunting of its security;—and before that all-conquering power, no wealth shall profit him; “no, not gold nor all the forces of strength.” Pr 18:12 The “haughty heart”—the spirit of proud and self-confident independence engendered and fostered by “wealth”—is but the prelude to “destruction.”

Biblical Illustrator - Proverbs 18:10

The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it and is safe.

The security of those who trust in God
I. Explain what is to be understood by “the name of the Lord.” No particular virtue or charm attaches to the sound or pronunciation of the name. In a mistaken veneration for the name the Jews refused to pronounce it at all. But a rash profanation of the name of God is unspeakably more criminal. By the name of the Lord we are to understand the Lord God Himself--His nature, as it is discovered to us in all His glorious perfection, particularly in His power and goodness to save and deliver them that put their trust in Him. Three principal ways by which God hath discovered Himself to mankind.

1. The visible creation.
2. The written Word.
3. The daily administration of His providence.

II. What is implied in the righteous running into the name of the Lord as a strong tower? The epithet “strong tower” conveys to the mind the idea of protection and defence. God’s almighty providence is the surest and strongest defence against all enemies of whatever kind, let their art, their activity, their malignity be what they will.

1. Running into the name implies the lively exercise of faith both in the power and the willingness of God to protect. It is only by faith that we can go to an invisible God. Faith, in applying the power and promise of God, receives very much strength from the examples of His mercy, either towards ourselves or others. The name is recorded in every page of the history of providence.
2. The righteous “runneth into the name” by the exercise of fervent prayer. Praying is the immediate and direct means of imploring the Divine assistance and protection. Faith is the habitual principle, and prayer is the actual application of it. Though God knows all our wants perfectly, He requires that we implore His assistance by prayer. And prayer is the natural remedy to which all are ready to fly in extremity.
3. The righteous “runneth into the name” by diligence in his duty; which implies three things:

III. The perfect security of the righteous.

1. Wherein does this safety consist? “Is safe” might be rendered “is exalted,” “placed on high.” God preserves them from dangers which they could not escape. They have the promise of strength and support in the time of trial. They are sure of deliverance in the end, and complete victory over all sufferings of every kind.
2. The certainty of it is based on the Divine perfections, on the faithful promises, and on the experience of the saints. Learn--

Two defenses--real and imaginary

The two verses put side by side two pictures, two fortifications: “The name of the Lord is a strong tower”; that is so, whether a man thinks it or not; that is an objective truth and always true. “The rich man’s wealth is his strong city,” because “in his own conceit” he has made it so. So we have on the one side fact and on the other side fancy. The two pictures are worth looking at. “The name of the Lord is a strong tower.” Now, of course, I need not remind you that “the name of the Lord,” or “the name of Jesus Christ,” means a great deal more than the syllables by which He is designated, which is all that we understand generally by a name. It means, to put it into far less striking words, the whole character of God, in so far as it is revealed to men. So we have to recognise in that great expression the clearest utterance of the two thoughts which have often been regarded as antagonistic, viz., the imperfection, and yet the reality, of our knowledge of God. His name is not the same as Himself, but it is that by which He is known. Our knowledge of Him, after all revelation, is incomplete, but it is His name--that is to say, it corresponds to the realities of His nature, and may be absolutely and for ever trusted. “The name of the Lord is a strong tower,” which, translated into plain prose, is just this--in that revealed character there is all that shelterless, defenceless men can need for absolute security and perfect peace. We may illustrate that by considering either Him who defends or him that is defended. On the one hand, perfect wisdom, perfect love, perfect power, that endure for ever; and on the other hand, men weighed upon by sore distresses, crippled and wounded by many transgressions. These two, the defence and the defenceless, fit into each other like the seal to its impress, the convexity to the cavity. Whatever man needs, God is, and whatever dangers, dreads, pains, losses, sorrows, sins, attack humanity, in Him is the refuge for them all. “The name of the Lord is a strong tower.” Do you believe that; and is it an operative belief in your lives? “The righteous runneth into it”; and what is that running into it? Neither more nor less than the act of faith. One of the words of the Old Testament which is frequently translated--and rightly so--“trust,” has for its literal meaning to flee to a refuge. So, says our teacher, the way to get into the fortress, and to have the solemn battlements of that Divine name round our unarmed and else shelterless weakness, is simply to trust in Him. But the word suggests the urgency and the effort that will always go with faith. “The righteous runneth into it”--not dawdles in it--“and is safe.” And that takes effort and means haste. Do not put off your flight. And stop in it when you are there, by that constant communion with the name of the Lord, which will bring you tranquillity. “In Me ye shall have peace.” Stay behind the strong bulwarks. But there is a formidable word in this old proverb. “The righteous runneth into it.” Does not that upset all our hopes? I need not say anything about the safety, except to make one remark. The word rendered “is safe “ literally means “is high.” The intention, of course, is to express safety, but it expresses it in a picturesque fashion which has its bearing upon the word in the next verse, viz., it sets before us the thought that the man who has taken refuge in the strong tower goes up to the top of it by the winding staircase, and high up there the puny bows of the foe below cannot shoot an arrow that will reach him. That is a truth for faith. We have to bear the common lot of humanity, but the evil that is in the evil, the bitterness that is in the sorrow, the poison that is in the sting, all these may be taken away for us. And now I need only say a word or two about the companion picture, the illusory imagination. “The rich man’s wealth is his strong city, and a high wall in his own conceit.” It is very hard to have, and to be concerned about, and to use, the external good without putting our trust in it. The Bible has no foolish condemnation of wealth. And we all know, whether in regard to money, or to earthly loves, or to outward possessions and blessings of all sorts, how difficult it is to keep within the limit, not to rely upon these, and to think that if we have them we are blessed. What can we do, any of us, when real calamities come? Will wealth or anything else keep away the tears? What will prevent the sorrows, deal with the sins, or enable us to be of good cheer in the face of death and disease, and to say, “You cannot touch me”? Ah! there is but one thing that will do that for us. “The name of the Lord is a strong tower.” The other man has “a high wall in his own conceit.” Did you ever see the canvas fortifications at some entertainments that they put up to imitate strong castles?--canvas stretched upon bits of stick. That is the kind of strong wall that the man puts up who trusts in the uncertainty of any earthly thing, or in anything but the living God. Let us keep ourselves within the Divine limits in regard to all external things. It is hard to do it, but it can be done. And there is only one way to do it, and that is by the same act by which we take refuge in the true fortress--viz., by faith and communion. When we realise that God is our defence, then we can see through the insufficiency of the others. (A. Maclaren, D. D.)

The name of the Lord a strong tower

It is essential that man’s hopes should rest on a firm basis.

I. The name of the Lord is a strong tower. Names have a twofold use--to distinguish and describe. Our names generally serve only to distinguish the individual. Sometimes, however, they describe as well as distinguish, and when this is the ease, their significancy is greatly increased. The name of God is descriptive; it describes the attributes of His character as revealed to us. What God is in Himself is implied in the name Jehovah, the existent. What the Almighty God is to His sinful and rebellious creatures is a matter of anxious inquiry. He is condescending, full of compassion, ready to forgive, slow to anger, yet by no means clearing the guilty. Such is the name of the Lord, which the text reminds us is a “strong tower.” A tower is a place built for shelter and security. Its strength consists in the durability of the materials of which it is composed. God’s name is called a strong tower, on account of the strength of the foundation on which they build who are sheltered within it.

II. The conduct of the righteous. He “runneth into it.” The real Christian is the one who is earnest in the pursuit of everlasting life. He is impelled by a sense of danger. He is animated by the hope of safety.

III. The safety of the righteous within the tower. He is safe from--

1. The assaults of the devil.

2. From the world.

3. From his own natural depravity.

4. From the accusations of the law.

5. From the accusations of conscience.

6. From the fear of death. (J. R. Shurlock, M. A.)

On trust in God

As a strong tower was considered, under the ancient system of warfare, to be a place of entire security from harm, this text is nothing else than a figurative manner of expressing the extreme importance of putting our whole trust in God. The reasonableness of this duty will appear if we consider the Divine perfections.

1. God’s unlimited power. It is proclaimed by the heavens, the work of His fingers, and by the earth, which He has suspended upon nothing. Everything declares that He is at least fully competent to our preservation and deliverance.

2. His particular providence, as displayed in the government of the universe. Even things which we are wont to regard as casual and trivial are subjected to His perpetual control.

3. His beneficence. He is ever ready to relieve and to bless. He is not only competent, He is willing to promote our good.

4. His tried and approved veracity “God is faithful, who hath promised.” In our intercourse with each other, experience is the basis of confidence, of mercantile credit, and of moral character. The same principle should lead us to place confidence in God. Two remarks to guard the subject from misconception.

Our strong tower

There are many war similes in the Bible.

1. Men mistake by resting satisfied with unstable and insecure bases. The sense of dependence is in every man so strong that no man can be happy quite alone, and leaning on nothing. Men try to satisfy themselves with one or other of three things.

2. Men cannot be truly strong for life until they have God behind them. To know a man is to apprehend all that makes up his individuality, or to “know his name.” So the “ name of God” includes everything that spheres Him as God: a just apprehension of God and His relations--a true knowledge of God. To know God in covenant is a strong tower. The “God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,” is God known through relationships and tried by experience. That God can be our “tower.” In Scripture, to know the name of any one implies familiarity and confidence; and to know God by name implies such confidence as makes Him to us a strong “tower.” To do anything in the name of another is to carry with you their authority, as with the ambassador or the old prophet. The name of God is a storehouse of wealth and strength, from which all recurring needs can be supplied. Then comes the moral force needed to deal with--

1. The attacks of life.

2. The defences of life.

3. The retreats of life.

Who can use this defence of God? Only the man whose purpose is to live the righteous life, and whose constant effort is to realise his purpose. (Weekly Pulpit.)

The name of the Lord

I. Christ is a Stronghold, for as such He has been appointed and ordained by God. Wisdom.

II. Christ is a Stronghold, because of the absolute perfection of His obedience, and the entire adequacy of His atonement. Holiness and justice.

III. Christ is a Stronghold, because God has actually accepted of His vicarious work. Faithfulness.

IV. Christ is a Stronghold, because as a King He hath sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high. Power.

V. The testimony of men--those “who have fled for refuge.” (James Stewart.)

Our Stronghold

Strong towers were a greater security in a bygone age than they are now. Castles were looked upon as being very difficult places for attack; and ancient troops would rather fight a hundred battles than endure a single siege. He who owned a strong tower felt, however potent might be his adversary, his walls and bulwarks would be his sure salvation.

I. The character of God furnishes the righteous with an abundant security. The character of God is the refuge of the Christian in opposition to other refuges which godless men have chosen; and as a matter of fact and reality. The purpose of God in our salvation is the glorifying of His own character, and this it is that makes our salvation positively sure; if every one that trusts in Christ be not saved, then is God dishonored. His character is the great granite formation upon which must rest all the pillars of the covenant of grace, and the sure mercies thereof. His wisdom, truth, mercy, justice, power, eternity, and immutability, are the seven pillars of the house of sure salvation. This is true not only as a matter of fact but also as a matter of experience. Even when the Lord Himself chastens us, it is most blessed to appeal against God to God.

II. How the righteous avail themselves of this strong tower. They run into it. They do not stop to make any preparation. And the running implies that they have nothing to carry; and that fear quickens them. When a man enters a castle, he is safe because of the impregnability of the castle, not because of the way in which he entered into the castle.

III. Entering the strong tower is a joyous experience. For “is safe” the margin reads “is set aloft.”

1. This is a matter of fact. He is safe, for who can hurt him? Who has power to reach him? What weapon is there that can be used against him?

2. This is a matter of experience. The believer in his high days {and they ought to be every day) is like an eagle perched aloft on a towering crag. Yonder is a hunter down below, who would fain strike the royal bird; he has his rifle with him, but his rifle would not reach one-third of the way. So the royal bird looks down upon him in quiet contempt, not intending even to take the trouble to stretch one of his wings, for he is quite safe, he is up aloft. Such is the faithful Christian’s state before God. (C. H. Spurgeon.)

A place of refuge

In the ancient Greek states certain temples afforded protection to criminals, whom it was unlawful to drag from them, although the supply of food might be intercepted. As early as the seventh century the protection of sanctuary was afforded to persons fleeing to a church or certain boundaries surrounding it. In several English churches there was a stone seat beside the altar, where those fleeing to the peace of the church were held to be guarded by its sanctity. (Chambers’ Encyclopedia.)

The name of God a refuge

The name of God is his harbour, where he puts in as boldly as a man steps into his own house when taken in a shower. (H. G. Salter.)

The Preacher’s Complete Homiletic Commentary
Proverbs 18:10-11

TWO CITADELS

I. The citadel of him who trusts in the Lord.

“The name of the Lord.” God has revealed Himself to men by many names, each one of which is intended to set forth some attribute of His perfect nature. The name “I AM,” by which He revealed Himself to Israel (Exod. 3:14) set forth His eternal self-existence, but He has also revealed Himself by names which are used to express human relations, such as king, judge, husband, father. These names are often borne by men who are destitute of the qualifications and feelings proper to the relationships which they express, but when any one of them is applied to God it is applied to one who combines within Himself all those attributes of character in perfection which ought to be possessed in some degree by men who are called by these names. The righteous man’s refuge, then, is a Living Personality—a Self-existent and Eternal King and Father, infinite in power, in wisdom, and in tenderness. It is therefore 1 An ever-present refuge. “God is not far from every one of us” (Acts 17:27), and being ever near, is always accessible. 2. An impregnable refuge. Before an enemy can attack those who have taken refuge in a fortress, they must carry the citadel itself. So before any enemy can harm a righteous man, he must overcome the Almighty God; he must circumvent His plans, and overthrow his purposes.

“When His wisdom can mistake,

His might decay, His love forsake,”

then, but not till then, will those be exposed to danger who have put their trust in Him. 3. An eternal refuge. The “arms” of strength that defend the children of God are “everlasting arms” (Deut. 33:7). Many of the ancient fortresses that are scattered over our land were once deemed impregnable refuges. But although they bade defiance to many an assault of men in battle-array, they have had to yield to a more subtle enemy. Time has crumbled their once mighty walls, and made them unfit for purposes of defence. But the righteous man can say to Him who is his “strong tower,” “Lord, Thou hast been our dwelling-place in all generations… Even from everlasting to everlasting Thou art God” (Ps. 90:1, 2).

II. The stronghold of the man who trusts in riches.

1. Riches are no defence against a man’s most powerful enemies. While a man has wealth he is defended from many bodily ills and from many vexations of spirit. A man of narrow means has often to fight a hard battle to supply his bodily necessities, and is a stranger to those luxuries which make life, in this respect, so comfortable to a rich man. And a poor man has also to bend his will to the will of his richer neighbour—to endure often “th’ oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely.” Wealth is a defence against all these enemies to a man’s comfort. But there are troubles far heavier than any of these, from which riches afford no protection. Disease and death cannot be turned aside with money—a troubled soul cannot be comforted with gold. A bed of down cannot do much for a man whose body is racked with pain—it can do nothing for him whose soul is bowed down by sorrow, or smitten with a fear of death. In any of these straits a soul can find no “strong city” of refuge in the possession of untold millions; these enemies laugh at such a wall of defence. The man who trusts in material wealth as his chief good, has either made too low an estimate of his own needs, or too high an estimate of the power of wealth.

2. Wealth is a fortress with a most uncertain foundation. Granted that it is a defence against some very real ills, who can insure to himself a continuance of his present possessions? The uncertainty of riches has been a subject upon which the sages and moralists of all ages have dwelt—the millionaire of to-day may be a beggar to-morrow, and he who was last year surrounded by this “high wall,” which shut in so much that was agreeable to his senses and shut ont so many discomforts from his temporal life, may be standing to-day a forlorn, unsheltered creature, with only the ruins of his once imposing fortress around him. On this subject see also Homiletics on chap. 11:28.

OUTLINES AND SUGGESTIVE COMMENTS on Proverbs 18:10-11

This strong refuge is not only safe, but “set aloft,” so the word signifies, out of the gunshot. None can pull out of His hands. Run therefore to God by praying, not fainting. This is the best policy for security. That which is said of wily persons that are full of fetches, of windings, and of turnings in the world, that such will never break, is much more true of a righteous, praying Christian. He hath but one grand policy to secure him against all dangers, and that is, to run to God.—Trapp.

To this tower the wicked are sometimes driven in distress, then seeking help here, when it is nowhere else to be found. But the righteous in any distress runneth presently unto it. Thither their eyes look, thither their hands are stretched, thither their hearts carry them. Yea, they are not only carried unto it but into it, by placing their confidence in it, and making it their safety. They are well acquainted with the way, and therefore can make speed; they have cast off the clogs of worldly impediments and so are fit for running; they think it much longer until they come to God, than impatient hearts do until they come to help.—Jermin.

To “the righteous” God is good, and he nestles and shelters himself in that; “runs into” the nurture and shelter of God’s love, and, in the comfort of this strong tower, “is lifted high.” But there is a profounder sense. The very “name” that is cavilled at by the lost is the foundation of the Christian’s safety. “What the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh,” God did by His “name.” He gave it to Christ’s humanity. More specifically speaking, He used it in the “name” of His own righteousness, to balance our guilt and to give weight and value to the price of His redemption. We are repeatedly said to be saved by the “name” of God (Psa. 54:1; John 17:11, 12). And this is the meaning. The perfect holiness of God, which the lost man would upbraid, is what is vital in the cross of Christ. It is not only “a strong tower,” but our only defence. And the act of faith is a renouncing of self and a snatching at “the name,” that is, the righteousness or substituted standing of our Great Deliverer. Miller.

Take the sinner in his first awakening conviction. He trembles at the thought of eternal condemnation. He looks forward—all is terror; backward—nothing but remorse; inward—all is darkness. Till now he had no idea of his need of salvation. His enemy now suggests that it is beyond his reach; that he has sinned too long and too much, against too much light and knowledge; how can he be saved? But the name of the Lord meets his eye. He spells out every letter, and putting it together, cries—“Who is a God like unto thee?” (Mic. 7:18.) He runs to it, as to a strong tower. His burden of conscience is relieved. His soul is set free, and he enjoys his safety. Take—again—the child of God—feeble, distressed, assaulted. “What, if I should return to the world, look back, give up my profession, yield to my own deceitful heart, and perish at last with aggraved condemnation?” You are walking outside the gates of your tower; no wonder that your imprudence exposes you to “the fiery darts of the wicked.” Read again the name of the Lord! Go back within the walls—See upon the tower the name—“I am the Lord; I change not” (Mal. 3:6). Read the direction to trust in it—“Who is there among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant: that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God” (Isa. 1:10). Mark the warrant of experience in this trust—“They that know thy name shall put their trust in Thee; for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek Thee” (Psalm 9:10). Thus sense of danger, knowledge of the way, confidence in the strength of the tower—all gives a spring of life and earnestness to run into it. Here the righteous—the man justified by the grace, and sanctified by the Spirit, of God—runneth every day, every hour; realizing at once his fearful danger, and his perfect security.—Bridges.

GOD’S KEEP
Francis Morse

‘The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.’ Proverbs 18:10

Our Visitation Service seems to meet, or at least to suggest to us how to meet, a sick man’s want in the short sentences which follow the Lord’s Prayer and are summed up in the prayer which follows them: ‘O Lord! look down from heaven, behold, visit, and relieve this Thy servant. Look upon him with the eyes of Thy mercy, give him comfort and sure confidence in Thee, defend him from the danger of the enemy, and keep him in perpetual peace and safety; through Jesus Christ our Lord.’

The central thought of these sentences is in the image before us from the book of Proverbs. ‘The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.’ This is a striking picture of one who, feeling his inability to keep himself safe, and not knowing how many foes he has around him, flies to a place of well-known strength, and resting there is confident that he is secure.

St. Peter uses the same image when he speaks of God’s elect as ‘kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.’ A keep is the stronghold of an ancient castle, and to be kept by the power of God is to be taken care of by Him in the stronghold of His might Who is almighty to save.

There are many other beautiful passages in which God enhances this thought and assures us of the strength of His salvation.

There is a time, many a time, in the Christian’s course for the vigorous action of all his powers; there is a time also, and the prostration of sickness is that time, for the quiet, still repose of his soul on the wisdom and the love and the almightiness of God. He cannot keep himself, but he can let himself be kept by His Father Who is in heaven.

‘Ah!’ you may say, ‘but sickness is a time of natural depression. The nerves are unstrung. I feel, I cannot tell why, I feel low and miserable and restless, and hardly able to think at all of God and His comforts.’ ‘When I am weak,’ writes St. Paul, ‘then am I strong,’ because then he threw himself absolutely on the strength of God. Wounded, wearied, and distressed as the fugitive might be, yet in the castle keep he would be safe, and convinced of his safety, though he but lay still.

Saddened too, wearied and distressed as you are, yet in the stronghold of the Almighty and in the home of love you poor penitents are where no ill can come, and whence no power is able to drag you.

True it is that the time of your weakness is the time when, as the Service for the Sick suggests, the face of the enemy may be especially set against you; and it may be his temptation which, availing itself of your weakness, assaults and depresses you. But remember you are within the walls of salvation, he is without.

Abide in Christ, and you are equally safe from the lion that is going about to devour. You may hear his roar without, you may see his power upon those outside, you may know how much he desires to have you; but this need not disturb your peace, it may even increase it, as you cling the closer to your Saviour, and are more and more assured that ‘where He is nigh no ill can come.’

‘O God! Who art the author of peace and lover of concord, in knowledge of Whom standeth our eternal life, Whose service is perfect freedom; defend us Thy humble servants in all assaults of our enemies; that we, surely trusting in Thy defence, may not fear the power of any adversaries; through the might of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.’

Chuck Smith
Proverbs 18:10-11
The Name of Jesus

I. SOME OF THESE FORCES THAT FACE US.
A. The Spirit forces; "We wrestle not against flesh and blood."
1. It's hard to fight something you can't see.
2. You feel out of sorts and you don't know why.
a. Discouraged.
b. Depressed.
c. Edgy.
d. Anxious, worried.
e. Each of these will lead to doubt.

B. The interpersonal relationships.

1. Strong disagreement with your spouse.

a. Maybe they have left you, and your life was built around them.

1. What am I going to do?

2. Where shall I go?

3. How will I survive?

b. The deeper you have loved them, the more devastating the experience can be.

2. Maybe you are on different wave lengths than your child.

a. Constant tension.

b. Meal times have become disasters.

3. It could be at work. Someone has it in for you.

a. They try to make you look bad.

b. They call attention and laugh at your mistakes.

C. Life itself.

1. Why do the ungodly prosper?

a. Some seem to get along quite well without God.

2. Why is there suffering?

3. Why must death come to someone I loved so deeply?

D. Where can we turn? The name "Jehovah."

II. HOW MEN IN THE PAST HAVE RUN INTO THAT NAME.

A. Abraham - Jehovah Jireh - The Lord sees.

B. Moses, Battle against Amalikites - Jehovah Nissi.

C. Gideon - Jehovah - Shalom - The Lord our peace.

D. Jeremiah - Jehovah Tsidkenu - Our righteousness.

E. Ezekiel - Jehovah Shammah - The Lord is there.

III. THE NAME OF JESUS.

A. So names by the angel Gabriel when he announced to Mary that she was the one favored by God to be the human instrument.

1. Later confirmed to Joseph when he was in doubt as to what to do. "Call His name JESUS for He shall save His people from their sin."

B. The name Jesus is the Greek of the Hebrew name Jehoshua (Numbers 13:16). Later contracted to Joshua.

C. The name means, The Lord is our Savior.

D. This name is above all names.

E. This name is a strong tower, the righteous run into it and are safe.

1. How often has this name brought me:

a. Hope.

b. Peace.

c. Comfort.

d. Strength.

e. Healing.

THE STRENGTH OF A NAME
Proverbs 18:10

Our lives are daily filled with pressures, stresses and strains. The day when we are forced to say "I can't" is a day of tragic defeat of glorious victory.

I. LOOK AT SOME OF THE FORCES AGAINST US.

A. The forces of Satan "For we wrestle not… "

1. Satan going about as a roaring lion.

2. "Have you considered my servant Job."

B. The forces of this age.

1. Disappointment "Ye my own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat my bread." These are forces which individually can defeat you and united can destroy you.

II. THE STRONG TOWER (PLACE OF SAFETY) THE NAME JEHOVAH.

A. This name "Jehovah."

1. In Scriptures written with four consonants. JHVH.

2. A Jew would not pronounce the name. He is one who is indescribable.

a. A scribe in copying text.

b. A Jew in reading text.

3. Name never linked with qualifying adjectives.

a. The Adonahy never the Jehovah.

b. My Elohim never my Jehovah.

c. The living Elohim never the living Jehovah.

4. Jehovah literally means "The becoming one."

III. PICTURES OF THE STRONG TOWER.

A. Abraham on Mt. Moriah

1. Extreme test of faith.

2. "Where is the sacrifice?"

3. Jehovah Jireh "The Lord will provide."

a. Literally Jehovah sees - vision provision.

b. Did not say, "I cannot see."

4. Where was Abraham during the three day journey.

B. Moses conflict with Amalek.

1. Untrained, poorly outfitted army against well trained Amalek's, their regiments marching beneath their banners of their king.

2. Jehovah Nissi.

3. Israel in poor field position?

C. Gideon a farmer called to be a general.

1. Gideon expressed his fears.

a. Jehovah Shalom "our peace."

b. Ultimate result of battle.

2. Gideon's men poorly armed?

D. Jeremiah prophet of doom. Imprisoned, falsely accused.

1. In Dungeon as a result of gross miscarriage of justice. Jehovah Tsidkenu "our righteousness."

2. Jeremiah left dungeon and entered into strong tower.

E. Ezekiel by river Chebar. His harp hanging on the willow tree as he weeps.

1. Human hope is gone - Jerusalem seems so far.

2. Jehovah Shammah "The Lord is there."

3. Left place of captivity.

IV. "AND IS SAFE."

A. Daniel.

1. If you say he spent the night in a den of lions you read the story superficially.

V. THE NAME JESUS IS GREEK FOR JOSHUA JEHOVAH SHUA.

A. The name Jesus is our strong tower.

1. You faith tested - Jesus sees.

2. Life in conflict - Jesus is your banner.

3. Called to be holy service and afraid. Jesus is your peace.

4. Hope about gone - Jesus is righteous Jesus shall reign.

5. Discouraged? No way out? Jesus is there. There's strength in His name - the devil's tremble and flee.

PROVERBS 18:10

Life full of strain and stress. The day in which we have to say, "I cannot" is a day of disaster or victory. Depends on our belief text.

I. THE FORCES THAT ARE AGAINST US.
A. Mystic and strange "wrestle not against flesh and blood."
1. "Going about as roaring lion seeking whom he… "
2. "Have you considered my servant Job?"
Problems of:

B. The age in which we live.

1. Men seem to live quite successfully without God.

2. Long continued victory of evil.

3. Universal pain. These all create stresses and strain and demand we find some place of quietness and peace.

C. The self-life just when you think you have it mastered it appears anew.

D. The Sorrows and bereavements. These are forces against us individually they defeat us, united they destroy us.

II. THE PLACE OF SAFETY "THE NAME JEHOVAH."

A. The name Jehovah.

1. In scriptures revealed by four consonants to JHVH.

2. Refused to pronounce name. Suggesting one who is indescribable.

3. Never linked with qualifying or descriptive adjective. The Jehovah - my Jehovah - The Living Jehovah. The Adonahy - My Elohim - The Living Elohim - The interpretation "The Becoming One." The one who becomes to people just what they need.

B. Five Pictures.

1. Abraham Mt. Moriah - Jehovah Jireh.

2. Moses - conflict with Amelek - Jehovah NISSI.

3. Gideon - farmer called to service - Jehovah Shalom.

The interpretation "The Becoming One" the one who becomes to people just what they need.

C. Five pictures:

1. Abraham Mt. Moriah - Jehovah Jireh.

2. Moses - conflict with Ameleck Jehovah Nissi.

3. Gideon - farmer called to service Jehovah Shalom.

4. Jeremiah - exercising ministry Jehovah Tsidkenu of no hope - in prison.

5. Ezekiel prophet of exile Jehovah Shammal "The Lord is there."

1. Abraham faith in extremity. The Lord will provide literally the Lord will see. The Lord will see - did not say I cannot see but God can see.

2. Moses - conflict of faith - Jehovah - Nissi. Everything depended upon God being with them.

3. Gideon shrinking in fear from service - Shalom.

4. Jeremiah dungeon witness of the hope of faith in the face of no hope - Tsidkenu.

5. Ezekiel river Cheber in Babylon all human hope set aside The Lord is there."

III. PROOFS OF SAFETY.

A. Daniel.

1. That he was in den of lions only superficial truth where was Daniel? In the tower of Jehovah in the den.

B. Mother and death of father and brother.

IV. THE NAME JESUS ESSENTIALLY MEANS JEHOVAH IS SALVATION FAITH TESTED TO EXTREMITY?

In conflict? Jesus our banner.

Out look dark? Jesus our righteousness He shall reign.

THE SAFE REFUGE
Proverbs 18:10

I. THE NEED OF A REFUGE.

A. Life filled with stresses and strains.

1. We all ultimately get to the place where we must reach out for help.

2. Day of disaster or victory.

B. Many problems assault my soul.

1. The success of the ungodly.

2. The triumph of evil over good.

3. Pain.

4. Death.

5. These are times when I run into my strong tower.

II. THE PLACE OF REFUGE, THE NAME JEHOVAH.

A. This is the incommunicable name of God.

1. It means "I am" or the becoming one.

2. The reverence the Jews have for this name.

B. Name often given in compound form.

1. Abraham - Jehovah Jireh.

2. Moses - Jehovah Nissi.

3. Gideon - Jehovah Shalom.

4. Jeremiah Jehovah Tsidkenu.

5. Ezekiel - Jehovah Shammal.

III. THE NAME OF JESUS.

A. Greek form of Hebrew Joshua.

1. Name given by Moses to his young minister - Jeho-Shua.

2. The name means Jehovah is salvation.

3. When the angel told Joseph to take Mary as his wife - "Call His name Jesus for He shall save His people from their sins."

B. Jesus as Jehovah. (See also Jehovah = Jesus)

1. I am come in My Father's name. John 5:43.

a. Before Abraham was I am. John 8: 58.

b. I am that bread of life. John 6:48.

c. I am the light of the world. John 8:12.

d. If you believe not that "I am " ye shall die in your sins. John 8:24.

e. I am the door. John 10: 9.

f. I am the good shepherd. John 10:11

C. Thus, the name Jesus has become our refuge, our strong tower.

1. How many the time I have run to it and found:

a. Hope.

b. Peace.

c. Understanding.

d. Comfort.

e. Help.

f. Courage.

g. Strength.

The name of Jesus is so sweet,
I love its music to repeat,
it makes my joys full and complete,
the precious name of Jesus,
Jesus oh how sweet the name.

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