(Excerpted from Whetstone, Aug 1993, and edited Oct 2009)
Proverbs 18:10 is a marvelous verse. It describes both protection and direction. "The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe."
A strong tower was built in three places for specific purposes.
- In the center of a city where proclamations could be made.
- At strategic points on the outer wall of a defense.
- In isolated areas (deserts, forests) to identify ownership of territory and to provide protection.
Let us consider four things that these towers provided to those who were assigned and used these towers. Protection, Identity, Power/Courage and Message. By so doing, we can better understand what the Lord's name provides to us.
Protection. We can easily project the image of a soldier protected by a strong tower, deflecting enemy missiles and providing a place to rest. Soldiers are provided protection by good commanders for two reasons, because they have individual personal worth and so that they can be effective in fighting the enemy.
Identity. Human nature strives to be known and accepted. Our own profession, the military, has provided identity to many who are searching. A strong tower clearly provided the identity of the sovereign for those within. We do not have to search for identity.
Power and Courage. A soldier protected by the ramparts of a strong tower has a double advantage over an unprotected soldier exposed to the noise, confusion and danger of the battlefield. He has the power to observe and launch his weapons, and he has the courage to continue the fight bolstered by the knowledge of the protection of the strong tower. No matter what may come our way, we have the power of God to be actively involved in the fight.
Message. The same Hebrew word used for tower in Proverbs 18 is also used in Nehemiah 8:4-8. After the wall had been rebuilt, Ezra read the law from a special high pulpit (tower) where all could see and hear him. A strong tower proclaims a message first of all by its physical presence. Then it provides a place from which individual messages can be proclaimed.
Two Prerequisites. "The righteous run to it and are safe." We need to be 1) righteous, continually seeking after God and His holiness; and 2) run to the tower. When a soldier is in danger and is running to a place of safety, he will leave behind extraneous things that weight him down. There may be some things of the world that we must leave behind as we run to the strong tower of the Lord's name.
A Final Thought. Strong towers are built with the foreknowledge that there will be difficulty and danger ahead and that the tower must stand between the danger and those needing protection. So it is with God and His people. His name stands between His people and danger. With that protection, there is no need to cut and run from the profession, or to stay and hide, but to stay and be bold -- appropriating the Protection, Identity, Power/Courage, and the Message of the Strong Tower of the Lord's Name.