Your Place of Safety—The Name of the Lord
I recently traveled to Virginia to see some people I love. I learned something while there—if there is a bridge or highway in Virginia or West Virginia, they will name it after someone.
So, I traveled a succession of “John P. Doe Memorial Highways” and “Alfred E. Neuman Memorial Bridges,” or the “Homer C. Knucklehead Freeways”. And I really wanted to say, “Way to go John! You did well. They named a bridge after you. Hey, Homer my man! Give me five. You too, Al.”
And I really would have admired John or Alfred or Homer if I had known them. I saw their name, but I knew absolutely zilch about them, so I didn’t know if their name was on the bridge because they had saved a hundred of their fellows during a battle, or because the governor of the state is their wife’s brother.
Now if you said, “The Bessie Deloney Memorial Chicken Fry,” there I would have been impressed because Sis Bessie was my grandmother, an unparalleled fryer of chicken. A million thoughts of the person would have flooded back because this woman had a powerful influence on my childhood.
The better you know a person the more her name evokes a reaction in you.
We may know the names of Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton or Mother Teresa, but do we know anything about them (outside of what our favorite media outlet tells us)? But, if we really KNOW a person, their name means something to us.
The Name of the Lord Is Powerful
I struggled for a long time to understand the connection between the Lord and His Name.
“The name of the Lord is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe.” (Proverbs 18:10, NKJV) Why not just say, “The Lord is a strong tower,”? Finally, I realized that His Name is like Himself. When you say the “name of the Lord,” you’re talking about Him. His name is who He is.
His reputation is reality.
The name of the Lord is a strong tower. That doesn’t say much to us today. Towers and castles don’t hold up too well from air attacks by an F-16 (Mirage 2000). But, back then, walled cities and towers were state of the art defense.
If you’re a poor potato farmer and a marauding band of bad guys comes around, run to the tower. You’ll be safe.
Today the bad guys we fight are invisible forces in spiritual places. Sometimes it’s sickness or family problems, or misunderstandings with friends, or a nasty boss or … you fill in the blank.
Run to the Lord! They don’t call him Savior for nothing. Seek Him in prayer, in His word, in worship with others, and in service. Ask yourself a question though.
Am I praying to placate God, to “do my duty as a good Christian,” or am I praying to know Him even better? The better I know Him, the more His power and love will thrum through His name. He will evoke faith in my heart.
Am I reading the Word of God to placate God and keep Him from being upset at my laziness? Or am I searching for God in His Word like a hound dog sniffs out a hot deer trail?
Do I assemble with other Christians because it’s my duty or do I really want to worship and praise my Lord with others? I believe when we put our praises with others, we don’t add praise, we multiply it. Praising God with others is powerful.
Shout For Joy!
“But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.” Psalm 5:11
You want joy? Take refuge in the Lord.Trust in His Name. Sing for joy whether you feel like it or not. The King James rendering of this verse even gives us permission to, “shout for joy.”
Seek His face until you are aware that He’s there. I know that it’s by faith and not feeling, but we’ve often used that as an excuse to stop short of the place of refuge. After all:
“You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” Psalm 16:10-11
I wonder if we haven’t emphasized “walking by faith” so much that we’ve stolen the truth that we can experience God emotionally. We don’t seek feelings, but we seek Him. Often when we come into his presence like that, emotions flood our soul, or tickle our mind, or fill us with joy.
If you’re being stomped on by your adversaries, why don’t you run to the strong tower? Call on Jesus’ Name. Tell Him what is in your heart. He will hear and help you. He is as good as His Name and He works to keep that Name respected.
« … with any real person, you will regularly be confused and infuriated by him or her. So, too, you will be regularly confounded by the God you meet in the Scriptures—as well as amazed and comforted. Tim Keller