The Mines of King Solomon (part 15)

Proverbs 18,10 states, "The name of the Lord is a stronghold; the righteous man goes there and is shielded. "What does that mean? How can the name of God be a stronghold? Why did not Solomon write that God himself is a stronghold? How can we run and be protected by the name of God?

Names are important in every society. A name says a lot about a person: the gender, the ethnic background, and perhaps also the political position of the parents or their pop idol at the time their child was born. Some have a nickname that also says something about that person - who and what that person is. For the people who lived in the ancient Near East, the name of a human was of particular importance; so also with the Jews. Parents thought a lot about their child's name and prayed about it in the hope that their child would fulfill what their name or their name expresses. Names are also important to God. We know that sometimes he changed a person's name if he or she had life-changing experiences. Hebrew names were often a short description of the person, thereby indicating who this person is or will be. For example, the name Abram became Abraham (father of many peoples) so that he could say that he is the father of many and God works through him.

An aspect of the character of God

God also uses the Hebrew names to describe himself. Each of his names is a description of one aspect of his character and identity. They describe who he is, what he has done and are at the same time a promise to us. For example, one of God's names, Yahweh Shalom, means "The Lord is peace" (Ri 6,24). He is the God who brings peace to us. Do you have fears? Are you restless or depressed? Then you can experience peace because God Himself is peace. If the Peace Prince lives in you (Jes 9,6, Eph 2,14), he comes to your aid. It changes people, releases tensions, changes difficult circumstances and brings your feelings and thoughts to rest.

In 1. Moses 22,14 calls himself God Yahweh Jireh "the Lord sees". They can come to God and count on him. In many ways, God wants you to know that he knows your needs and wants to breastfeed them. You just have to ask him for it. Back to Proverbs 18,10: Solomon says there, that everything that is expressed about God through his name - his peace, his eternal faithfulness, his grace, his love - is like a stronghold for us. Castles were built for thousands of years to protect local people from their enemies. The walls were very high and almost impregnable. When invaders invaded the country, people fled from their villages and fields to the castle because they knew they were safe and secure. Solomon writes that the righteous run to God. They did not walk there comfortably but lost no time running to God and being safe with him. Shielded means being protected and safe from attack.

However, one could argue that this applies only to the "just" people. Then thoughts like "I'm not good enough. I am not so holy. I make so many mistakes. My thoughts are unclean ... "Yet another name for God is Yahweh Tsidekenu's" The Lord our Justice "(Jer 33,16). God provides us with His righteousness through Jesus Christ, who died for our sins, "that in Him we might become the righteousness of God" (2, Kor 5,21). Therefore, we do not have to strive to do our own justice, because we are justified by Jesus' sacrifice if we claim it for ourselves. Therefore, in times of uncertainty and anxiety, you can step forward with courageous steps, even then, especially if you do not feel that you are fair.

Wrong collateral

We make a tragic mistake when we go to a wrong place in search of security. The next verse in Proverbs warns us: "The rich man is like a solid city to him and a high wall seems to him." This applies not only to money, but to all that seems to help us, our worries, fears, and the Break down everyday stress: alcohol, drugs, career, a specific person. Salomo points out - and from his own experience he knows only too well - that all these things only provide a false security. Everything except God, which we hope for safety, will never be able to give us what we really need. God is not a vague impersonal idea. His name is Father and his love is infinite and unconditional. With him you can lead a personal and loving relationship. As you go through difficult times, call him with the profound assurance that he will guide you "for the sake of his name" (Ps 23,3). Ask him to teach you to understand who he is.

Many years ago, when my children were very young, there was a huge storm at night. A lightning strike was near our home, so we ran out of electricity. The children were terrified. As the lightning hissed around them in the darkness and the thunder rumbled, they called to us and ran as fast as they could to us. We spent this night as a family in our marriage bed and my wife and I held our children firmly in our arms. They quickly fell asleep, trusting that everything would be alright because Mom and Dad were in bed with them.

Regardless of what you are going through, you may rest in the presence of God, trusting that he is with you and holding you in his arms. God calls himself Yahweh Shammah (Hes 48,35) and that means "Here is the Lord". There is no place where God is not with you. He was present in your past, it is in your presence, and he will be in your future. He is with you in good and bad times. He is always at your side. Run to him, for the sake of his name.

by Gordon Green

pdfThe Mines of King Solomon (part 15)