The Mines of King Solomon <abbr> (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 origin and maybe also the political point of view of the parents or their pop idol at the time when their child was born. Some people have a nickname that also says something about this person - who and what that person is. For the people who lived in the ancient Near East, the name of a person was of particular importance; so also with the Jews. Parents thought a lot about their child's name and prayed in the hope that their child would fulfill what his or her name expresses. Names are also important to God. We know that sometimes he changed a person's name when he or she had life-changing experiences. Hebrew names were often a short description of the person, thereby indicating who that 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 its names is a description of an aspect of its character and identity. They describe who he is, what he has done and at the same time are a promise to us. For example, one of the names of God Yahweh Shalom means "The Lord is Peace" (Richter [space]] 6,24). He is the God who brings us peace. Are you afraid? Are you restless or depressed? Then you can experience peace because God Himself is peace. When the peace prince lives in you (Isaiah 9,6; Ephesians 2,14), He will come to your help. It changes people, relieves tension, changes difficult circumstances and calms your feelings and thoughts.

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 only applies to the "just" people. Then thoughts like “I'm not good enough. I am not that holy. I make so many mistakes. My thoughts are impure ... "But another name for God is Yahweh Tsidekenu" The Lord our righteousness " (Jeremiah 33,16). God provides us with His righteousness through Jesus Christ who died for our sins "so that we could become the righteousness before God" (2 Corinthians 5,21). We therefore do not have to strive for justice on our own, because we are justified by Jesus' sacrifice if we claim it for ourselves. That is why you can step up courageously in uncertain and frightening times, even if you do not feel fair.

Wrong collateral

We make a tragic mistake when we run to the wrong place in search of security. The next verse in Proverbs warns us: "The wealthy man is like a solid city and thinks he has a high wall." This applies not only to money, but to everything that apparently helps us to reduce our worries, fears and everyday stress: alcohol, drugs, career, a specific person. Solomon shows - and from his own experience he knows only too well - that all these things only offer false security. Anything except God that we hope for security will never be able to give us what we really need. God is not a vaguely impersonal idea. His name is father and his love is infinite and unconditional. You can have a personal and loving relationship with him. As you go through difficult times, call him with the deep certainty that he will guide you “for his name's sake” (Psalm 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 can rest with God and trust that He is with you and holds you in His arms. God is called Yahweh Shammah (Ezekiel 48,35) and that means "Here is the Lord". There is no place where God is not with you. It was present in your past, it is in your present and it will be in your future. He is with you in both good and bad times. He is always by your side. Run to him for his name's sake.

by Gordon Green

pdf The mines of King Solomon (Part 15)