The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe. – Prov. 18:10 KJV
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The book of Proverbs remain a reference book for words of wisdom. With several verses, all individually rich in wise words that will help anyone succeed in life, it is a book that anyone hoping to be a success must have, as a good companion. The reference verse for today’s scripture is not in anyway different as it gives an advise to one who already has attained the state of divine righteousness. This state is not a righteousness achieved by human efforts but a God imposed righteousness – Is. 54:17; Rom. 3:21. One who desire to be in this state must be one who has accepted to serve the only one God called Jehovah and has accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Without fulfilling these conditions, no man can attain this state as all human acts of righteousness is like filthy rags before the Lord – Is. 64:5-9.
However, the writer of this verse provides an information, which is that even in the divinely attained righteous state, there will still be the need for such a person to run from situations that are life threatening. It means that protection from physical attacks of enemies is not automatic for the true Christian, even in the divinely attained state of righteousness. Such an individual will still be expected to take some actions, physical or spiritual, to be able to overcome such threats. The writer of this scripture says, he/she will,
1. Have to run. This implies that in times like that, the individual should not rely on his/her own strength, no matter how much confidence he/she may possess about his/her ability. The scripture advises that in such circumstances, the Christian should run away from it. It is no time to confront such attacks or to demonstrate your righteous state in other self defensive manner. It is a time to run. People will call such a person all kinds of names but it is about doing what the scripture expects such a person in that state to do. A Christian should not be found boasting about abilities to defeat anyone in any kind of battle but should actually run to the one who will decide the appropriate response to such situations. In your righteous state, you have probably tried to fight battles instead of retreating in the direction of the one mighty in battle, and that probably explains your present pain and distress – Ps.24:8. The Christian must learn to run to the one who is the man of war, and he it is, that will determine the direction of war and will ensure victory with no scar.
2. Enter the tower. It is not sufficient to run, but such must run with the intention of entering the tower. The tower in biblical times remains an integral part of defense tools against acts of enemies during wars. The following are associated with a tower;
a) A tower is usually higher than any surrounding structure. In that state no structure can be compared to it in terms of visibility as the tower oversees every thing near and far. Whoever is in the tower immediately becomes taller, nay bigger than any surrounding structure because such will be standing on the advantage that the tower brings. It is then no longer the height of the person but the height of the tower.
b) With a tower, one can see farther. Running into the tower provides better visibility of surrounding activities, which will enhance the chances of taking better decision. On this tower, things that are not too visible become more visible and this leads to reduction in the error margin during decision making. The chance of making a friend out of an enemy and vice-versa is reduced. With this, there can be no regrets with any decision taken and chances of being victorious in battles are increased. That your decision that is bringing regrets may not questioning your righteousness, but the fact that you did not run into the tower for better visibility.
c) A strong tower cannot be brought down easily. The tower must be able to withstand all forms of attacks against it. The fall from a tower can be more disastrous than facing the battle directly. Most people in trouble do run into towers such as spiritual leaders, relations, friends and other human towers. Such may provide spiritual advantage and greater visibility but may not be able to withstand the increasing pressures of the enemy, since there is a limit to their capability. You may not have run to non-Christian towers, but in running to that Christian leader, were you relying on the person you met or Jesus Christ, expected to be behind the person? That again could be why running to church in that situation led to more pain and distress rather than lead to relief and comfort.
In emphasising the need for the righteous to run into a tower during situations that can affect his/her survival, today’s scripture identifies the best tower that can meet all these qualities as the “Name of the Lord”. The Prophet Joel had stated amongst other events of the last days that, all who call on the name of the Lord shall be saved – Joel 2:32. There is no doubt that we are in those last days when the Almighty God has given His only begotten son, Jesus Christ, a name above all names. The Apostle Paul in his letter to the Philippians, says it is a name that makes every knee bow and every tongue confess his lordship over all things to the glory of the Almighty God – Phil. 2:9. The disciple Peter also reminds anyone who cares to listen that we have no other name by which man can be saved except the name of Jesus – Acts 4:12. Run into that tower now and you will be saved from that stress. That will be your testimony in Jesus name. Amen.