Thursday, May 2, 2013

Proverbs 18:10 What's in a name?

The name of the Lord is a strong tower;

    the righteous man runs into it and is safe. (Proverbs 18:10)

Are you singing that? This verse is a praise song we sing often! I love the verses in scripture that speak of the protection and strength God provides to those who run to Him. The Bible speaks of Him as our shelter, our Rock, our refuge. He is our strong tower!

I wanted to share with you what Jon Courson writes about this verse, because his focus is the name of the LORD. He points out that the first time God gives His name is from the burning bush, in Exodus 3, in answer to Moses’ question:

Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?”  God said to Moses, “I AM who I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” (Exodus 3:13-14)

This name expresses the self-existence and the ever-presence of God. It was a name considered so holy that it was unpronounceable to the Jews. To them is was YHWH, which we translate as Jehovah.

Courson conjectures that Moses may have thought, “You are ... what?” God answered in fullness is Exodus 34, when as He passed in front of Moses on Mt. Sinai, He finished this sentence with a list of His attributes:

The Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord.  The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness,  keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children's children, to the third and the fourth generation.”  And Moses quickly bowed his head toward the earth and worshiped. (Exodus 34:5-8)

This is the God of the Old Testament and the New! He is merciful (doesn’t give us what we deserve: death and Hell); gracious (gives us what we don’t deserve, eternal life and Heaven); patient (He never gives up on His people); thoroughly good; constant in His love toward us; completely faithful to His Word; but also fully just.

“I AM.” This is the name of the LORD. It is a strong tower! We can freely run into it and find security and peace! We will spend more time next week looking at the names of God and what they reveal about His character. Can’t wait!

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