Where To Run.
“The name of the Lord is a strong fortress; the godly run to him and are safe.” – Proverbs 18:10 NLT
Think about it. Where do you run when things get tough? Who do you turn to when facing difficult circumstances? In what or who do you put your trust or place your hope? Solomon says that the godly run to the Lord and are kept safe. But if we’re honest, most of us have a long list of other options we consider before we go to God. We have our money, friends, family members, the government, and our own resourcefulness to bail us out in time of need. But again, Solomon reminds us that “the name of the Lord is a strong fortress” (Proverbs 18:10 NLT). Isn’t it interesting that he refers to the name of the Lord. That is a common expression in the Old Testament and it speaks of God’s reputation or fame. It refers to those things He has done that have established who He is. It is another way of expressing His character. God has made a name for Himself. He has a solid reputation. He is known by His actions. And in this context, God has proven Himself to be a safe place to turn to for protection. He is faithful, powerful, gracious, consistent, and never fails in providing the protection we need and seek.
God’s reputation is impeccable and totally reliable. So the godly “run to him.” They don’t casually walk or stroll to God, they run. There is a sense of urgency and immediacy to this statement. There is no hesitation. He isn’t a second or third option or a last resort. God is the first choice of the godly person. It reminds me of the response of my children when they were young and found themselves scared or in trouble. They would make a bee-line to dear old dad. No hesitation. No reservations. When in trouble or fearful, dad’s arms were where they wanted to be. And the same thing should be true of us as believers. We should want to run to God, whole-heartedly, unashamedly, unwaveringly – because He has proven Himself trustworthy time and time again.
But as our kids grow older, they grow less willing to turn to dad when scared or in trouble. They have been trained to be self-sufficient. They learn to develop other options and plans for maintaining their safety. They develop other resources to keep them safe and secure. Dad becomes less necessary, and the thought of jumping into his arms for safety becomes slightly embarrassing. And we do the same thing with God. Over time, before we even know it, we have moved God way down the list in terms of where we turn in times of trouble. We even do our best to develop plans to stay out of trouble so we don’t have to turn to God in the first place. It’s interesting that the very next verse in Proverbs 18 says, “The rich think of their wealth as a strong defense; they imagine it to be a high wall of safety” (Proverbs 18:11 NLT). Plenty of people try to create their own safety net for life, and in our society, financial stability is seen as a high priority. Think of all the commercials you see that deal with money, savings, retirement planning and financial security. Money has become the new Messiah. It is the answer to all of life’s problems, in spite of its lousy reputation for actually being able to deliver any real security or safety. There’s nothing wrong with money, saving, planning, or preparing for the future financially. But when all is said and done, there is only one reliable place to turn for protection: The name of the Lord. His reputation is spotless.
Father, Your name or reputation is impeccable. You are completely trustworthy. You aren’t just LIKE a strong fortress, You truly ARE one. You have proven Yourself to be a secure choice in the midst of life’s difficulties time and time again. But I still look elsewhere so often. Forgive me. Help me understand that You are always the safest, most secure place to turn in times of trouble. Amen.
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men