The Name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. (Proverbs 18:10—NKJV)

When my brother and I were in grade school, we each received a castle play set one Christmas. There was a plastic foundation upon which you built your castle, complete with a working drawbridge and turrets. Of course, each castle had a castle keep. Many happy hours were spent reenacting the momentous battles of Robin Hood and of King Arthur’s fabulous Knights of the Round Table. Sieges were laid, Vikings were repelled, castles were destroyed, and the days of chivalry were celebrated by two contented boys.

No matter how any given battle played out, the castle keep was always the focal point of success or failure for either side. For the defenders, it was the refuge to be depended upon. For the attackers, it was the plum to be picked. My brother’s set had a foundation that appeared to be the base of a hill and so his castle keep towered over the rest of the castle and of the field of battle below. In a little boy’s eyes, the keep looked like it would stand out to any enemy with fearsome power and proud defiance.

The text from Proverbs leans heavily on the imagery of the mighty stronghold. To those who dwelt nearby, it was the stronghold that towered over the townspeople, their homes, and everything they held dear. It stood for safety, for protection, for unity, for allegiance, for community, for provision in the day of need, and for the sole place of refuge in trouble. To the enemy from afar, it stood as an obstacle, a symbol of defiance, of challenge, and it stood for alien resistance. The stronghold keep was a place to raze to the ground.

What is this Strong Tower that is both a benefit for His people and an offense to the enemy? It is the Name of the LORD. The Name of Jehovah is indicative of who He is as well as what He does. In His Name is His whole reputation. It is the totality of His attributes, His power, righteousness, holiness, lovingkindness, and all His excellencies. These perfections are the essence of Him that is discernable in all He does. From the earliest days as a nation, Israel had heard these words, “I Am who I Am…. This is my Name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations” (Exodus 3:14–15). Soon they would discover the trustworthy refuge He is as they depended upon His faithfulness, His shielding, His sustaining grace, and His deliverance while leaving the land of the Pharaohs and traveling to the land of promise.

The Name of Jehovah is also indicative of the Messiah for whom they yearned. Jesus’ Name means “Jehovah saves.” It is this “strong tower” of His Name that is the refuge for the souls of men as Peter so eloquently declares in Acts 4:12, “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other Name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” The essence of the Father is in the Son, He is our strong tower and our rock of refuge from sin, self, and eternal destruction! As the text declares, the righteous run into Him and are safe. He receives us into His protective custody and imputed righteousness. Solomon states in Proverbs 14:26–7, “In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence, and His children will have a place of refuge. The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to turn one away from the snares of death” (Proverbs 29:25).

David says in Psalm 18:1–3, “I will love You, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my Rock and my Fortress and my Deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies” (Psalm 61:3). Psalm 91:1–2 declares, “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust.’”

As David so aptly illustrates, when the righteous run into the tower they are safe (literally, lifted up, set on high) away from the blood-thirsty enemy, the danger, the jeopardy that lurks without. Run to Christ at every opportunity; make your feet to know the path well; exercise your faith in daily obedience; walk in confidence that He is there. He is mighty to save (Zephaniah 3:17). Since the high castle keep is an offense on the landscape to every enemy for miles around, you must not be surprised that the enemy despises Him and all those who rest on Him for their defense. To you, His very presence should preserve you from being paralyzed by fear and lend confident strength to your day as you labor under the shadow of His might! Trust and obey.