Proverbs 18: 2020 Bible Challenge

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Devotional Text and Meditation for the Day

Pastor Matt

Proverbs 18:10

Anxiety, worry, and fear are frequent temptations of the flesh and seem like daily realities that inundate the life of all of us as we traverse this fallen world. Fear, that is sinful, is often the result of a misplaced focus as one’s heart obsesses over the temporal instead of trusting in He who is Eternal. Today’s devotional, found in verse 10, is a powerful antidote in the face of temporal fear as it provokes the believer to meditate on and draw great comfort from the awesome character of God. The expression “the name of the LORD” is not speaking about some mystical power found in God’s specific name “Yahweh” or even finding some special help in chanting it like a spell. “The name of the LORD” here is being used as a metonymy of subject—meaning, a figure of speech that points to all that God is in the totality of His vast and holy character, and all that God does in His perfect and awe-inspiring acts. Thus, “the name of the LORD” is a shorthand summation of the sovereign person, almighty power, and the unstoppable promises of God Himself. This is exactly what we see in Exodus 34:5-7 when Yahweh revealed Himself to Moses by declaring His name “the LORD.”   

Thus, it was “the name of the LORD” that was revealed at Mount Sinai and instigated great reverential fear among Israel (Ex 20:20 cf. 3:14-15 & 6:3-8). It was the name of the LORD that emboldened David to faithfulness when facing the fear of war as a young boy instead of trusting in the temporal strength of horses, chariots, or even armor like the rest of Israel (Ps 20:7 cf. 1 Sam 17:45). David could find courage when facing Goliath because he was not trusting in his own strength and ingenuity but in the name of almighty God who made heaven and earth (Ps 124:8). Notice how this Proverb describes the name of Yahweh as a “strong tower.” In ancient times, cities were often built with impenetrable high towers that served as a protective fortress for the people to retreat to in times of trouble (Judg 9:50-51). Just as these towers provided solace and security amidst fear and uncertainty, so the powerful and faithful character of Yahweh yields unending peace, living hope, and undying courage for all who trust in Him no matter how dark the disaster looks or how vast the problem may seem (Ps 61:3; Prov 10:29).  

However, do not miss the critical connection of personal action within this Proverb. It is not enough for one to claim that Yahweh is a strong tower if he is unwilling to utterly trust in His loving power, sovereign wisdom, and perfect plan. Notice, the Proverb says the righteous “run to” the strong tower, and in so doing, they are safe. Of course, this is speaking metaphorically of trusting in the trustworthiness of Yahweh and therefore, completely entrusting yourself to Him! The word used in this Proverb for “safe” is a military term, and it means to be lifted high above the threats of your enemy and the dangers they bring. Dear Loved Ones, there is no greater tower of strength than our sovereign God (Ps 144:1-2), and there is no safer place than being held in the almighty arms of God’s loyal love (Jn 10:27-31). This is what Paul meant when he said nothing can separate the believer from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom 8:31-39)! God Himself declares that He will never reject or abandon His people whom He loves (Heb 13:5 cf. Josh 1:5). Therefore, if you are a true believer who fears the Lord you have nothing and no one in this life to fear (Ps 46:1-3; Prov 29:25; Mt 10:28; 2 Tim 1:7; 1 Pet 3:14)! 

Remember, sinful fear is often the result of misplaced focus. So, where, or better yet on Whom, are your focusing today? Run to the LORD with your fears, and in Him you will find a strong and sufficient refuge for whatever you may be facing. Never forget that trusting the Lord and obeying the Lord is inseparably linked. You cannot say I am trusting the Lord with my problems if you are not at the same time faithfully focusing on and following God’s Word! Have you trusted your greatest “eternal” problem of sin to the Lord? Then why will you not also cast your lesser “temporal” fear upon the Lord?

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