Question: "How is the name of the Lord a strong tower (Proverbs 18:10)?"
Answer: The Bible informs us that Lord God Himself is our rock, our fortress, and our deliverer. In Him, we can take refuge because He is our shield of protection, our horn of salvation, and our stronghold (Psalm 18:2). Over and again, Psalms compares God to a high and strong tower of protection and a shelter where His people can safely hide. But Proverbs 18:10 reveals a similar truth about God’s name: “The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe” (ESV).
In ancient times, a person’s name was much more than a random identifier or title. A name expressed the person’s nature and individual attributes. Thus, God’s name represents His essential character and authority. The person of God and the name of God cannot be separated.
The Lord’s name is a strong tower because the infinite heights and depths of His person, presence, and power are apprehended in that name. The righteous—those who are made right with God through a relationship with Jesus Christ—can run to Him in all His revealed perfection, faithfulness, power, authority, mercy, and love, and be set on high, barricaded inside His tower of protection, safe from all harm.
The name of the Lord is equivalent to the Lord Himself. It speaks of the revealed essence of God or the revelation of Himself in the history of salvation. The Lord shows Himself faithful and trustworthy to all who confide in Him: “From the ends of the earth, I cry to you for help when my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the towering rock of safety, for you are my safe refuge, a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me” (Psalm 61:2–3, NLT). The ESV renders the phrase “for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy” (verse 3). The name of the Lord is a strong tower because He is our defense. As we discover what God has revealed about His character, we can trust in Him (Psalm 91:2).
The name of the Lord and the character of God are interchangeable phrases. David said, “Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you” (Psalm 9:10). God makes His character known to us through His Word, through the person of Jesus Christ, and through the multi-faceted revelations expressed through His many names.
As Elohim, He is Creator; as Yahweh, He is the covenant-keeping, eternal I AM; as El Shaddai, He is the all-sufficient, all-powerful, God Almighty; as Jehovah Jireh, He is our Provider; as Yeshua, He is Savior. He is the Good Shepherd, who leads, guides, and protects; He is the Lamb of God, who lays down His life for us; He is Jesus, the Incarnate Son and Christ the Risen Lord; and He is the eternal, glorious, highly exalted, King of Heaven! Psalm 8:1 rightly acknowledges, “LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory in the heavens.”
The name of the Lord can also be understood as His nature representing itself. One aspect of that nature is a strong, high tower offering a citadel of safety capable of holding off every hostile attack. Into this tower, the righteous can run and hide, safely guarded above all danger: “For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock” (Psalm 27:5).
The name of the Lord is a strong tower because it is capable of safeguarding all who call upon that name. When the prophet Joel foresaw the Lord’s return, he saw a terrifying day of judgment and terror. Yet he declared, “And everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved” (Joel 2:32). That same promise of salvation in the name of the Lord echoes in the New Testament (Romans 10:13; Acts 2:21). When we call upon the name of the Lord, we call upon God Himself.
The Lord’s name signifies everything that God is in Himself—His compassion, lovingkindness, mercy, grace, power, judgment, holiness, perfection, knowledge, and more. Everyone who knows and trusts in Him discovers that He is indeed a strong tower.