Your 50 Favorite Proverbs: #26 Tower of Power

June 2014 Your 50 Favorite Proverbs | Liz Curtis Higgs

If you live in the U.S., you’ve probably seen yellow-and-black signs posted outside schools, fire stations, libraries, and other public buildings, with these two words: Safe Place. Troubled youth can find a safe haven there, as well as practical help and people who care.

You and I have a Safe Place too, beloved. A refuge, a sanctuary, where we can run for protection from our enemy, and seek direction from a God who cares.

The sign we look for? His Name. A tower that’s stronger than any man-made fortress and large enough to see from a distance, even if we’ve lost our way.

The name of the Lord is a fortified tower;
    the righteous run to it and are safe. Proverbs 18:10

"The name of the Lord is..." Proverbs 18:10

"The name of the Lord is..." Proverbs 18:10

The name of the Lord…

Christians may call him “Adonai” (CJB) or “Jehovah” (ASV), even “Yahweh” (HCSB), but our devout Jewish friends are more likely to say, ““The Shem of Hashem” (OJB). Literally, “The Name of The Name,” since in Hebrew, shem means“name” (and rhymes with it as well).

The Jewish website,, helps us understand the magnitude of God’s Name and the respect He deserves. In fact, observant Jews do not speak the name of God, YHWH, derived from the Hebrew word hayah, meaning “to be,” in past, present, and future tense.

The amazing truth wrapped up in that Name? God transcends time.

He exists then, exists now, and exists forever—simultaneously. Since that reality is more than our finite human minds can truly grasp, religious Jews believe His Name is not to be spoken. Saying just “The Name” is meant to fill His people with awe and keep them humble, lest His power and authority be minimized.

“Should you not fear me?” declares the Lord. “Should you not tremble in my presence?” (Jeremiah 5:22). The short answer? Yes. “Tremble before him, all the earth!” (1 Chronicles 16:30).

"...a strong tower..." Proverbs 18:10

"...a strong tower..." Proverbs 18:10

…is a fortified tower;…

Ah, but God never trembles. He cannot be shaken.

Even these impressive Scottish tower houses can’t capture the kind of “strong tower” (ASV) we’re talking about in Scripture. Although each one has stood for centuries, the Lord’s Name is an eternal “fortress” (TLB), a “sturdy watchtower” (VOICE).

His Name will never fall. His Name will never be defeated. His Name will never be reduced to rubble.

That’s why His Name instills confidence. It is strong enough, “mighty” (CEV) enough, to provide “a place of protection” (MSG) for those who love Him.

"...the righteous run into it..." Proverbs 18:10

"...the righteous run into it..." Proverbs 18:10

…the righteous run to it…

We’re righteous not because we are Good Girls, but because we are “in right standing with God” (AMP). We are “his people” (CEV). He has chosen us—a fact that continues to astound me every day of my life.

We are “the just” (DRA) only because He justifies us. We “do what is right” (ERV) only because His Spirit makes doing the right thing possible. His strong tower of a Name is “where the righteous can go” (GNT).

So, how do we run to a name, exactly?

We speak His Name.
A shout or a whisper, whatever fits your situation. Do it aloud. Do it expectantly. Just voicing the name Jesus makes me feel stronger, safer, calmer.

We open His Word.
Turn to your favorite book. (Some of mine are Psalms, the Gospel of John, Romans, Ephesians, 1 John 1.) God will guide you. Ask Him for whatever you need. Peace? Mercy? Strength? Assurance? Forgiveness? Love? You’ve come to the right place.

Here are three gems from Psalm 46:

God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1

The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Psalm 46:7

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10

We seek His Church.
Since He wants us to “flee to Him” (VOICE), that could include a house of worship. More likely it means the people who serve God there.

How do you know you’ve found the right church? If they make you welcome when you’re in trouble, afraid, hurting, in need, confused, or on the run, that’s the place you want to be. Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick” (Matthew 9:12).

A church is meant to be an infirmary, a hospital, a place where sick people get well.
A refuge for the poor, not a resort for the rich.

Father, it’s hard to write those words. Our churches are beautiful to us.
But are they beautiful to You?

"...and are safe." Proverbs 18:10

"...and are safe." Proverbs 18:10

…and are safe.

“Safe” is definitely good. But the Hebrew, sagab, gives us a clearer picture. It means “inaccessibly high,” a place where the enemy of your soul cannot touch you—“above danger” (CJB) and “above evil” (AMP).

What a visual! When you run to the Lord, you are “exalted” (GNV), literally “raised up” (JUB), and “set safely on high” (NET). Like when my big brother carried me on his shoulders. I was so high up, yet utterly safe in his care, as I squealed with delight.

Maybe you sing “The Name of the Lord Is a Strong Tower” as a praise song at your church. It’s been running through my head the whole time I’ve been writing. Or this proverb might remind you of “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God,” a hymn written by Martin Luther nearly five centuries ago.

The music stirs our souls. The words lift our hearts.
But The Name of The Name is what keeps us safe.

You are indeed a mighty fortress, Lord. Bless you for holding us up when we feel defeated and holding us close when we feel forgotten.

Proverbs 18:10 Photo with Words

Now it’s your turn

  • I suggested we can speak His name, open His Word, and seek His Church. How else might we run into His strong tower?

Use the link below to post your comment. I can’t wait to learn from you! Your free Printable of Proverbs 18:10 is ready to download, and all our weekly Proverbs to date are on Pinterest.

Thanks so much for celebrating my birthday with me last week…and studying Proverbs with me this summer!

Your sister, Liz
@LizCurtisHiggs #50Proverbs

Your sister, Liz Curtis Higgs BibleGateway Blogger Grid Your 50 Favorite Proverbs | Liz Curtis Higgs

I love being part of (in)courage! I am honored to write for P31 Ministries

40 Responses to Your 50 Favorite Proverbs: #26 Tower of Power

  1. Jenny July 11, 2014 at 10:09 pm #

    I just love your castle pictures. What a wonderful post today, Amen.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs July 12, 2014 at 11:03 pm #

      Glad the photos and the words worked for you, Jenny!

  2. Karen Smith July 12, 2014 at 10:25 am #

    You hit it out of the ballpark with this one. Great advice for us all, men included but the advice for the church is truly God inspired. Thanks Liz.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs July 12, 2014 at 11:04 pm #

      Thanks, Karen. I didn’t start out addressing the church, but that’s where the Spirit led, so (gulp) I went there.

  3. Chris July 12, 2014 at 10:47 am #

    I am always drawn in by the pictures but your teaching of His Word is what truly fills my soul . . . every time. I did a study with friends years ago that you wrote on Bad Girls and read Mad Mary and a few of your fiction books. You are like a fun-loving, Christ-centered sister to me! Just felt compelled to say thank you!! & Thank You Jesus for all You do in and through us! His blessings to you, Chris : 0

    • Liz Curtis Higgs July 12, 2014 at 11:06 pm #

      Grateful to call you my sister in Christ as well, Chris. Teaching God’s Word is my absolute favorite thing to do!

  4. Julie Sunne July 12, 2014 at 11:25 am #

    Sing His praises, Liz. Love this post. One of your best, I think–and that’s saying alot.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs July 12, 2014 at 11:07 pm #

      Bless you, Julie. You KNOW it’s all about God.

  5. Julie July 12, 2014 at 12:14 pm #

    His name does awe me! This morning I am at the ocean and I looked and saw a fellow sister sitting on a log reading- I know she was a believer because He impressed on my heart the wonderful picture of His angels all around us! He is a safe tower and my fortress! Thanks so much for this study- I enjoy it immensely!

    • Liz Curtis Higgs July 12, 2014 at 11:08 pm #

      Looking at an ocean never fails to remind me of God’s power. Glad He revealed Himself to you on the shoreline as well.

  6. Lawan Rivera July 12, 2014 at 12:40 pm #

    Wow Liz again I am moved and challenged by your writing. I love the way you
    explain the scriptures and educate us on the original language. It is really helpful.

    I especially liked this paragraph: He exists then, exists now, and exists forever—simultaneously. Since that reality is more than our finite human minds can truly grasp, religious Jews believe His Name is not to be spoken. Saying just “The Name” is meant to fill His people with awe and keep them humble, lest His power and authority be minimized.

    It makes me realize just how powerful He is and how sad it is that we throw around His name like it is nothing. I am reminded of an older Point of Grace song called “God Forbid.” It is a powerful song about how we tend to abuse the name of God and Him!

    Thank you, again for a wonderful, thought provoking post. By the way, do you take all your own pictures? If so you do a wonderful job.


  7. Susan Gruener July 12, 2014 at 1:33 pm #

    What a ‘feast’ this was…photos for the eyes, words for the soul! So beautifully written… Another way I ‘run’ to Him, is to just trust and believe Him for all He is doing in my life…even when I don’t see any change (when things get hard), I know He is working on my behalf, does all things perfect, and can turn everything around for my good and His Glory. Just saying the name of “Jesus” brought tears to my eyes…His Spirit is ever near.
    Thanks Liz – you started my day out wonderfully!
    May He heap blessings upon blessings on you!

    • Liz Curtis Higgs July 12, 2014 at 11:16 pm #

      Trust Him…of course! SO good, Susan.

  8. Della Gorrell July 12, 2014 at 3:36 pm #

    It took me many many years to really trust in God,Jesus and did not know about the Holy Spirit, but for whatever reason I still went to church and took along my six children, now all grown. Only on one of those visit to church, my second husband molested my little girl, about 5 maybe 6 right there in the pews of the church. She will not go now as a grown woman.. My other daughter went to a couple of churches, one of which I went to.. Someone there told her to sit in the back of the church. She was like the woman at the well, married, not sure which one, but she did go to his church, but when he found out she spoke in the spirit that church talked him into divorcing her.. I could go on and on, but you see where I am coming from.. How do I encourage them to return to church? I have no idea what to say. My older daughter thinks all she has to do is go somewhere, into the trees if possible, and worship Him there without the church… I myself was told I was not apart of my church which I had attended for 15 years was no longer apart of the group.. but I found another church, that seems to accept me, the way I am… I just want my family to know they NEED church.. Sorry did not mean to say so much but my heart is heavy for my family.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs July 12, 2014 at 11:22 pm #

      Yes, I sense the weight in your words, Della. I’m so sorry to hear of all you and your children have been through. Nagging or dragging people to church really doesn’t work. But prayer does! I think it’s also very important that you are joyfully involved in a solid church. Lead by example, and share your delight in being there. Let the Holy Spirit gently convict. When they have ears to hear, they will respond. Until then, keep praying, keep loving, keep trusting God. He really does know best!

  9. Elizabeth Hoagland July 13, 2014 at 7:40 am #

    Good Sunday Morning, Liz! Love this Scripture & I, too, immediately thought of Alicia Williamson singing “The Name of the Lord is a Stong Tower”. I heard her sing it when Becky Pippert did a conf. @ SEC years ago. Love it! When we hear the righteous “run”, I also think of running to Him in prayer as well as praise. It’s a cover all/comfort all verse we all need to cling to. Bravo. Hugs across town! Elizabeth 🙂

    • Liz Curtis Higgs July 13, 2014 at 8:08 am #

      Prayer is a GREAT way to run to the Lord, sweet friend. And praise, too. (Why didn’t I think of those?!) Well done!

  10. Annie Pajcic July 13, 2014 at 8:38 am #

    Once again, I am so blessed. Thank you, Liz! My ministry is called ThouArtExalted and when I read that exalted can mean a place of “Safe”, I sat in awe. I am in the throws of my summer art camp called “A Seed to Sow” for young girls (Luke 8:4-15). They unfold much of their hardship in our small groups, and I can’t wait to tell them that although Satan can use busyness, worry, pleasure, and hardship to snatch the Word from our hearts . . . God provides a “safety”, an exalted tower of refuge “where the enemy of your soul cannot touch you.” I pray for their exposure to the Name of the Name where they can run to to be raised up. They have a lot to run from! 🙂 I will cherish this verse in a new light. Thank you for your faithfulness to teach us. (friend of Suzanne Honeycutt) 🙂

    • Liz Curtis Higgs July 14, 2014 at 10:39 am #

      How wonderful, Annie, that you are ministering to these young women. The image of God’s Name as a Safe Place, a Strong Tower, is something we can really hold on to. Praying they will run to Him!

  11. Debby Zigenis-Lowery July 13, 2014 at 1:14 pm #

    Hi Liz,
    I love this verse!
    One of the ways I run to the tower is very counterintuitive. I stop running, and flapping about and floundering. “Be still and know that I am God,” has always spoken to my soul.
    And the worship song you mentioned? One day in church, God spoke through it to download the premise of an entire novel I am currently incubating (while I complete my current work in progress.)
    Thanks so much for your wonderful blog!
    Debby Zigenis-Lowery

    • Liz Curtis Higgs July 14, 2014 at 10:41 am #

      Very wise, Debby. STOP running and BE still. Sometimes we just need to dial down the noise.
      P.S. Blessings on your writing!

  12. Cheryl July 13, 2014 at 2:26 pm #

    I often run to Him by retreating to a quiet place. Just listening and waiting.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs July 14, 2014 at 10:41 am #

      So right, Cheryl. You and Debby are on the same page! Retreat. Be still.

  13. Wendy July 13, 2014 at 4:57 pm #

    I am always amazed at how the Lord ties a day together. I read your thoughts on Proverbs 18:10 yesterday afternoon. Then in the late evening I was reading my devotional, which is the Daily Bread, and it focused on the same verse. Of course as I read it, I thought I’ve read this earlier today. It just reinforced the thoughts that God is our strength and as we go about our busy lives we know that He never moves. It’s a verse that I hadn’t particularly noticed before but now it is in my mind and I’ve thought on it a few times today.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs July 14, 2014 at 10:43 am #

      Wow. Twice in one day. The Lord definitely wants to get your attention on this one, Wendy! Wonderful to realize that God never moves. We can run to Him because we always know where He is.

  14. Laura July 13, 2014 at 5:32 pm #

    Thanks Liz,
    You did it again, blessed me unexpectantly with your words of wisdom. I am trying to seek God in a time of upset in my life , death of mother in law same week as interviewing for job that would mean major changes and relocation. Love the pictures of fortresses- that’s Jesus! Standing forever as a place of refuge. Thanks

    • Liz Curtis Higgs July 14, 2014 at 10:44 am #

      Laura, I am so sorry to hear about your loss, and the possible changes ahead, good and bad. May our Strong Tower protect you, shelter you, comfort you, and keep you safe.

  15. Carol Weeks July 13, 2014 at 9:22 pm #

    Great post, Liz. I immediately identified with Safe Place because my daughter is the Executive Director of the local non-profit that is responsible for Safe Place. I’ve always thought how sad it is that a child or teenager would be too afraid to go home. But then there’s Safe Place to help them and get it all sorted out. It’s a great analogy for this proverb. When we need a place of safety because the world is closing in, God is there. Truly astounding!

    • Liz Curtis Higgs July 14, 2014 at 10:46 am #

      Love that this post spoke so specifically to your own experience with Safe Place, Carol! When I pass those signs, I find them comforting. And when I read this verse, I find it even MORE so. As you say, “astounding!”

  16. amy July 13, 2014 at 10:00 pm #

    I give thanks to the Lord Jesus for this! We are safe in the arms of Jesus! He holds us close and He keeps us safe. It’s been a hard day, but a good day. He is stronger than all of our sin! His mercy and grace overflow time and time again!

    • Liz Curtis Higgs July 14, 2014 at 10:47 am #

      Love your joy, Amy, in the midst of challenges. Thanks for sharing it with all of us!

  17. Cynthia Stevenson July 14, 2014 at 8:44 am #

    I also seek God through:
    worship praise music
    giving thanks

    There has been a many a time when I’ve run to the Lord to feel safe. I can testify that it works!

    • Liz Curtis Higgs July 14, 2014 at 10:47 am #

      Excellent ways to “run” to him, Cynthia.

  18. susan hardison July 14, 2014 at 9:59 am #

    I am so thankful for your words of wisdom and so very grateful that you say what God leads you to say, regardless. I was also born in 1954 and also had THE BIG birthday last week. Which day was your birthday? I thought mine would be very traumatic, but God blessed me with an incredible day full of all kinds of joy and blessings.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs July 14, 2014 at 10:49 am #

      My birthday was July 3, Susan. And I had a BLAST. I feel absolutely no different than I did before I slipped into a new decade. It’s all God, so it’s all GOOD.

  19. Rebecca Kavanaugh July 14, 2014 at 11:38 am #

    Again, coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous! Goosebumps! Strong tower, indeed! Yesterday I was blessed to worship with our daughter, granddaughter, and girl-friend-like-granddaughter within the four-centuries-old walls of Mission Concepcion in San Antonio, Texas. Beautiful Concepcion welcomes the worshipper with two strong towers and then embraces you with her intimate sanctuary. So easy to pray to Him there. And pray pray pray many times during the day, in not so inspirational environs where my faith is challenged, is how I run to His strong tower. Dear Liz once more your telepathy and God’s omniscient power combine and speak to my heart. “Strong Tower” will sing within me all day; may I be so graced as to be His servant and instrument for 24 more hours. And hope for the same tomorrow!

  20. Cindy Rogers July 14, 2014 at 3:54 pm #

    Wow, this is awesome. Thank you.

  21. Regina Leake July 14, 2014 at 10:34 pm #

    Change direction. I think of a refuge and I think of being safe behind those strong walls. One of the most humbling and beautiful parts growing and maturing is that my eyes are constantly being open to a better way. It’s humbling to realize when I’m out of bounds. Those boundaries aren’t there to be restricting. They’re there to be protective. (Not that God’s protection is limited to a finite space of course.) But when my eyes are opened to a new aspect of that better way and I find that I’ve been wandering in the woods instead of the tower grounds, the best thing I can do is change direction. The quote the proverb: the righteous run to it and are safe.

  22. Jannie Ensing July 18, 2014 at 6:35 pm #

    I sure need that verse these days as we are in the process of moving (at our age of almost 80) and the only place I feel I receive comfort and help is to run to Him and I find a stronghold there for me to keep going in His Mighty name. Otherwise it becomes so overwhelming.
    Thank Liz for taking time to do these studies, I have to make myself do them even in the busyness to find His comfort.
    Please will you pray for me as I. Do for all of you.