Sermons

Summary: Where is your trust? In your wealth and things, or in God?

Please open your Bibles to Proverbs 18:10-11:

The name of the LORD is a strong tower;

the righteous run to it and are safe.

The wealth of the rich is their fortified city;

they imagine it an unscalable wall.

It was a beautiful morning, a light breeze coming off the waters. The sun was on the rise and the soldiers were enjoying every minute of their military duty, thanking God and counting themselves lucky for where they had been stationed. Some were going off the night shift, some just getting up to head to church, work or to enjoy a lazy Sunday morning, and maybe some were sleeping off the hangover they received the night before, most of them for sure were asleep. Little did they know that within a matter of hours, their world would be turned upside down, many of them killed and practically a whole fleet of battleships sunk.

A few months back from that 7th day of December, 1941, the following was printed:

A Japanese attack on Hawaii is regarded as the most unlikely thing in the world, with one chance in a million of being successful. Besides having more powerful defenses than any other post under the American Flag, it is protected by distance. Written by journalist Clarke Beach on September 6th, 1941.

That one chance in a million happened and we can draw parallels with what happened at Pearl Harbor to what happened on September 11 or to what happened in London a couple of weeks ago and to any disastrous event in history. We weren’t prepared. It just couldn’t happen. One chance in a million. Is this a bad dream? How could it happen?

It is during these tragic events when we come to grips with reality and must ask ourselves the question, “Where is my faith?” or “Where is my trust?”. Like many people today, Solomon also asked these questions and encouraged his readers to ask these questions.

As we move into this series on the wisdom literature, Terry will give you more background information on the material than what I will give today and also on King Solomon, the author of most of the book of proverbs, ecclesiasts and Song of Songs. But for today I just want to make the point that Solomon knew something about putting trust into the Lord. Now Solomon was no shining example of righteousness, after all he ended up with 700 wives and 300 concubines, most of them foreign women whom he married as signs of peace treaties with other nations. These women eventually turned Solomon’s heart from God and he started worshiping idols and false gods. But in the beginning of his reign and in his childhood there is evidence in the text that Solomon did trust in the Lord.

First of all he had seen his father put much trust into the Lord for his safety. I think of all the times David sought after the Lord for guidance and protection in the book of 2nd Samuel during the time that Solomon was alive: the 3 year famine in chapter 21 and the many revolts against David’s rule. When David announced Solomon as king and Solomon saw the great responsibility before him of reigning over Israel, he turned to God and sought after Him. It was not because of Solomon that he became the richest and wisest person who ever lived, but it is because of God’s blessing and anointing on Solomon which made him wise and rich. Solomon knew where his true security was – in the name of the Lord, a strong tower.

The name of the LORD is a strong tower;

the righteous run to it and are safe.

A strong tower for what? For protection? For keeping us from physical danger? Now track with me here - The phrase, “name of the Lord” is quite often associated with being a sign of refuge and we see it in the Psalms. Let’s turn to Psalm 124, verse 8:

Our help is in the name of the LORD,

the Maker of heaven and earth.

And what help does the Lord offer? Psalm 18:2-3 states that:

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;

my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.

He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise,

and I am saved from my enemies.

Back to Proverbs 18:10, the phrase “and are safe” literally means in the original language “to set on high”.

I believe that we can turn to the “name of the Lord” for protection and security from our enemies and physical harm. In the Bible there are many instances where God did physically protect those who called on him. Noah was saved from the flood. Joseph was saved from death many times because of his trust in the Lord. According to Acts 12, Peter was saved from prison and execution. And Jesus Himself was protected until the appointed time. All of these people had put their faith and trust into God.

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