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What's In a Name Part Eight

By Pastor Phillip Howle
web posted March 4, 2015

RELIGION – “You can’t touch this!” The classic M.C. Hammer anthem was the probably my first experience in the world of Hip Hop. I was raised in the radical middle class on the mean streets of Emerald Place Subdivision in Greenwood S.C. This infectious tune coupled with the amazing pants of the M.C. Hammer, set my two big white clumsy feet to dancing! 

I have been a fan of the genre ever since this musical hit! I pretty much “bump” Christian Hip Hop exclusively as I role on the dirt road of West Edgefield in my 2002 Toyota Mini-Van (I call it my Major-Van).

Even though I spent my allowance money on a “tape” recording of the M.C. Hammer back in the day, he wound up broke! Sadly, he touched his money way too much and it got gone!  Hammer’s story was captured in a verse penned by myself and a few friends in college who used to “freestyle” in the rough dorms of North Greenville University “I rhyme for the maker, not for the paper, my humor is dry just like communion wafers.” I have always had “mad flow.” I tell you all this not to just up my “street cred,” but the story of M.C. Hammer sadly plays all very often in the lives of people who put their hope and trust in money as opposed to Jesus Christ.

The Bible gives us our next name of God in Proverbs 18:10-11 “The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.  (11) A rich man's wealth is his strong city, and like a high wall in his imagination.” Before we look at what the Lord as our “Strong Tower” means I want to quickly look at what a rich man’s money is a “high wall of his imagination.”

My boys and I love Nerf Dart Guns and in my experience the safest place in our home during a Nerf Dart war is behind a couch cushion fort. The darts simply cannot penetrate the thick foam!  But let’s change it up. Let’s say that I found myself being assaulted by gun bearing home invading terrorists. I know crazy scary thought. If I have the idea that I will simply build a cushion fort and hide my family behind the cushions for safety, I will have only one major problem! Foam is replaced with metal. Cries for help are replaced with death. A shield is now bullet ridden.  Any protection that I thought my imaginary fort will bring is now gone. Because that just got real!

A rich man’s wealth may give the illusion of comfort, but it is just that. It can be like M.C Hammer’s fame and money; gone in a blink. But even if wealth hangs around, it can do little during the trials of life. I have heard it said that “Money is like water, no matter how much you have it will never be secure enough for you to stand on.” So we should know our LORD is a “Strong Tower.”

A Strong Tower in that day was not anything like our modern skyscraper. It was a military installation. If a city was being attacked the population could run to their strong tower for safety.  They would fight from the tower; there was provision in the tower. The walls were thick and secure. It was where you wanted to be when you were being attacked. A stack of money could not help you in that hour. The Bible says that God is our Strong Tower. What does this mean to us? It means that in Christ we are forever secure.

But let me clarify what I am saying. Imagine being outside during a big storm. There is thunder, lightning, wind, and sheets of rain. You are soaked and cold. What is your first thought? Find shelter, right? Would you want to be inside a tent? Not really, it provides little protection at best. You would look for something big and substantial. Let’s say you happen to see that Strong Tower.  You would feel comfortable and safe inside the tower. The rain could not get in, the wind could not blow it over, and the thunder wouldn’t be as loud in the tower. Even the lightning wouldn’t seem so bad.

Does this mean that nothing will ever hurt God’s children? No. It means that nothing will hurt God’s children forever. Nothing can take their joy away forever. Think back when you ran inside from the storm, you were still wet and the storm was still there. So when you run to God, all the hurts and hard things might still be there in your life—but God is with you. But does a strong tower help if you don’t run inside it? If you stay outside in the storm, you can’t get the help or protection of the tower. You have to run inside the tower. And to get God’s help and protection, we have to run to Him as well.

So how do we run into this tower? We run by calling on the name of the Lord. Joel 2:32 says, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” This verse is quoted by Paul in Romans 10:13, but Paul applies it to calling on Jesus as Lord! Romans 10:9 says, “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” We run into this strong tower by calling out to God with our confession of sin and by believing in Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Jesus is our strong tower. We are safe in him.

It is Hammer Time! I’m out like pout without a p.
Pastor Phillip

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