April 6, 2014

Be Strong and Courageous – Don R. Patton

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:04 am by sranderson0103

 

Then David said to his son Solomon, “Be strong and courageous, and act; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you nor forsake you,” (I Chronicles 28:20)

It is not unusual to hear comments that imply strength and courage are qualities like hair and eye color. Some randomly have this. Others randomly have that. “Wow, she has a lot of courage. I wish I did. I’m just not that strong.”

One can almost hear a complaint against God, as if it were really His fault. “Some get it and some don’t, but it certainly is not my fault.” “God forbid that anyone imply it is a matter of responsibility.”

The admonition to be strong and courageous is found 11 times in the Bible and it is never a suggestion. Moses delivered this command three times. Joshua five times, then twice from David, and once from Hezekiah. Although these inspired instructions all involved specific challenges confronting God’s people at the time, the principles behind them indicate the requirement for courage is for all God’s people at all times. It is not a happening. It is a choice and God requires it.

Inspired leaders did not believe the modern mantra, “Protect the self-image.” They taught, if you fail, you are a coward, and that is inexcusable. “But for the cowardly…their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8). This is what God demands of me and of you. The Judge has spoken.

Furthermore, when we tell people what the Judge has said, it is not our judgment. It is the judgment of the Judge. We are not being “judgmental.” He is, and He has every right (Acts 17:31). Judge Jesus has commissioned us to “teach them to obey everything I have commanded you.” (Matthew 18:20, TEV).

The first occurrence of God’s command to be strong and courageous is given by Moses to the Israelites just before his death as they were about to enter the Promised Land. “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6). In the next verse, Moses gave a similar exhortation to Joshua, their leader.

The next-to-last occurrence is quoted at the beginning of this article, and contains almost the same words as in the first occurrence. David this time is exhorting Solomon to build the great temple in Jerusalem. Whether entering a new field of service for God or beginning a great work for God, the people of God will encounter opposition and must be strong and courageous to carry it through.

The word “courage” occurs more in Joshua than in any other book of the Bible, and specific exhortation of our title is given five times: three by God, once by the people to Joshua, and once by Joshua to the people. In all these, the context stresses obedience to the Word of God, especially in resistance to sin and pagan belief systems.

The Bible does not teach the “name it and claim it” “Gospel of Prosperity” heard so often from mega church preachers. God’s definition of success is often very different from our own and certainly that of the world. However, “success” (as God defines it) is connected by a divine promise to our choice to be strong and courageous.

“Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:7)

Forget the world’s excuses and your special, unique circumstances. You have a choice. God does not allow you to be a wimp. God commands you to, “be strong and very courageous.”

Adapted from an article by Henry Morris

 

 

 

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