Strong and Courageous

My symptoms have turned into a head cold. So, today has been the most miserable of the week. Perhaps that was good from the stand point of not having any appointments. I was able to work at home and get some rest as I could. Tomorrow, I am schedule to be at the Capitol to open the House session in prayer. I look forward to being there, but hope I have a good night of rest and feel much better in the morning.

BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY… Then Moses continued to speak these words to all Israel, saying…Be strong and courageous; don’t be terrified or afraid of them. For it is the Lord your God who goes with you; He will not leave you or forsake you….Moses then summoned Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you will go with this people into the land the Lord swore to give to their fathers. You will enable them to take possession of it.” Deuteronomy 31:1, 6-7 HCSB

The call to be “strong and courageous” is most associated with Joshua. But when we look Moses’ final words, we see those two words form the theme for preparation to enter in and conquer the Promised Land. Moses first speaks these words to all of the people. He assures them that the Lord will be with them as they obey Him and the Lord will win victories for them in the future, just as He had in the past. He basically says, “God will do His part, you do your part.” Their part was to be strong and courageous.

Moses then brings Joshua before the people as their new leader. His first words to Joshua were, “Be strong and courageous…” There was never a question about the success of their mission. The Lord would bring it to pass just as He had promised. However, strength and courage for the task must be displayed on the part of the people.

Strength and courage are the opposite of weakness and fear or timidity. The enemy was real and the battles would be fierce. Just as David would one day face the giant Goliath, the people needed to know that “the battle belongs to the Lord.” Victory would not come because of who they were, but because of who God is. And because the Lord was the “Lord of Hosts, Mighty in battle” it was to give them the strength and courage they needed to move forward with a new leader into a new land.

We see this reflected in Moses’ words, The Lord is the One who will go before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not be afraid or discouraged.” (Deu. 31:8 HCSB)

After Moses is dead, the Lord speaks to Joshua Himself and says, “Be strong and courageous, for you will distribute the land I swore to their fathers to give them as an inheritance.  Above all, be strong and very courageous to carefully observe the whole instruction My servant Moses commanded you.” (Joshua 1:6,7 HCSB)

Strength and courage was need to obey the Lord and follow Him completely. Strength and courage was needed to face the enemy that was bigger and stronger. Strength and courage was needed for Joshua to lead a “stiff-necked” people. Strength and courage was needed to occupy the land, which was the completed task.

Strength and courage is needed for our lives today. It is needed for the same tasks. We need to rely on the Lord to fully trust and obey Him. We need His strength for each challenge of life and we need the Lord’s strength and courage to finish life well.

Just like Joshua and the Children of Israel, we need to remember that our strength is in the Lord. During my final day in the State Legislature, we were facing a highly critical, emotional and controversial issue. I still remember sitting in the side room leading to the House Chambers. The Majority Leader walked by and said, “Ken, are you ready? Let’s be strong in the Lord!”

When you face life with all of its challenges, be strong and courageous in the Lord. He is with you and He will not fail.