Strong and Courageous
Strong and courageous, it could be thought at in many different ways when it is used in the biblical realm. You could use it for a positive way to stay close to God if you are a Christian. Perhaps if you were a non-believer you would used it for worldly matters such as muscle and guts. For myself I am a believer of the Christian perspective of staying close to God. Throughout our world today we having so many hurting people and lost people that sometimes to be the most courageous person is the one who steps out of their own comfort zone to help another in a time of need. Then there are those people who have a difficult time withstanding temptation from fellow peers or co-workers. These are all issues we deal with in the world today and can be helped only through God.
Your strength that you have all comes from God. Many Christians I believe lose sight on what there means of stronghold is really from. In the beginning of their relationship with God they are on such a spiritual high that when they come down from cloud nine they are lost. In Deut. 6:5 it says “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” This simply put, if you put everything with God he will not let you down. You will be in good hands that love you and all he ask is for you to love him back.
The term courageous I believe falls in right behind strength. They work as one, for if you have strength in God you will have courage as well. In Deut. 31, it talks about how Moses summons Joshua to the people of Israel. He says.. “be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land…,” this is a prime example of how if you are strong and courageous anything is possible. You need to be confident when doing something but there is a fine line between confidence and being cocky. Which can normally be ignored when you are totally dealing with the Lord.
In 1 Samuel 17, it is the story about the Philistines violated the honor of God. In this case Paul to Saul to fight the Philistines. For they had done dishonor to our Lord. In this situation the phrase strong and courageous was used by force but only for the intentions to preserve the honor of God. There is countless stories that deal with the same basic reasoning for violence. It is to hold up honor or respect for ones country. In today’s society you do not have the strong and courageous people fighting to hold up the Lord’s name, for the most part they fight to get respect or popularity amongst peers. Which is not what the bible intended or spoke about. It was based on events like the Philistines and such.
In Matthew Henry’s Commentary he deals with the statement of strong and courage or courageous deals with the law of God. Which is correct, God wants people to be willing for him so calls for strength and courage from us. This goes along with my thoughts on standing firm for what you believe. For without the loyalty for something, a person would learn no worth for anything in life. Henry also says “Fear him and serve him, (for, if he be a Master, we must both reverence him and do his work); and swear by his name, that is, they must not upon any occasion appeal to any other, as the discerner of truth and avenger of wrong.” What I believe that he is trying to get across is that if we fear and have so much for respect for God as we are suppose to then we will have no problem being strong and courageous for him.
The dictionary meaning for courageous or courage is the quality that enables people to meet dangers without giving way to fear, bravery, spirit. This can be used in a biblical manner, for if we believe that God gives us the strength and power to be courageous then that is what enables us. The meaning for the strong is firm, solid, well fortified, having wealth or resources. This too can be put into Christian perspective. For is you stand strong in your faith and have the right mind set (which would be the resources), then you will have strength. This just re-affirms what I stated earlier about God and have yourself right with him. If you can just keep yourself on the right path, you can have courage and strength through the help of God.
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I believe the concept of strong and courageous has hurt Israel. It is not do to the term itself it is how people view it. The Israelites and Palestinians are fighting today over violent issues. Not of issues that deal with God, so this takes the saying “strong and courageous” out of text when putting it in biblical terms. For if the over the years Israel and other surrounding neighbors would not have fought over issues that were selfish, they would not have the problems that they do today. Everyday you hear about some violent act at the Gaza Strip. All of which is over land which has nothing to do with their spiritual well-being. For Israelites and Palestinians deal with pride over land. This is not what God or the writers of the bible intended for this statement. Although this happens on a daily basis, I still feel with the right leadership the violence and selfishness could stop.
The problem of the world today in the Christian realm, is the lack of strength and courage about their faith. In recent studies only 2% of the population of Christians fulfill the “Great Commission”, sadly enough it is because us as Christian are afraid of what people would think. If we are to change in our ways of shyness then perhaps the church will be able to grow and the family of God can expand. This is what ultimately our goal as Christians and we must have the strength and the courage to do this.