Bob Tamasy: It’s Time For Being Strong And Courageous

Thursday, March 14, 2019 - by Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy

Over my years of reading the Bible I have learned a lot of things, but one of the most important is this: When God repeats something several times, pay attention. He wants to make a point, and doesn’t want us to miss it. For example:

In giving the Ten Commandments, the Lord starts eight of them with “You shall not….” (Or, if you prefer KJV phraseology, “Thou shalt not….”) It’s evident these are things He doesn’t want us to do. Also, reading the classic passage that conveys how God intended for us to relate to one another, we’re told repeatedly what love is – or at least what it’s supposed to be. “Love it patient, love is kind…always protects, always trusts always hopes, always perseveres…” (1 Corinthians 13:4-13). This repetition isn’t just for clever literary effect.

So in reading the conclusion of the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy and the start of the next one, Joshua, I took note when I saw one particular admonition being repeated: “Be strong and courageous.”

As Moses was preparing to pass the leadership to Joshua, he knew the current residents of the Promised Land – Canaan – didn’t figure to be sending out welcoming committees. No one was displaying “Can’t we all just get along” bumper stickers on their chariots. So Moses told his people, “The Lord your God himself will cross over ahead of you. He will destroy these nations before you and you will take possession of their land” (Deuteronomy 31:3).

This ragtag horde of Israelites had gone through a lot, and God had come through for them in every crisis. But time and again they had proved themselves short on faith and long on disobedience. So crossing the Jordan River didn’t mean they’d be home free. What Moses did next was instructive, not only for the people of Israel but also for those who seek to follow the Lord today.

He exhorted them, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6). Moses hardly took a breath before repeating it to the man God had chosen as his successor: “Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, ‘Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the Lord swore to their forefathers to give them…. The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged’” (Deuteronomy 31:7-8).

So what does this have to do with us? The ancient Israelites lived in a very different time, of course, but their circumstances were perilous and tumultuous, not unlike what we’re facing today. Joseph had the Egyptians to deal with, David had Goliath, and Daniel had the Babylonians. In the 21st century, we have our own “Egyptians,” Goliaths and “Babylonians.”

Violence seems to dominate the newscasts just about every night. The other night, I counted four rapid-fire news stories about local tragedies before the news anchors let the meteorologist give a brief weather report. Wars big and small rage around the globe. Protests and unrest are exploding on every continent. The foundations of our nation seem under siege. Beliefs and principles many of us hold dear are being assailed. These days it seems up has become down; down is up.

How should we react? We could take lessons from nature and, like an ostrich, stick our heads into the sand. Or retreat into our shells like a turtle and hope all the bad stuff goes away.

A better option would be to take our cues from the Scriptures, muster up our courage and face the hostile world around us in ways Jesus would. With love and compassion, but also with unwavering courage.

Long before He took on human form in the tiny town of Bethlehem, Jesus received this prophetic description: He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem” (Isaiah 53:3). Talk about not receiving a friendly welcome!

Then in Hebrews 4:15 we read, For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who was tempted in every way that we are, yet was without sin.” Any time we want to complain, “But Lord, You just don’t understand,” He can reply, “Oh, yes, I definitely do.”

When terrifying circumstances of life press in on us, or we find ourselves perplexed by the chaos that threatens to overwhelm our society, we can do as Moses instructed his fellow Israelites, “be strong and courageous.” Because that’s exactly what Jesus did, and He promised, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).

- - - -

Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, former newspaper editor and magazine editor. Bob has written hundreds of magazine articles, and authored, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include the newly re-published, “Business At Its Best,” “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” He edits a weekly business meditation, “Monday Manna,” which is translated into more than 20 languages and distributed via email around the world by CBMC International. To read more of Bob Tamasy’s writings, you can visit his blog, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com, or his website (now being completed), www.bobtamasy-readywriterink.com. He can be emailed at btamasy@comcast.net.


Sean O'Shea Speaks At Christ Unity Sunday

"Are You Part Of The Remnant" Is Topic Sunday At Metro Tab Church

The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints Hosts Day Of Service


Sean O'Shea will be the speaker and musician at Christ Unity of Chattanooga for Sunday at 11 a.m. (click for more)

Dr. Steve Ball, founder/senior pastor of Metropolitan Tabernacle Church, 2101 West Shepherd Road in Chattanooga, will deliver a sermon titled "Are you part of the Remnant" Sunday at 10:30 a.m. ... (click for more)

Over 160 women of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the greater Chattanooga area participated in 18 different service projects throughout the community on March 9. The women ... (click for more)


Church

Sean O'Shea Speaks At Christ Unity Sunday

Sean O'Shea will be the speaker and musician at Christ Unity of Chattanooga for Sunday at 11 a.m. (click for more)

"Are You Part Of The Remnant" Is Topic Sunday At Metro Tab Church

Dr. Steve Ball, founder/senior pastor of Metropolitan Tabernacle Church, 2101 West Shepherd Road in Chattanooga, will deliver a sermon titled "Are you part of the Remnant" Sunday at 10:30 a.m. "We encourage you to come and bring somebody as Pastor Adam Aziz and Metro Praise will lead a powerful worship," officials said. "Our Children's Pastor Olivia Aziz and the Metro Kidz ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Chattanooga Firefighters Battle 2-Alarm Blaze Involving 2 Houses On Dodson Avenue Late Saturday Night

Shortly after 11 p.m. on Saturday, Chattanooga firefighters responded to a report of a house fire on Dodson Avenue. Firefighters with Engine 5 were the first on the scene. Captain Joey Smith said two houses at 610 and 612 Dodson Ave. were engulfed in flames on the backside of the structures, and the flames were spreading quickly. Captain Smith said they took hand-held ... (click for more)

Tennessee Members Of Congress Urge President To Approve Federal Disaster Assistance For 58 Tennessee Counties

Every member of Tennessee’s congressional delegation on Saturday urged President Trump to quickly approve Governor Bill Lee’s request for a major disaster declaration for the state of Tennessee to help 58 Tennessee counties impacted by flooding and severe weather in February and March. “On behalf of the State of Tennessee, we are writing to support Governor Bill Lee’s request ... (click for more)

Opinion

Growth Can Continue At Ooltewah On Septic Tanks

I want to set the record straight about growth in North Hamilton County. On Feb. 21, 2019, County Mayor Coppinger called a “reset” meeting with the residents of Ooltewah/Harrison over the proposed sewer plant in North Hamilton County. In front of this community, I stood up and specifically asked the county mayor if growth could continue in Ooltewah and Harrison on septic tanks ... (click for more)

Our Roads Need To Be Repaired For Ironman - And Response

Chattanooga being a finalist for the 2021 Ironman is great news. The business gained at the local bicycle repair shops from bent rims, busted tires and warped frames should produce some great local revenue. The local physicians should see a surge as well from the twisted ankles and busted up knees from dips, humps and pot holes on our area roads that could swallow a small child. ... (click for more)