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.


2nd Missionary Baptist Church Celebrates 74th Women’s Day

Get It Back To You Is Topic At Metro Tab Church Sunday

Steve Ellison: How Can One Keep Warm Alone?


The community is invited to Second Missionary Baptist Church, 2305 E. Third Street, for the 74th annual Women’s Day Celebration, on Sunday, Sept. 22. The 8 a.m. guest speaker is Pastor Terryl ... (click for more)

The message at Metro Tab Church on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. will be "Get it Back to You" brought by Dr. Steve Ball, founder and senior pastor. The public is invited to come and enjoy a cup coffee ... (click for more)

In Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, Solomon asks, “how can one man alone take care of himself?” His obvious conclusion is that he cannot. A man needs family and friends surrounding him. Solomon points out ... (click for more)


Church

2nd Missionary Baptist Church Celebrates 74th Women’s Day

The community is invited to Second Missionary Baptist Church, 2305 E. Third Street, for the 74th annual Women’s Day Celebration, on Sunday, Sept. 22. The 8 a.m. guest speaker is Pastor Terryl James, Washington Hills United Methodist Church (UMC), Chattanooga. Pastor James is a native Chattanoogan who serves in several church and civic roles, including the Design Team for Strengthening ... (click for more)

Get It Back To You Is Topic At Metro Tab Church Sunday

The message at Metro Tab Church on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. will be "Get it Back to You" brought by Dr. Steve Ball, founder and senior pastor. The public is invited to come and enjoy a cup coffee with the pastoral staff before service starts. The praise and worship is led by worship pastors Adam and Olivia Aziz along with the Metro praise team, choir and band. The children's pastors ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Tennessee American Water Begins To Restore Water Service

Tennessee American Water successfully completed repairs to the impacted water main around 4 a.m. and has begun the process of restoring the system. Officials said, "The return to normal operating conditions will occur slowly and return last to customers at the highest elevations within the system, such as Lookout Mountain and Elder Mountain. We anticipate that most of the system ... (click for more)

Darrell Hill, 20, Shot And Killed On Dahlia Street; 3 Teenagers Arrested

Darrell Hill, 20, was shot and killed on Dahlia Street Thursday afternoon. Three teenagers have been arrested for the homicide. At approximately 12:14 p.m., Chattanooga Police responded to a p erson shot call in the 3900 block of Dahlia Street. Upon arrival, police located the victim lying on the ground with an apparent gunshot wound. Hamilton County EMS pronounced him ... (click for more)

Opinion

We Remember Sept. 11th

Our nation was attacked on Sept. 11, 2001 and our world changed. Muslim terrorists called al-Qaeda, with training camps all around the world were responsible for the death of the more than 3,000 victims. This is an enemy unlike any we have ever faced. There are multiple countries, multiple fronts and multiple threats. This enemy is committed to the absolute destruction of the ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Country Music’s Top 98

It was in the late ‘80s, not long before Auburn and Tennessee would play early in the year to set the early pace in the annual SEC race. I needed Auburn football coach Pat Dye to help me understand the early-season strategy of what the loser of the game between Tennessee and Auburn would need to do to stay viable in the home stretch of SEC play that year; it affected bowl invitations ... (click for more)