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Chazak v'ematz - Be Strong and of Good Courage

Chazak v'ematz -

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Be strong and of good courage

by John J. Parsons

Joshua 1:9 (BHS)

Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed:
for the LORD thy God is with thee wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9)

Chazak v'ematz

Though the time appointed by God for the Messianic redemption of Israel is a heavenly kept secret (Mark 13:32), there are certain signs called chevlei mashiach - the "birth pangs" of the Messiah - that indicate that the time is indeed imminent.

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Most of these birth pangs indicate peril and danger, including "distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves," and "men's hearts failing them for fear, and with foreboding of what is coming on the earth" (Luke 21:25-6). In addition, the moral depravity of mankind will be unmasked, showing us clearly that "men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof" (2 Tim. 3:2-3).

As followers of the LORD Jesus, we must cling to the truth that "all things work together for good to them that love God" (Rom. 8:28), and we must take hold of the command given to Joshua: chazak v'ematz, "Be strong and of good courage!"  Just as Joshua was promised that the LORD would be with him as he went in to possess the land, so we must remember that the LORD has promised never to leave us nor forsake us (Heb. 13:5; Matt. 28:20), even in the midst of tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword (Rom. 8:35). We can be assured that nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom. 8:39). Maranatha, Lord Jesus!


Joshua 1:9 (BHS) Transliteration

chazak ve'ematz, al ta'arotz ve'al teichat,
ki imekha Adonai eloheykha bekhol asher teileikh.

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