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Be Bold, Be Strong

Some of the songs I learnt at church as a child have long since passed out of fashion but one that does seem to keep going is Be Bold, Be Strong by Morris Chapman (written in 1984 – I first picked it up not long after that).

One of the reasons it endures is that, as well as being full of encouragement and having a punchy, boogie-blues arrangement, it’s clearly rooted in the Bible. The verses I’d quote as its source are Joshua 1:7-9, where God is speaking to Joshua as he begins his leadership of the Israelites (and the teaching is then written down and passed on, becoming an exhortation for all Christians to keep in mind).

However, as my daily reading with the One Year Bible Blog reaches the end of Deuteronomy in its Old Testament portion, I’ve been reminded that Joshua wasn’t the first person to record the exhortation to “be strong and courageous” (as the NASB translates it). As Moses reaches the end of his life, he gives exactly the same encouragement, first to Israel as a whole and then directly to Joshua (Dt 31:6-7). See the references to view these passages together.

That’s a strong sense of continuity, with the same mantle being passed on from one generation of leadership to another. It also provides an added foundation to the song. It’s interesting; it also raises the challenge of how will I take this message to heart?

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