The strong, the wise, and the righteous

The blog post for April 4, 2019 offers the Quote of the Day, an insightful statement from Apostle Eric L. Warren:

“In times of famine, those who survive and prosper are the strong, the wise, and the righteous.”

We can appreciate the fullness of the comment as we examine the three attributes of those who emerge from the midst of our trying times, not just as survivors but as more than conquerors. Let’s take a look at these three qualities along with words of encouragement to be strong, wise, and righteous from the Scriptures:

The strong—“Be strong!”

The exhortation to be strong in the Lord resounds throughout the scriptures. God speaks this powerful command to Moses who conveys the same message to the Children of Israel as they prepare to enter the Promised Land

Deuteronomy 31:6:

So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the LORD your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”

When Joshua assumes the leadership responsibilities for the Children of Israel after Moses dies, we note these similar words from the Lord, repeated three times:

Joshua 1:6-9:

6 “Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them.7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do.8 Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. 9 This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

With regard to the New Testament, we find closing words of encouragement from Ephesians 6:10 (AMP):

In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [draw your strength from Him and be empowered through your union with Him] and in the power of His [boundless] might.

As believers, we can be strong because the Lord is the strength of our lives. The Word of God reminds us to have no fear because the Lord, our God is with us. We are not to be dismayed because He takes our right hand, and He promises to strengthen us and help us. Therefore, we are to have no fear but to be strong.

The wise—“Be wise”:

In the Book of Proverbs, we find numerous references to wisdom and being wise. Indeed, we note wisdom as a golden thread woven throughout the book, offering Solomon’s advice to his son and to all who desire to walk as the wise.

Proverbs 19:20 (NLT):

Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life.

Regarding being wise, Proverbs 3:7 (AMP) offers this sound advice:

Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD [with reverent awe and obedience] and turn [entirely] away from evil.

In the New Testament, Paul offers these words of wisdom:

Ephesians 5:15-17 (AMP):

15 Therefore see that you walk carefully [living life with honor, purpose, and courage; shunning those who tolerate and enable evil], not as the unwise, but as wise [sensible, intelligent, discerning people], 16 [b]making the very most of your time [on earth, recognizing and taking advantage of each opportunity and using it with wisdom and diligence], because the days are [filled with] evil.

The righteous—“Practice righteousness”:

Throughout the Bible, we find references to the righteous, those whom God has made righteous or those who stand in proper alignment with God in a right relationship with Him. The righteous are often contrasted with the wicked or those who practice evil.

Job 17:9 (NLT) offers this description:

The righteous keep moving forward, and those with clean hands become stronger and stronger.
In light of our discussion of times of famine,

Proverbs 10:3 (AMP) says this:

The LORD will not allow the righteous to hunger [God will meet all his needs], but He will reject and cast away the craving of the wicked.

1 John 3:7 (AMP) provides this description of the righteous:

Little children (believers, dear ones), do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who practices righteousness [the one who strives to live a consistently honorable life—in private as well as in public—and to conform to God’s precepts] is righteous, just as He is righteous.

Note the connection between wisdom and righteousness in Proverbs 2:7 (AMP):

He stores away sound wisdom for the righteous [those who are in right standing with Him]; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity [those of honorable character and moral courage],

Bishop Charles Mellette also makes a similar statement: “We are anointed with the wisdom of the righteous.”

The Quote of the Day was actually taken from a message discussing these three qualities of a believer, and it inspired this response:

The Strong, the Wise, and the Righteous

“In times of famine, those who survive
and prosper are the strong,
the wise, and the righteous.”

Apostle Eric L. Warren

In times of severe famine those who survive are the strong
In mind, those empowered by the Spirit of Might.
Though living in a strange land, they sing the Lord’s song,
Striving to please their God, in whom He takes delight.
During drought and scarcity of food the wise
Follow wisdom as a hunter pursues his game.
They seek to do all God’s will and not compromise.
God hears every cry when they call upon His name.
The strong right hand of the Lord upholds the righteous ones,
And satisfies the deepest hunger of the soul.
Walking worthy of their calling as faithful sons
And daughters who run to serve as life’s highest goal.
In times of famine they shall find grace in the Lord’s eyes:
Set apart for His glory—strong, righteous, and wise.

We close with words to strengthen and encourage in the song: “Be Strong and Take Courage”:

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