We continue our study concerning encouragement today, and we will look at the same Hebrew word , and concerning the same Hebrew word. I will repeat this information in case you missed it. If you do not need that information, you may want to skip to the Context portion of the study.
Meaning ,(strongs H2388) חָזַק châzaq, khaw-zak’; a primitive root; to fasten upon; hence, to seize, be strong (figuratively, courageous, causatively strengthen, cure, help, repair, fortify), obstinate; to bind, restrain, conquer:—aid, amend, × calker, catch, cleave, confirm, be constant, constrain, continue, be of good (take) courage(-ous, -ly), encourage (self), be established, fasten, force, fortify, make hard, harden, help, (lay) hold (fast), lean, maintain, play the man, mend, become (wax) mighty, prevail, be recovered, repair, retain, seize, be (wax) sore, stre withstandng (self), be stout, be (make, shew, wax) strong(-er), be sure, take (hold), be urgent, behave self valiantly.
The KJV translates Strongs H2388 in the following manner: strong (48x), repair (47x),hold (37x), strengthened (28x), strengthen (14x), harden (13x), prevail (10x), encourage (9x),take (9x), courage (8x), caught (5x), stronger (5x), hold (5x), misc (52x).
Context: Og king of Bashan, and Sihon king of Amorities on the “other” side of the river from the promised land have been conquered and directions given to Moses to strengthen Joshua because he would finish the job.
Application: Leaders, parents, mentors–when they are involved in the “good works God has prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” should bring along other believers and their children and mentor them and strengthen them to be more equipped and do a better job than they have themselves. This means being willing to show our weakness and train them to strengthen them in ways we are not strong. It also means allowing our children, even at the risk of losing our “place” in their hearts, so they can learn from those who have strengthen where we have weaknesses.
Personal Application: First, as a parent, our primary job (outside of our marriage) is to disciple our children for Christ. However, we must use the gifts and abilities God has given us for the works He has prepared for us to do outside the realm of parenting, There are times and seasons where one will be emphasized more than the other and at times where parenting/discipling our children is almost our whole world (outside of our relationship with Christ and our spouse). But even there there are small ways to use our gifts- whether it’s serving the elderly or needy, sharing the Gospel, prayer, or any of the other gifts He has given. Recently, books by Sally Clarkson (Own Your Life) and John Ortberg (Soul Keeping) have been a great influence. Tim Woodard, a dear brother in the Lord was a great example of this. He nutured his wife and trained his children- even his son who is nonverbal and has poor mobility – to seek to love others and share the gospel with them. His now adult children work along with their mom and work to help to pay the bills and help with their brother and continue to reach out to those in need and those in need of the Gospel. The Lord suddenly called this brother home, but I know the family will continue to serve the Lord as He enables them.