“…son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, that is cunning in playing, and a mighty valiant man, and a man of war, and prudent in matters, and a comely person, and the Lord is with him.” I Samuel 16:18
He who would valiant be ’gainst all disaster,
Let him in constancy follow the Master.
There’s no discouragement shall make him once relent
His first avowed intent to be a pilgrim.
Who so beset him round with dismal stories
Do but themselves confound - his strength the more is.
No foes shall stay his might; though he with giants fight,
He will make good his right to be a pilgrim.
Since, Lord, Thou dost defend us with Thy Spirit,
We know we at the end, shall life inherit.
Then fancies flee away! I’ll fear not what men say,
I’ll labor night and day to be a pilgrim.
Valiant – meaning worthy, strong, capable, skilful, very able and virtuous. All of these definitions are portrayed in the description of David in I Samuel 16:18, but the final phrase, “and the Lord is with him”, captures the truth about being valiant. Such strong character comes from the involvement of God in one’s life. A valiant man knows that though he may be strong and wise, his real strength lies in the fact that God is with him.
Take time to look at the description of King David. He was a talented musician, a brave warrior, a good businessman, well kept in appearance, and godly. The Bible also describes him as a man after God’s own heart. Acts 13:22
We have only to look through Scripture to see other men and women of renown who were also valiant, Amos, Deborah, Esther, Daniel, Mary, Paul, etc. Each of them rose to the calling of God in their lives to fulfil their God- appointed purpose in life. Their equipping was not of their own power, but of God’s. Their valiant choices and actions pointed to the power of God working in their lives and their total obedience and trust in their Lord.
They had made a heart choice to follow – to be a pilgrim.
Would you describe yourself as valiant? If so, why? If not, why?
“Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies.” Psalm 60:12
Psalm 60:11 states that the help of man is vain in the time of trouble. Sometimes we forget that and are disappointed when our fellows fail us or do not respond to our expectation. Someone once stated that if we are looking for blessings from men, we are looking in the wrong place. Blessings come from God alone.
Help is the same. Men are limited in what they can do, but when God is in the midst, there are no limitations. He is able to subdue any foe. He is able to alter any circumstance. He is able to remedy any problem. And when he does, such a charge of energy and praise rushes through our souls that we have to stop and acknowledge that God has fought our battle.
Sometimes others also see our success and fail to recognize that our strength is coming from our Saviour. They want to laud praise on us for our great character, or wisdom, or strength. Let us always be ready to give the praise where it is due. Remember the words of Christ in John 15:5? “For without me ye can do nothing”.
When we have this attitude we can do valiantly because we can work from the position that God is with us, he fights for us, and will cause us to prevail. Our valiant actions are the result of God working through us to accomplish His will and to bring praise to His worthy name.
Do you recognize God’s involvement in your life? Has he defeated any foes for you lately?
“Be of good courage, and let us behave ourselves valiantly for our people, and for the cities of our God: and let the Lord do that which is good in his sight.”
I Chronicles 19:13.
Joab is leading the children of Israel as they are facing two foes - the Syrians and the children of Ammon. He has divided the people into two armies and his battle plan is - “if the Syrians be too strong for me, then thou shalt help me: but if the children of Ammon be too strong for thee, then I will help thee.” He then gives them the rally call of verse thirteen – “be of good courage, and let us behave ourselves valiantly for our people…” He is charging them to do their best, to have courage, and to be valiant in battle. Notice that he then leaves the outcome of the battle fully in the hands of the Lord – “let the Lord do that which is good in his sight.”
“Behaving ourselves valiantly” gives us a further picture of the meaning of valiant. Here it has the idea of hardening one’s heart in order to give strength and to encourage, or to rally strength by physical and internal strength of character. These people were in a hard spot. The enemy was on both sides and they were out numbered. Their commander had formulated a plan, but even he knew that the outcome is in God’s hands. Nevertheless, he did not want to see them whimpering and fearful. In battle they must do their part. They must take up arms and defend themselves. They must have stature and intent as they face the enemy.
We have a strong enemy and all around us the battle rages. We, too, are not to be whimpering and living fearfully, but we are to be strong and courageous, as we trust in the Lord. In Ephesians 6 Paul instructs us to put on the whole armour of God so that we can stand against the fiery darts of the wicked. The words in the passage indicate that we are to stand valiantly and rely on the equipment God has provided. We are to be strong, skilful and capable warriors. So, to arms! Are you ready?
“And they bend their tongues like their bow for lies: but they are not valiant for the truth upon the earth…” Jeremiah 9:3
This usage of the word “valiant” here means to rise, to be greater, to prevail, to cause to triumph, or to confirm. The children of Israel had not stood for the truth of God. They had given themselves over to idols and become company with evil men. The character of the supplanter had overtaken them and they had become a family of liars. They had gone away from the truth and had forgotten their God. Israel was supposed to be the nation God would use to proclaim truth to the world. And in truth, eventually, they will be, but in this era they have failed miserably. They are not standing for the truth of God.
To be valiant for the truth means that it is to be held high. We are to live in such a way that the truth of God’s Word is triumphant and visually confirmed. Lying is exactly the opposite of truth. When we allow falsehoods and exaggeration to be commonplace in our language and lifestyle, we are not being valiant for the truth. When we hold our tongues for fear of ridicule, or fail to witness when prompted by the Spirit, we are not being valiant for the truth. Praising God in church on Sunday morning is not enough. Our lives must show forth the truth of God valiantly. We are to live honestly and courageously.
Would you say that you confirm the truth of God by your language and lifestyle? Does your life cause the truth of God to be lifted up and triumphant to those around you? Are you valiant for the truth, or ashamed of it?
“Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.” Hebrews 11:34
Hebrews eleven is knows as the Faith Chapter. It is a history of those who walked by faith. As we come to the later verses of the chapter the writer says that time would fail him to tell of all of the men and women who had stayed true to their faith, so he begins to condense his commentary by referring to actions instead of individuals.
One never knows how much courage he has until he is faced with a situation requiring it. Nelson Mandela said, “The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” To wax valiant in fight requires a person to not lay aside fear, but to face it. I saw a banner once that said, “Courage is stronger than fear”, and when we think of the faithful ones who have gone before us who faced great persecution and even martyrdom, we can know that they experienced the truth of being valiant.
Even today, though sadly we rarely speak of it, Christians are under severe persecution throughout the world. They are held in prisons waiting their outcome. They are mutilated and beaten. Reading accounts of such persecution is hard reading, but it is also glorious as the believers give count of the grace of God in their lives.
You or I might never be called upon to face such persecution, but we can pray for those who do. We can pray for them to wax valiant, to have the courage to face their fear, to know God is with them in the battle and to give them comfort and great faith.
Do you pray for the persecuted brothers and sisters around the world? They are the valiant of our day - they need your prayers.