boldness or determination in facing great danger, esp. in battle; heroic courage; bravery: a medal for valor.
Growing up, my dad went around the house singing. One of his favorite "belting out" songs was from an operetta called "The New Moon" with music by Sigmund Romberg and book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. It is called "Stout-Hearted Men."
You who have dreams, if you act they will come true.
To turn your dreams to a fact, it's up to you.
If you have the soul and the spirit,
Never fear it, you'll see it thru,
Hearts can inspire, other hearts with their fire,
For the strong obey when a strong man shows them the way.
Give me some men who are stout-hearted men,
Who will fight, for the right they adore,
Start me with ten who are stout-hearted men,
And I'll soon give you ten thousand more.
Shoulder to shoulder and bolder and bolder,
They grow as they go to the fore.
Then there's nothing in the world can halt or mar a plan,
When stout-hearted men can stick together man to man.
The men of valor in scripture--I wonder what they were like. Were they only men of war who shot their arrows straight and swung their clubs with might, or did they have a persona that inspired those around them to act boldly and truly for righteousness sake?
Does valor imply war and combat, or could it imply working with all one's might to "fight for the right," to stand up for the widow, the orphan, the weak and the small?
In these days of bullying, manipulation and violence, give me some praying, gentle and fervent men who will stand up against evil and speak the truth.
Then maybe we will truly understand the meaning of the Hebrew word, chayil, translated "valor" in my text today. It means "substance," "ability," "strength," and "power."
Interestingly, its root word, chuwl, means "to twist," "to be pained," "to be grieved."
The divine response to another's pain is compassion. In the Greek, the word for compassion refers to the twisting of the gut.
Perhaps, true men of valor, are those who, when they see an injustice, are pained in the gut and move forward with conviction, ability, efficiency and power to right the wrong.
Give your Church, O LORD, mighty men of valor.