And after Abimelech there arose to defend Israel Tola the son of Puah, the son of Dodo, a man of Issachar; and he dwelt in Shamir in mount Ephraim. And he judged Israel twenty and three years, and died, and was buried in Shamir. ~Judges 10:1-2
Tenacity is determination, courage, toughness, perseverance, and steadfastness all packaged together. Tenacity is a long-distance runner finishing his race. It is a surgeon staying focused and concentrating on completing a difficult surgery. It is someone in a leadership capacity making key decisions in the midst of opposition and circumstances that seem insurmountable. This morning, let us see “Tenacious Tola.”
We see his descent.
He was of the tribe of Issachar. Jacob described Issachar as “a strong ass couching down between two burdens.” This meant that Issachar was capable of bearing heaviness, but instead, he chose not to. Despite this, Tola arose to defend Israel. Instead of following the weaknesses of his predecessors, he chose to make a difference. Be the man or woman God made you to be. Don’t let the failures, weaknesses, or bad decisions of your ancestors or peers hinder you from being someone great whom God can use.
We see that he was diminutive.
His name means “worm.” The worm is considered very lowly, insignificant, and easy to be squashed. Jesus described Himself as “a worm, and no man” as He suffered for our sins. Tola was most likely small in stature. His parents must have given him that name thinking he was worthless. However, God uses little things. He used a lad’s five little barley loaves and two small fish to feed a great multitude. He used a little widow’s mite to demonstrate great faith in giving. Little is much when God is in it. Stature, setbacks, and situations might make us small, but in God’s hands, He can use us.
We see a defender.
He arose to defend Israel. He came on the heels of Abimelech. He came at a time of discouragement and lack of confidence in leadership. He stepped up and became a defender in his nation. He defended his people from the outside enemies. He defended the boundaries and land rights. He defended his people from the scorn and mockery of the pagan nations. He defended the name of God and Who God is. He put up a fight and made it clear that he was not going to back down, quit, or be a loser. When no one else steps up, you step up!
We see his dynamic.
He judged Israel for 23 years. He gave them 23 years of peace, protection, and God’s power. He influenced hearts and minds for God. He invested his life into people who were unstable and unpredictable. He impacted lives through strong leadership, policies that promoted godliness and a good economy, and instilling confidence through his stability. He represented faith, courage, godliness, and a winning attitude.
Tola was tenacious. He came on the scene when things were shaky. He had faith that God could use him. His convictions did not waiver, his courage was inspirational, and his consecration honored God. If you plan to make a difference for the Lord, you must have tenacity. You can’t bend to criticism and complaining or become cowardly. Think about Tola and do something great!
Have a tenacious God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Psalms 17-20