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The DEEP

Time For Courage

Time for faith.

Joshua 1:6–9

Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.

“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

This passage says, “Be strong and courageous,” three times and adds, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.

Joshua didn’t show any fear when he spied out the land in Numbers 14. Why is he fearful now?

Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had explored the land, tore their clothes and said to the entire Israelite assembly, “The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. If the LORD is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. Only do not rebel against the LORD. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the LORD is with us. Do not be afraid of them.” — Numbers 14:6–9

He’s not fearful. The LORD isn’t telling Joshua to stop being afraid; He’s telling him to not get afraid. Joshua’s courage after spying out the land is good, but it wasn’t under duress.

Duress is coming.


Faith is easy when you’re talking about what you can do. It’s tougher when you’re doing it. The LORD’s advice to Joshua makes perfect sense.

But notice the detailed instructions.

Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

These are “faith strengthening” exercises. Joshua’s courage is based on his faith in the LORD. So, to strengthen his courage, the prescription is to get back to the roots of faith.

One of the great challenges for a Christian is to not revert to secular thinking under duress. It’s hard to keep your cool under pressure.

It’s hard to keep your faith too.


These Monday—Friday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. The Weekend DEEPs are written by Matt Richardson. To subscribe to all the DEEPs click here:

https://www.ailbe.org/resources/community

The weekly study guides, which include the Monday–Friday devotionals plus related questions for discussion or meditation, are available for download here:

https://www.ailbe.org/resources/itemlist/category/91-deep-studies

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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