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The DEEP

The Faith-Courage Connection

Chance is in the eye of the beholder.

Joshua 3:7–13

And the LORD said to Joshua, “This day I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. You shall command the priests who bear the ark of the covenant, saying, ‘When you have come to the edge of the water of the Jordan, you shall stand in the Jordan.’ ”

So Joshua said to the children of Israel, “Come here, and hear the words of the LORD your God.” And Joshua said, “By this you shall know that the living God is among you, and that He will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Hivites and the Perizzites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Jebusites: Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth is crossing over before you into the Jordan. Now therefore, take for yourselves twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one man from every tribe. And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests who bear the ark of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, that the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off, the waters that come down from upstream, and they shall stand as a heap.”

Notice the tradeoff in who gets glorified here. It seems to begin being about Joshua’s glory. God says, “This day I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with you.

But when Joshua executes the LORD’s plan, he doesn’t mention himself at all. Instead, he says, “By this you shall know that the living God is among you.” God gets all the glory. And Joshua says, “God is among you,” not, “God is with me.”

Part of this is because Joshua is thinking outward and not focusing of advancing his own reputation. Kudos for that.

But this is also practical. Joshua is using the coming miracle to maximum effect. He’s telling his troops how to interpret what they see.

“By this you shall know that … He will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Hivites and the Perizzites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Jebusites.”

The LORD told Joshua to be strong and courageous. Now he’s passing that on.


Faith is the root of courage throughout scripture. Joshua has it. Rahab has it. Soon all Israel will have it.

Great saints are also known for their courage. There must be a link between faith and courage. But what?

Well, courage is defined as the strength to persevere in the face of danger. Danger is the presence of the “chance” of future harm.

Ah ha! That’s the connection. Believers know that “chance” doesn’t rule the future.

God does.


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:

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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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