“And the LORD, He it is that doth go before thee; He will be with thee, He will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed” (Deuteronomy 31:8).
In the closing chapters of Deuteronomy, the transfer of leadership from Moses to Joshua is recorded. “Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee” (Joshua 1:7). Joshua could have said with confidence, “God Himself is with us for our captain” (II Chronicles 13:12) as did King Abijah when he “prevailed” (same word as “courage”) over King Jeroboam who had “forsaken” God’s commandments. Joshua’s courage was based on the fact that God was with him. So long as he obeyed God’s commandments, his adversaries would in reality be the adversaries of God, and were not to be feared. He was not to be “dismayed” by the enemy. His sacred trust, to be protected and defended, was “the law,” the commandments of God. The battle was not his, however; it was, and still is, the Lord’s.
Joab, captain of David’s mighty men, charged his troops: “Be of good courage, and let us play the men for our people, and for the cities of our God: and the LORD do that which seemeth Him good” (II Samuel 10:12). Joshua, Joab, and many others have found courage in the fact that God does all things well!
The word “courage” is only used once in the New Testament, when Paul saw his brethren and “took courage” (Acts 28:15). But the concept is a strong thread woven throughout the Scripture for our instruction. The “captain of (our) salvation” (Hebrews 2:10) has promised, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly [courageously] say, the Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me” (Hebrews 13:5,6). CJH