Be Strong and of Good Courage
I was led back to Joshua 1 last Friday. It is such a familiar book and chapter to me. I mean, I wrote an entire book from Joshua 1:9 alone for goodness sake. I am no stranger to the chapter. But I have learned that no matter how familiar a chapter, book, or verse is, when God leads you back to it, read it. Read it with fresh eyes and an open mind. Because something just may pop out to you that you didn't see before.
And what I saw was not necessarily something that I didn't see before. In fact, most people who read Joshua 1 sees this verse first. It's Joshua 1:9. The verse were God commands Joshua to be strong and of good courage. It's a super popular verse.
In fact not too long ago, I went on a hunt to find engraved jewelry with Joshua 1:8 but I only found the ever-so-popular Joshua 1:9. I guess because it is so popular I never took the time to really dive into it. But it's not the verse itself that caught my attention... it's the frequency in which God said it.
Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them.
(Joshua 1:6, KJV)
Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper withersoever thou goest.
(Joshua 1:7. KJV)
Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
(Joshua 1:9, KJV)
Bruh! That's 3 times. Three times God told Joshua to be strong and of good courage in this chapter. But hold on. In this chapter, God says be strong after Moses has died. If you go back a couple of chapters to Deuteronomy 31, you'll see God said the same thing while Moses was alive.
Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
And Moses called unto Joshua, and said unto him in the sight of all Israel, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou must go with this people unto the land which the Lord hath sworn unto their fathers to give them; and thou shalt cause them to inherit it.
(Deuteronomy 31:7, KJV)
And he gave Joshua the son of Nun a charge, and said, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou shalt bring the children of Israel into the land which I sware unto them: and I will be with thee. (Deuteronomy 31:23, KJV)
Doeth my eyes deceive me? Do your eyes deceive you? Nope. They do not. There it sits. Three more times in Deuteronomy 31. Verse 7 and 23 is said directly from Moses to Joshua, while verse 6 was said to the entire congregation. Oh, that reminds me. Joshua 1 ends with the same words of being strong and of good courage just one last time.
Whosoever he be that doth rebel against thy commandment, and will not hearken unto thy words in all that thou commandest him, he shall be put to death: only be strong and of a good courage.
(Joshua 1:18, KJV)
Seven times... seven times... seven times, yall. It was said to be strong and of good courage 7 times either directly from God or by way of His mouthpiece Moses. I don't think God is in the habit of repeating Himself for the fun of it. If God said it seven times, I would like to think it's important.
And can I take it a step further? Joshua 1:9 states "have I not commanded you to be strong and of good courage." God commanded it. It was not a suggestion. It was commanded. Just like Joshua and the children of Israel, you and I are commanded to be strong and of good courage.
Well, because neither Joshua nor the children of Israel could have made it to the promised land if they were weak and discouraged. It took strength and courage to face and take down giants, trained soldiers, and a massive wall of defensive. The journey to the promise was not for the faint of heart.
And can we talk about how long it took? It took about 40 years or so to get everything God promised them. I imagine every year or couple of years God blessed them with just a little bit more of what He promised. They had to not only be strong but stay strong until the mission was completed.
But it was worth it because the blessing was tremendous. Not only did they have to be strong enough to get the blessings, but their backs had to be strong enough to carry such heavy blessings! Listen, get strong and become courageous as God commanded you so you can bear these blessings on your back without stumbling. Some of us are asking for blessings that weigh 100 lbs. but we aren't equipped nor strong enough to carry 50.
"Be strong and courageous!" said the Lord. Seven times He said it y'all. He said have I not commanded it? Again, it is not a suggestion. No, you must be strong! You have to be courageous to get some of the blessings God has in store for you. Look at being strong and courageous in a different light. Look at it as being a commandment from God. Because it is a commandment.
No one who ever received all that God had planned for them was weak and afraid. David became King David because he was strong and courageous enough to take on Goliath. Esther became Queen Esther because she was bold enough to confront her king about a pressing problem. Entrepreneurs and top-business executives stepped into their successful position because of their strength and courage.
But let's pause for a minute. Because it's difficult to be strong and courage sometimes. We are human, not machines. We get weak. We get afraid. Even the Bible confirms in Isaiah 40:30 that the youth shall fall and get weary...
Yet, the following verse says they that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength. When you are weak, when you are afraid, ask God to give you strength and courage. Because honestly, if you try to do it in your own power, you will burn yourself out anyway.
Psalms 121 states my help comes from the Lord. So will our strength. So will our courage. Ain't it good to know that when God commands us to be strong and of good courage that He is not telling us to do something that can't be done?
It can be done, and it will be done through the power of God. Seven times He said it yall. So, let's do it. Let's get to it! We got some major blessings on the other side of our obedience to being strong and courageous. So, one more time for the road...
Be Strong and of Good Courage!
Not because I said so, but because God said so. Seven Times.
Whew! I am done you guys. I pray you all have a great day, and an even grander week. Be Blessed!
Quin Arrington's debut book "And Then You Shall Have Good Success: Attaining Good Success God's Way" is available on Amazon in paperback and eBook format. Link to book listed below.