After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. 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.”
Joshua 1:1-9, New International Version
What Is Joshua 1:9 About?
What’s Joshua 1:9 all about? Is it just about getting up the gumption to do gutsy things? Not quite.
God does tell his servant Joshua three times in Joshua 1 to “Be strong and courageous.” Why is it so important to God to say this three times?
God had promised to give the Israelites the land of Canaan, which was entirely occupied by people groups much mightier than them. This meant war was on the horizon. Joshua’s dear friend and mentor, Moses, had just died, and pressure surrounded Joshua as hundreds of thousands of people looked to him for leadership in Moses’ absence. Joshua was likely overwhelmed, lonely, and grieved.
Certainly Joshua’s circumstances were worthy of fear, and he could find countless reasons to be discouraged. But God personally pursued his servant to encourage him. God reminded Joshua that his success didn’t depend on his own strength, but rather on God’s almighty strength. God had promised Joshua victory, and would fulfill his Word if Joshua just fought and followed God’s lead.
Now, it’s really hard to pay attention to instruction if you can’t remember it. So, God told Joshua to meditate on his promises day and night, so that Joshua would be careful to follow God wholeheartedly. God, not Joshua, was the ultimate leader.
God preserved his personal encouragement to Joshua in the Bible because he wants to pursue us and strengthen us too. And maybe, like Joshua, you find yourself under tremendous pressure and have an acute awareness of your need for courage.
Courage comes from bringing to mind the character of God, which we discover in the Bible. Strength comes from God himself working on our behalf as we follow him. Why could Joshua be strong and courageous? Because God was strong enough to do all that he said he would do.
In what way do you need courage today? Ask God to give you a promise from his Word to encourage you and to remind you of his strength.
DEUTERONOMY 31:7-8 ESV
Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you shall go with this people into the land that the Lord has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall put them in possession of it. It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
On God’s Presence
by David Platt
Joshua 1:8 NIV
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.
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Strong and Courageous
PSALM 1:1-3 ESV
Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
Why We Don’t Meditate on God’s Word
“I am too busy to engage in regular and spiritual meditation” is an idle excuse, yes it is worse—it is a deceit of your evil heart. It is not because you are short of time, but because you lack a heart for the things of God! “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:21), and that which most occupies our heart will most engage the mind, for our thoughts always follow our affections; consequently the smallest actions, when we have no delight in them, are tedious and burdensome…It is not lack of opportunity but of relish for the Word and a desire to please God which lies at the root of our failure here. Said David, “O how love I your law, it is my meditation all the day” (Psalm 119:97)—he evidenced his love for God’s Law by constantly pondering it! To him meditation was not a task but a joy.
by Steven Lawson
Is not courage required
in order to obedience?
if your character and conduct is to be
regulated by the Divine standard,
if all the details of your life are to be
ordered by God’s statutes,
what will men think and say of you?
ROMANS 12:2 NLT
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
According to the Bible,
the secret of success
is to know God’s Word, speak about it, meditate on it,
and then, above all,
do it. In God’s world there is no substitute for full obedience.
JAMES 1:25 NIV
But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.
For the Lord Your God Is With You
by Eden Parker at Unlocking the Bible
DEUTERONOMY 1:21 ESV
See, the Lord your God has set the land before you. Go up, take possession, as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has told you. Do not fear or be dismayed.’
DEUTERONOMY 31:6 NIV
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
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Be Strong and Courageous
PSALM 138:3 ESV
On the day I called, you answered me; my strength of soul you increased.
in the Lord
and in the
Ephesians 6:10 ESV
2 TIMOTHY 2:1 NIV
You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
For God has
not given us
a spirit of fear
but of power,
2 Timothy 1:7 NLT
1 PETER 4:10-12 NIV
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.
Ephesians 3:20 NLT
All glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.
Courage: Yours for the Taking
by Christy Britton at Gospel Centered Discipleship
Act like men,
1 CORINTHIANS 16:13 ESV
2 CHRONICLES 25:8 ESV
“But go, act, be strong for the battle. Why should you suppose that God will cast you down before the enemy? For God has power to help or to cast down.”
An Evening Reading on Joshua 1:9
by Charles Spurgeon at BlueLetterBible
Folk | Country Gospel
Joshua (Strong and Courageous)
If God has called you,
he is with you.
Courage doesn’t mean
that I am not afraid.
It means that I fear God
more than I fear
It means that
I trust in divine resources
more than the resources of man.
Folk | Country Gospel
Be Strong and Courageous
Courage for A Lifelong Battle
A life of faith calls for a stout heart, that we may not be daunted by either the difficulties or the dangers of the way. The flesh, the world and the Devil are arrayed against us, seeking our destruction. Nor are we called upon to engage them for a season only—it is a lifelong battle. Nor can we expect to avoid hardship or escape being wounded in such a conflict. Let the young Christian realize, then, that if he is to be “a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (2 Timothy 2:3) he must “be strong and of a good courage”, and faint not though the march wearies, and be not dismayed when the enemy gains an advantage over him. He may be bested in the preliminary skirmishes, he may be hard put to it to so much as hold his ground for days together, but if he “endure to the end”—and for that fortitude, resoluteness, perseverance, as well as trusting in the Lord, are indispensable—victory is certain.
JOSHUA 23:14 NIV
Now I am about to go the way of all the earth. You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the Lord your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed.