Men of courage in the Bible

Courage is the quality of being bold, strong, fearless, valiant. It also implies being able to persevere and withstand danger, or difficulty.

In “Bible times” men of God have always needed courage to stay faithful to the Most High. It always seemed as if there was a greater resistance to doing right than doing what is wrong.

When the nation of Israel was about to cross into the Promised Land, Moses told them, “Be courageous and strong,” and he repeated that same advice to his appointed successor Joshua.

Deuteronomy 31:6,7 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.” Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the Lord swore to their ancestors to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance.

Closely related to courage is knowledge,  understanding and application. For example, to become courageous and strong, Joshua was told to read God’s law regularly and put what he read into practice or apply it.

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. – Joshua 1:8 (English Standard Version)

King David was another fine example of courage. In describing how he developed that quality, he talked about his reliance on his God, his past experiences, appreciation for the “house of the Lord,” trusting his heavenly Father for protection against his enemies and the importance of the qualities of faith and hope. Here is an outline of what David said:

A Prayer of Praise – Psalms 27

You, Lord, are the light
that keeps me safe.
I am not afraid of anyone.
You protect me,
and I have no fears.
Brutal people may attack
and try to kill me,
but they will stumble.
Fierce enemies may attack,
but they will fall.
Armies may surround me,
but I won’t be afraid;
war may break out,
but I will trust you.

I ask only one thing, Lord:
Let me live in your house
every day of my life
to see how wonderful you are
and to pray in your temple.

In times of trouble,
you will protect me.
You will hide me in your tent
and keep me safe
on top of a mighty rock.[a]
You will let me defeat
all of my enemies.
Then I will celebrate,
as I enter your tent
with animal sacrifices
and songs of praise.

Please listen when I pray!
Have pity. Answer my prayer.
My heart tells me to pray.
I am eager to see your face,
    so don’t hide from me.
I am your servant,
and you have helped me.
Don’t turn from me in anger.
You alone keep me safe.
Don’t reject or desert me.
10 Even if my father and mother
should desert me,
you will take care of me.

11 Teach me to follow, Lord,
and lead me on the right path
because of my enemies.
12 Don’t let them do to me
what they want.
People tell lies about me
and make terrible threats,
13     but I know I will live
to see how kind you are.

14 Trust the Lord!
Be brave and strong
and trust the Lord.

©Jonathan 06/2012

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