What does it mean to be courageous? In the beginning of Joshua there is a lot of talk about being courageous, how does the Bible (the book of Joshua in particular) define courage?

After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, the LORD said to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, “Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised to Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun shall be your territory. No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. 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. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
(Joshua 1:1-9 ESV)

And they answered Joshua, “All that you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. Just as we obeyed Moses in all things, so we will obey you. Only may the LORD your God be with you, as he was with Moses! Whoever rebels against your commandment and disobeys your words, whatever you command him, shall be put to death. Only be strong and courageous.
(Joshua 1:16-18 ESV)

Before the men lay down, she came up to them on the roof and said to the men, “I know that the LORD has given you the land, and that the fear of you has fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land melt away before you. For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you devoted to destruction. And as soon as we heard it, our hearts melted, and there was no spirit left in any man* because of you, for the LORD your God, he is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath.
(Joshua 2:8-11 ESV)* NASB says “our hearts melted and no courage remained in any man any longer

Biblical Characteristics of a Courageous person:

  1. Trusts the promises of God
  2. Obtains strength and fortitude from God, not self
  3. Does not exalt self, but allows and waits for God to exalt
  4. Remembers the promises of God and shares them with others
  5. Is careful to obey and do what God has said and commanded
  6. Does not turn away or stray away from what God has commanded
  7. Is constantly speaking and meditating on God’s Word
  8. Is careful to apply God’s Word
  9. Allows and waits for God to prosper in the time and manner He chooses
  10. Lives a life of faith and trust in God
  11. Retains the respect of others because other know the courageous person is in communion with God

Biblical Characteristics of a Non-Courageous person:

  1. Is afraid of God
  2. Does not trust God
  3. Is not on God’s side, is an enemy of God
  4. Does not trust in or rely upon the promises of God
  5. Hears the great acts of God and becomes frightened
  6. Frightened because the LORD is God
  7. Fears man yet trusts in mans strength
  8. Hears of the destruction of others and is immediately reminded/convicted of own sin and impending judgement

 

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