God instructed Moses to be strong and courageous. Moses instructed Joshua to be strong and courageous. God instructed Joshua to be strong and courageous, and Joshua instructed the people to be strong and courageous as well. It’s interesting that in Joshua 1:7, after having charged Joshua to be strong and courageous, we get a glimpse of what that means. It reads, “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.” If this is any indication of what God means to be “strong and courageous,” we can easily see that none one has ever been “very strong and very courageous.” We have all failed to be obedient to “all the law” that the Bible instructs us to do. That’s why we need a hero, a savior, who will be “strong and courageous” on our behalf. Isn’t that what the Gospel is really all about?

Later on in the History of Israel, they will need a champion to go face the evil enemy of God’s people for them. It will be one on one! The chosen one, David, went to face Goliath and won the victory for his people. This is a beautiful picture of Jesus facing the one enemy of mankind, the devil himself, and defeating him and death for us. Like the Israelites in David’s time, we share in Jesus’ victory. Most sermons on David and Goliath and Joshua’s courage in facing the Canaanites focus on our being like David or Joshua and standing up strong against our enemies. The problem is that in a one-on-one battle against our enemy, we don’t stand a chance. But Jesus has beheaded our enemy. The evil one struck his heel, but Jesus struck his head!

It is understanding this truth that gives us any real hope in living a victorious life. I like the way Gage says it, “What an encouragement is the example of Jesus to us, His people, to likewise be strong and courageous in the battles before us! We have the greater example of our greater Joshua. Jesus suffered the insufferable for us so that He has become an example to us to follow in His steps (1 Pet 2:21). We follow Him when we, too, like Him, are strong and courageous for the battle set before us. His example teaches us that the Lord, in truth, will never abandon us and that His word is sure and our promises are certain. After our battle, we will inherit the promised country. And the Lord will be the true inheritance of all His people. He who so loved us in Gethsemane will surely fight for us now. We can therefore show ourselves to be strong and courageous in the day of battle, for He will never leave us or forsake us!”[1]

[1] Gage, Warren Austin. 2013. Gospel Typology in Joshua and Revelation: A Whore and Her Scarlet, Seven Trumpets Sound, A Great City Falls. Fort Lauderdale, FL: St. Andrews House.