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2. Be Valiant in the will of God.
Some are described as “valiant” (1 Samuel 14:52; 1 Samuel 31:12; 2 Samuel 11:16 and Judges 21:10) and others are instructed to “be valiant” (1 Samuel 18:17; 2 Samuel 2:7). In 1 Samuel 16:18 we read about “a mighty man of valor”.
Dr. Ed Hindson writes, “The angel of the Lord called Gideon a mighty man of valor (v. 12) sarcastically to get his attention. Apparently, Gideon belonged to the upper class, perhaps a kind of aristocracy (see 6:27), in spite of his disclaimer in 6:15. His general sense of fear is evident throughout his initial encounters with God (6:27; 7:10-11).”
Others are noted in the Bible for being valiant. For example, we read the following in 1 Chronicles 11:22, “Benaiah was the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man from Kabzeel, who had done many deeds. He had killed two lion-like heroes of Moab. He also had gone down and killed a lion in the midst of a pit on a snowy day.”
Joshua 7:1-26 records Israel’s defeat at Ai and Joshua 8:1-29 records Israel’s defeat of Ai. In the first case, Joshua sent spies to and estimated the number of men needed to defeat Ai. It was presumptuous of him to plan without God also, Achan took gold and silver, and the Babylonian garment, clearly banned by God. After dealing with the sin in the camp, Joshua sent a full contingent of men of valor and victory came. Psalm 60:12 reads, “Through God we will do valiantly, For it is He who shall tread down our enemies.” Psalm 108:13 reads, “Through God we will do valiantly, For it is He who shall tread down our enemies.” Dr. Erwin W. Lutzer, pastor of Moody Memorial Church, writes, “The size of your giant is determined by the size of your God. Big God, small giant. Small God, big giant.” Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe writes, “God made us, and God is able to empower us to do whatever He calls us to do. Denying that we can accomplish God’s work is not humility; it’s the worst kind of pride!”
Oswald Chambers (1847-1917) writes, “God guides His servants, and it is a guidance that disciplines heart and mind and spirit. Watch this guidance through the records of Holy Writ; the careers of Abraham, of Moses, of Joshua, of Gideon, of Deborah, and trace the discipline of their apprenticeship and mastership. Grasp the loneliness of Abraham, ‘the Friend of God.’ Enter into and imagine the rugged discipline of Moses, who esteemed ‘the reproach of Christ greater riches than treasures in Egypt.’ Bow before the winnowing of the unworldly heart of Joshua. Marvel as you see how God took timid Gideon as His wardrobe, and clothed Himself with him. And be silent before Deborah, that sibyl of God’s sanctity, as she leads God’s army. And marking their self-effacement and other-worldliness, bow your face before God and learn the strangeness of His guidance by His servants.”
Joshua and Caleb were stout-hearted, meaning “having a stout heart or spirit”. It is synonymous with valiant, brave, courageous, and bold.
3. Be Venturesome in the will of God.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained. The term “venturesome” means “willing to take risks or embark on difficult or unusual courses of action.” Years past the age of “retirement” Joshua and Caleb began a new venture. Numbers 32:11-12 reads, “‘Surely none of the men who came up from Egypt, from twenty years old and above, shall see the land of which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, because they have not wholly followed Me, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh, the Kenizzite, and Joshua the son of Nun, for they have wholly followed the Lord.’” (Emphasis mine) Deuteronomy 1:34-38 reads, “And the Lord heard the sound of your words, and was angry, and took an oath, saying, ‘Surely not one of these men of this evil generation shall see that good land of which I swore to give to your fathers, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh; he shall see it, and to him and his children I am giving the land on which he walked, because he wholly followed the Lord.’ The Lord was also angry with me for your sakes, saying, ‘Even you shall not go in there. Joshua the son of Nun, who stands before you, he shall go in there. Encourage him, for he shall cause Israel to inherit it.” (Emphasis mine) Joshua 14:9, 12-14 reads, “So Moses swore on that day, saying, ‘Surely the land where your foot has trodden shall be your inheritance and your children’s forever, because you have wholly followed the Lord my God.’ . . . Now therefore, give me this mountain of which the Lord spoke in that day; for you heard in that day how the Anakim were there, and that the cities were great and fortified. It may be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall be able to drive them out as the Lord said.’ And Joshua blessed him, and gave Hebron to Caleb the son of Jephunneh as an inheritance. Hebron therefore became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite to this day, because he wholly followed the Lord God of Israel. And the name of Hebron formerly was Kirjath Arba (Arba was the greatest man among the Anakim). Then the land had rest from war. Hebron therefore became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite to this day, because he wholly followed the Lord God of Israel.” (Emphasis mine) Joshua 19:50 reads, “According to the word of the Lord they gave him [Joshua the son of Nun] the city which he asked for, Timnath Serah in the mountains of Ephraim; and he built the city and dwelt in it.” Joshua and Caleb were whole-hearted in their walk with the Lord!
Dr. J. C. Ryle (1816-1900) write, “We must take our whole heart to the house of God, and worship and hear like those who listen to the reading of a will.”
The legendary coach of the Green Bay Packers, Vince Lombardi (1913-1970), warned his team, “Fatigue makes cowards of us all.” Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe writes, “I have no sympathy with those who say the Devil never takes a vacation,” said the late Vance Havner, “I am not following the Devil but the Lord who said, ‘Come ye yourselves apart and rest a while.’ If you don’t come apart, you will come apart and you’ll go to pieces.”
Dr. George H. Morrison (1866-1928), a man highly recommended by Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe, shares, “Talking with a young fellow some time ago, I was struck by a remark he made. It followed on a sermon which we both had listened to on the subject of interior peace. ‘It’s not peace,’ he said, ‘we young fellows want. What we want is thrills.’ That was a very candid utterance, and one likes young fellows to be candid. It set me wondering whether inward peace was really so gray as it is sometimes painted. And just then in the book of an honored friend I lit on a sentence which arrested me. He said peace is the possession of adequate resources.”
Samuel Chapman Armstrong (1839-1893) writes, “What are Christians put into the world for but to do the impossible in the strength of God?” 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 reads, “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.”
Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe shares the following: “Dr. [H. A.] Ironside began his ministry with the Salvation Army, but in trying to live up to their views on sanctification, he experienced a breakdown and had to be hospitalized. While studying his Bible, he came to understand the difference between ‘positional sanctification’ and ‘practical sanctification,’ and he resigned from the Army, although he maintained a warm relationship with their leaders. His book Holiness: The False and the True came out of that difficult experience (Loizeaux, 1912). You need to get acquainted with Dr. Ironside if only to understand what was happening in the American church during the first half of the twentieth century.”
Sabine Baring-Gould (1834-1924) penned the following words in his hymn based on 2 Timothy 2:3 titled, “Onward, Christian Soldiers”:
Put on the gospel armor
Each piece put on with prayer.
Ephesians 6:13-17 reads, “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
Dr. Harry L. Reeder, III, explains, “A genuine Christian leader has a heart that is surrendered to live for the Lord and pursues a growing, consistent lifestyle that displays the evidence of salvation and a maturing walk with the Lord. Spiritual warfare for such a leader is inevitable. Satan will continually seek to undermine the character of Christians, especially leaders, with temptations to indolence, immorality, and insubordination. We flee Satan’s temptations and we stand firm by knowing and obeying the Word of God in order to put on the ‘armor of God’ (Eph. 6:11) while making full use of the ‘weapons of God’ (2 Cor. 10:3-6).” 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 reads, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.”
Dr. Bruce H. Wilkinson explains, “Joshua’s humble, Spirit-directed leadership skill was recognized early, when he was chosen to represent his tribe when the 12 spies reconnoitered in Canaan. Only Joshua and Caleb were determined to follow God’s clear directions to take possession of the land, despite the threat of resistance. So only Joshua and Caleb were allowed to enter the land after 40 years of wandering.” As we reflect on the exemplary lives of Joshua and Caleb, may we too, live courageously through the power of God!
Edward E. Hindson and Daniel R. Mitchell, Zondervan King James Version Commentary: Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2010), 327.
Michael Duduit, Preaching with Power (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 2006), 95. Database © 2009 WORDsearch Corp.
Edythe Draper, Draper’s Book of Quotations for the Christian World (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1992), 506.
Oswald Chambers, The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers [Christian Disciplines, Vol. 1, “The Discipline of Divine Guidance”/ originally part of the Discipline Series of individual booklets copyright 1936] (Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House Publishers, 2000, 2013), 276.
Merriam Webster Dictionary, Accessed: 06/16/15 http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stouthearted .
Oxford American Large Print Dictionary, ed. Erin McKean (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2008), 1338.
J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels: St. John, Volume 1 (New York, NY: Robert Carter & Brothers, 1874), 347), 347
Vince Lombardi, Brainy Quote Accessed: 05/31/15 http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/v/vincelomba380768.html .
Warren W. Wiersbe, Prokope, July-August 1987, “Room To Grow In”, Accessed: 07/25/15 http://www.2prophetu.com/templates/!print/details.asp?id=35585&PG=resources&CID=18922 .
George H. Morrison, “Peace, The Possession of Adequate Resources” Sermon Notes (John 14:27).
Samuel Chapman Armstrong, The Southern Workman (Hampton, VA: Hampton Institute, 1910), 39:1:167.
Warren W. Wiersbe, “B is for Biography” Part 2, Accessed: 06/01/15 http://www.2prophetu.com/templates/!print/details.asp?id=35585&PG=resources&CID=18748 .
Sabine Baring-Gould, “Onward, Christian Soldiers” (1865).
Harry L. Reeder, III, with Rod Gragg, The Leadership Dynamic: A Biblical Model for Raising Effective Leaders (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2008), 84.
Walk, Wilkinson, 72.