Joshua 2:11 Rahab Shelters Spies
When we heard it, our hearts melted and no courage remained in any man any longer because of you; for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.
1 Samuel 4:9 Philistines Take the Ark in Victory
Take courage and be men, O Philistines, or you will become slaves to the Hebrews, as they have been slaves to you; therefore, be men and fight.”
The two passages above are two separate usages of the word “courage” in our English language, but the Hebrew words are different and the contexts are different. Joshua 2:11 is from the perspective of an individual outside of fellowship with YHWH hearing of the Great deeds of YHWH and the other is reminding those that walk with YHWH also have the One True God. So what can we learn from these two verses in the context and the source thereof?
Joshua 2:11 the word translated here for courage is רוּחַ/ruwach—used 378 times in the Hebrew text. 232 times it has been translated into Spirit/spirit. This is the same exact word used in Genesis 1:2, “…And the Spirit of God moved upon the waters.” It is translated “courage” once! Rahab uses this word to explain to the two spies that absolutely no courage/spirit could be found in any man because of them. In other words, she confessed her realization that their God, YHWH is the one true God, the Sovereign Creator and Sustainer of all that exists; for without the ruwach/Spirit of YHWH there is nothing else that could remain in anyone, for they are all false gods.
Which brings us to 1 Samuel 4:9, “Take courage”/חָזַק/chazaq—this word is used 290 times, strong 48 times; repair 47 times; hold 37 times; strengthened 28 times; strengthen 14 times. In the context of 1 Samuel it serves as a reminder of the strength of God and with whom He supports, at least to those that have fellowship with Him. Since they are serving the One True God they must remind themselves of His strength thus in turn have strength also!
Two separate uses of the English word “courage.” What is the take away?
First, if your trust, courage, hope and faith are placed into anything other than YHWH, then you actually have no trust, courage, hope and faith in you at all. It’s all vain and fruitless.
Second, if you place your trust, courage, hope and faith in God/YHWH you must remind yourselves of His promises. Deuteronomy 31:6, “6 Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.”
Blessings! Pastor Bryan