- Numbers 13:
"Then Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan , and said to them, 'Go up this way into the South, and go up to the mountains, and see what the land is like: whether the people who dwell in it are strong or weak, few or many; whether the land they dwell in is good or bad; whether the cities they inhabit are like camps or strongholds; whether the land is rich or poor; and whether there are forests there or not. BE OF GOOD COURAGE. And bring some of the fruit of the land.' Now the time was the season of the first ripe grapes." (Numbers 13:17-20)
The SECOND definition
The second definition comes from the Hebrew word rûach, which is Strong's Concordance #7307. There is only one occurrence of this definition, which is found in Joshua 2:
"And as soon as we heard these things, our hearts melted; neither did there remain any more COURAGE in anyone because of you, for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath. " (Joshua 2:11)
The THIRD definition
The third definition comes from the Hebrew word lâbat, which is Strong's Concordance #3824, and means a person's heart or mind. Again, there is only one application in scripture, which is found in Daniel 11. The subject here is the prophetic Beast power that will arrive and rule the earth:
"He shall stir up his power and his COURAGE against the king of the South with a great army. And the king of the South shall be stirred up to battle with a very great and mighty army; but he shall not stand, for they shall devise plans against him. " (Daniel 11:25)
The FOURTH definition
The fourth definition comes from the Greek word tharsos, Strong's Concordance #2294, and mean boldness in general:
"And landing at Syracuse, we stayed three days. From there we circled round and reached Rhegium. And after one day the south wind blew; and the next day we came to Puteoli, where we found brethren, and were invited to stay with them seven days. And so we went toward Rome. And from there, when the brethren heard about us, they came to meet us as far as Appii Forum and Three Inns. When Paul saw them, he thanked God and took COURAGE." (Acts 28:12-15)
The LAST definition in the Bible
Now we come to the fifth and last definition which I feel is the most important. The Hebrew word 'âmats, which is Strong's Concordance #553, means to be alert. There are several uses of 'âmats found in the Bible, all of them in the Old Testament. Let's take a look at some of these:
- Deuteronomy 31:
"Then Moses went and spoke these words to all Israel. And he said to them: "I am one hundred and twenty years old today. I can no longer go out and come in. Also the Lord has said to me, 'You shall not cross over this Jordan.' The Lord your God Himself crosses over before you; He will destroy these nations from before you, and you shall dispossess them. Joshua himself crosses over before you . . . Be strong and of GOOD COURAGE, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you." " (Deuteronomy 31:1-3, 6)
- Deuteronomy 31, verse 7:
"Then Moses called Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, "Be strong and of GOOD COURAGE, for you must go with this people to the land which the Lord has sworn to their fathers . . ." (Deuteronomy 31:7)
- Joshua 1:
"After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, it came to pass that the Lord spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying: "Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them . . . No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and of GOOD COURAGE . . ".
"Only be strong and very COURAGEOUS, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you . . .
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of GOOD COURAGE; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."
"Whoever rebels against your command and does not heed your words, in all that you command him, shall be put to death. Only be strong and of GOOD COURAGE." (Joshua 1:1-2, 5-6, 7, 9, 18)
- Joshua 10:
"So it was, when they brought out those kings to Joshua, that Joshua called for all the men of Israel, and said to the captains of the men of war who went with him, "Come near, put your feet on the necks of these kings." And they drew near and put their feet on their necks. Then Joshua said to them, "Do not be afraid, nor be dismayed; be strong and of GOOD COURAGE, for thus the Lord will do to all your enemies against whom you fight." " (Joshua 10:24-25)
It is interesting to note that Joshua is a type of Christ, which is proven by Hebrews 4:8.
There are two more examples of 'âmats found in the Old Testament. They both pertain to incidents in the life of Solomon:
- 1Chronicles 22:9:
"Behold, a son shall be born to you, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies all around. His name shall be Solomon, for I will give peace and quietness to Israel in his days . . . Only may the Lord give you wisdom and understanding, and give you charge concerning Israel, that you may keep the law of the Lord your God. Then you will prosper, if you take care to fulfill the statutes and judgments with which the Lord charged Moses concerning Israel. Be strong and of GOOD COURAGE; do not fear nor be dismayed." (1Chronicles 22:9, 12-13)
- 1Chronicles 28:20:
"And David said to his son Solomon, 'Be strong and of GOOD COURAGE, and do it; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord God — my God — will be with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you . . .'" (1Chronicles 28:20)
One only need to look at Joshua to observe a sterling example of courageous behavior. We see from Numbers 13 and 14 that of the thirteen spies who were sent by Moses to spy out the land of Canaan only TWO returned to give a good report. Caleb was one of these; the other was Joshua. Numbers 14:30 states that only Caleb and Joshua of the generation that left Egypt -- a multitude of over nine million people -- would live to inherit Canaan.
We also have the perfect and universal example of our Savior, Jesus Christ, who so courageously gave His life for all of us.
A more personal example concerns my mother who lost her right leg to amputation. Several years ago my mother experienced several hard trials concerning her health - including open heart surgery. Yet, because of her positive attitude, she kept on going forward. If anyone exemplified a courageous heart in the face of trials it was her. Even when she was told that because of poor circulation she would lose her right leg, she, with courage, accepted the news. After the surgery her circulation problem was controlled and she learned to use a prosthesis. Her attitude to this day is still one of optimism. I am deeply gratified to know that her blood flows in my veins. I thank God for her every day.