Fear or Faith

Joshua 1:16
“And they answered Joshua, “All that you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go.”


Written by: Russ Ripley

The nation of Israel was on the verge of entering into the land that God had promised them. It was a promise given to Abraham in the book of Genesis. Israel had been at this very place 40 years before, ready to enter into the promised land. God promised to go before them just like He had when they left captivity in Egypt and passed through the Red Sea. He had led them through the wilderness as a cloud by day and a column of fire by night. God had miraculously provided for them the entire time. But when they came to the point of entering into the promised land the Bible says in Deuteronomy 1:26, “Yet you would not go up, but rebelled against the command of the Lord your God.”

Why would the Israelites refuse to go into the land even after seeing God continuously lead and protect them? One reason: fear.

Deuteronomy 1:28 says, “Where are we going up? Our brothers have made our hearts melt, saying, ‘The people are greater and taller than we. The cities are great and fortified up to heaven. And besides, we have seen the sons of the Anakim there.’”

So, God had them wander in the wilderness for 40 years.

In this passage, Israel is in the exact same position. God has told them to enter into the land and they have a choice to make. Do they cross the Jordan River and go where God has told them to go? The cities were still fortified, the people in the land were still tall and strong, and there were still “giants in the land.” What did they do?

Joshua 1:16 is the nation’s response, “And they answered Joshua, ‘All that you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go.’” They followed Joshua and God led them through the Jordan River on dry ground into the promised land.

What was the difference between the first and the second time Israel was at the Jordan river? Faith. The second time the people trusted God. They believed all of His promises. They had experienced His faithfulness while in the desert, and they believed what God had said to them.

Unafraid Devo 5.21Thought of the day: Is there something that you know God is leading you to do? You have a choice: fear or faith. Don’t let fear keep you from the blessing of following God.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me to trust You. I know You have been with me this far and I know You will be with me always. Help me to follow You in faith, believing Your many promises. Amen.