Profiles of Courage: Jonathan Edwards.         

A profile is a sketch or a summary of an individual’s life or a brief episode in a person’s life. Courage refers to doing what is right, even when facing opposition. It is synonymous with bravery, nerve, valor, or guts.

Joshua 1:1-9 indicates the importance of having biblical courage. Joshua had faithfully served God as Moses’ right hand man for forty years following Israel’s Exodus from Egypt. He had witnessed a lot in those forty years. He had seen Moses lead close to two million people during all sorts of situations, both the good and the bad, during those four decades.

But Moses was now dead. Who would lead the Nation of Israel into the Promised Land and conquer it for Israel’s good and for God’s glory? The Lord knew who He wanted, but the man the Lord had set His sovereign call upon wasn’t too sure he was qualified for the job, or that he even wanted the job. The man in question was Joshua.

It was one thing to play second fiddle to Moses for forty years. I was quite another to now be the maestro who would be in charge of leading the orchestra. But Joshua was the man God wanted, called and would use. God knew Joshua needed encouragement and courage. So God came to Joshua and had an audience with the reluctant leader. Joshua 1:1-9 records what God said.

“After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, “Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised to Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun shall be your territory. No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. 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. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

God uses men and woman who are strong and courageous. God chooses to use men and woman who resolve to obey the Lord no matter the cost. Joshua would prove to be such a man. Men and woman of biblical courage were needed then in Joshua’s day and age. They are also needed in our day and age.

Periodically, we will take a brief look at particular individuals in Scripture, or in church history, who profile, or illustrate, courage and conviction to stand for biblical truth. One such individual was Martin Luther whose life we profiled in October 2017 when we observed the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. Another individual was Jonathan Edwards.

For the next several days we will examine the life and ministry of Jonathan Edwards. We will profile the man and the work God accomplished through him. We will see the highpoints of his ministry, and the often debated controversies surrounding this pastor and theologian. The goal of this profile is not only to find out who Edwards was, but also to remove the all too frequent misunderstandings that occur when his name is mentioned. We will also seek to understand why this man of the 18th century still impacts the church in the 21st century.

Thank you for joining me in the journey.

Soli deo Gloria!

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