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What is the [REAL] Meaning of Deuteronomy 31:6 KJV, NIV & ESV?

January 07, 2022

The Meaning of Deuteronomy 31:6 KJV, NIV & ESV

Sometimes in life, we are faced with a task or trial that looks bigger than what we can handle or even seems impossible that we begin to quiver. There are no temptations/difficulties that are bigger than God. We fear or tremble because we often compare our capabilities with the task in view. The scripture says in I Samuel 2 verse 9,

“He will guard the feet of His saints, but the wicked shall be silent in darkness.

For by strength no man shall prevail.”  

This is a verse of promise made to the people of Israel and Joshua but it is applicable to all believers. God told the children of Israel not to be afraid or tremble but to stand strong and be of good courage. He guarantees them of His divine presence at every stage of their journey to the Promised Land. 

This is a strong invitation for every true believer to trust God and His words. Say Complete No to “Self”, rather display your total confidence in God. Cast away every element of fear for God’s grace is sufficient for you.

Look only unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. God says He will not leave you nor forsake you. Anything that cannot touch God cannot touch you. You are not alone. Whatever promises God has made to you, be assured that He will bring them to pass.

Who wrote Deuteronomy 31:6 and when was it written?

Deuteronomy 31:6 was written by Moses in the 7th century BCE.

What is the context of Deuteronomy 31?

The context of Deuteronomy 31 is about Moses’ final words of encouragement to the Israelites and a call to Joshua to be strong and courageous for the assignment before him. 

It also talks about the Law of Moses which is to be read every seven years. This chapter represents the handling over from Moses to Joshua. Moses first reassured the people of the presence of God with them and later introduced Joshua to them as their new leader. He told both the people and Joshua to be strong and be brave.

Deuteronomy 31 verses 6 to 8 says, 

“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. 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 to give them, and you shall cause them to inherit it. And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”

Joshua was fully prepared for the leadership, he was up to the task. (Deuteronomy 3:28). Moses was conscious of this without any doubt, all he did was to encourage him.

Moses also gave specific instructions about the laws. He wrote the laws down and delivered them to the Priests, the sons of Levi who will carry the ark of the covenant of the Lord. He asked them to read the laws every seven years that everyone including their unborn children may learn to revere the Lord and carefully observe all the words of the law.

Moses closed the chapter with a prediction of Israelites rebellion and the consequences of evils and troubles that will befall them. The Lord told him that the people will rise and play the harlot with the gods of the foreigners of the land, and they will forsake Him and break His covenant which He has made with them. Moses was in no doubt of this too, as he stated in verse 27 of the chapter,

“For I know your rebellion and your stiff neck. If today, while I am yet alive with you, you have been rebellious against the Lord, then how much more after my death?”

Moses finally prepared a song as a witness for the prediction and then spoke in the hearing of all the assembly of Israel the words of this song as instructed by God. 

What is the message of Deuteronomy 31:6?

The message of Deuteronomy 31:6 is a strong reassurance of the omnipresent God in every life situations.

Human beings are limited in nature but we serve an unlimited God. God is always available for His children. He knows our limits, He will not tempt beyond our limit because He is our creator.

God has challenged us to be strong in the power of His strength. The bible says in I John 4 verse 4, “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world”

We are admonished to live with this mentality. God said in the anchor verse, “Do not be afraid of them.” Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul, but rather fear those who can destroy both soul and body in hell. No matter what you are going through, the Lord is with you, He will never leave nor forsake you.

To be strong and of good courage in the Lord is to trust in God. He is faithful to see us through.

At times, when God himself assigns a task to us it seems we cannot handle them because we behold the task with our physical eyes. Thinking our physical strength will bail us out.

Let your faith and hope come alive in God, you will discover that He will never give you a task that will overwhelm you. I Corinthians 10 verse 13 says,  “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”

If He is the owner of the assignment, He will definitely lead and support you to deliver the assignment. Matthew 28 verse 20 says, “Teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

God is with us always even unto the end of the world. Therefore, be strong and resolute. 

 What is the meaning of “Be strong and of good courage”?

‘Be strong and of good courage means to focus on God as the source of our strength. 

To be strong means to look beyond your physical strength because your physical strength will fail. The bible says in Proverbs 24 verse 10, “If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.” 

The giver of strength is telling us to be strong. He is the everlasting God, the Lord, and the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will never faint nor is He weary. His understanding is unsearchable.  He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might, He increases strength. (Isaiah 40: 29-29).

The effect of the consciousness of divine strength is courage. Courage is the product of your absolute reliance on God. We must be strong and be bold to face every challenges that comes our way.

Strength and courage can only come from God, through Christ, as we align with His plans and purpose for our lives. Paul said in Philippians 4 verse 13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Maintain a constant fellowship with God to access His strength. The word of God says they go from strength to strength, everyone appeared before the Lord in Zion (Psalm 84:7). Listen to the word and obey every instructions from it, study, and meditate on the word of God. Let the word dwell richly in your heart and see God strengthening you more and more as you do so.

What is the meaning of “Do not fear nor be afraid of them”

“Do not fear nor be afraid of them” means to be bold as we confront the issues of life.

One of the tools the enemies use to attack believers is fear. You naturally become prey to anything you fear. Fear is a torment. It does not do any good to its victims. You cannot conquer the enemy that you fear.

This is the main reason God mentioned to Joshua and the people of Israel to cast out every fear in them. Believers are meant to be bold as a lion, this is simply to be fearless and confident in your pursuit not minding the obstacles. Anything that cannot stop God cannot stop those that trust in Him.

Isaiah 41 verse 10 says, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

Apostle says in II Timothy 1 verse 7, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

The cure for fear is faith. You cannot trust God more than what you know about Him. Build your faith in God and His words. Do not be afraid of anyone; the Lord your God himself will fight for you.

What is the meaning of “For the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you”?

“For the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you” means God is ever present with you.

Everything trembles at the presence of God. In His presence, there is fullness of joy and at His right hand are pleasures forevermore. You supernaturally enjoy eternal rest when God is on a trip with you, No wonder David says in Psalm 51 verse 11, “Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.”

The presence of God secures the believers. The enemies cannot withstand His presence. As smoke is driven away, as wax melts before the fire, so the wicked perish at the presence of God. (Psalm 68: 2). 

If God is with you, nothing can stare you at your face. David says in Psalm 23 verse 4, 

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”

God is your refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble. Seek Him with all your heart, He will never leave nor forsake you.

This is a promise of God to go with us in every situation and circumstance in life.

What is the difference in biblical translations of Deuteronomy 31:6 (NKJV, KJV, NIV & ESV)?

Deuteronomy 31:6 NKJV biblical translation says

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 31:6 KJV biblical translation says:

Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV biblical translation says:

 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.””

Deuteronomy 31:6 ESV biblical translation says:

“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”

There is no difference in the three translations between NKJV, NIV and ESV

NKJV says Do not fear nor be afraid of them

NIV says Do not be afraid or terrified because of them,

ESV says Do not fear or be in dread of them

To be terrified means to be scared, while dread means fear.

However, the three translations have the same meaning.

How do I apply Deuteronomy 31:6 to my life?

Applying Deuteronomy 31:6 to my life is to keep my faith alive and strong whenever I am faced with any situation. 

It is not unspiritual to be challenged but it is unscriptural to be defeated by challenges. A great and effectual doors are open to us as believers but there are many adversaries. To combat those adversaries, we need to keep our faith strong. 

Ignore what people say about you. Do not be limited to your present situations, be focused on only what God says about you. 

Isaiah 53 verse 1 admonishes us, “Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”

God says he will not leave nor forsake you. Walk in the reality of this promise. 

Ask for His Help in prayer, believe in Him and you shall overcome.

What is a Deuteronomy 31:6 prayer?

Almighty Father, thank You for always being there for me in times of need. Help me to be strong and courageous as I face new challenges. Let me be more aware of your presence so I can trust in you all the days of my life, this I pray in Jesus' name. AMEN

Conclusion

Trusting in God as our true source of strength is what drives believers to go forward. The situation around you may not look like it. You may look small but you have a God that is bigger than that problem. We may sometimes feel abandoned by other people, God will never abandon you. He will never leave nor forsake you.

It was not the five stones that David used to kill Goliath, neither is it his strength that propels the stone that pierced through the head of Goliath. It is God working behind the scene with David that gave him the victory.

Take heed and Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.

 


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