Dale Ralph Davis (1944 – ), an honored professor of Old Testament, was called back into full-time pastoral ministry. He is well known for his lively devotional commentaries on Old Testament history books, such as Joshua, which combine thoughtful study with practical application. In Joshua 14, Caleb recalls how he and Joshua had stood alone and trusted God, when they spied out the Promised Land (cf. Num. 13-14): faith can sometimes be lonely. Davis writes:
Hence [for Caleb] the devotion of faith required courage, a willingness to stand alone, to go against the grain. The devotion of faith led to the isolation of faith. Such is often the case. The Christian teenager knows what this is like, when he or she must go against the moral-ethical flow of high-school culture. The Christian executive who tells his superior that he must either resign or be transferred to another department, because he refuses to line up prostitutes for the company’s weekend visitors—that man knows this loneliness. Even pastors know a good bit of this. So you will not baptize the grandchild of a church member because the parents are not believers? Or you have the gall, along with the other elders, to place someone under church discipline? You may seek to follow the Lord completely and at the same time reduce church membership. God’s people then must be prepared, for devoted faith frequently means lonely faith. And yet when Paul alluded to his first defense and lamented that “everyone deserted me,” he added in the next breath, “But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me” (2 Tim. 4:16-17).1
1 Dale Ralph Davis, Joshua: No Falling Words (Fearn: Christian Focus, 2002), 116-117.
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