"Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper withersoever thou goest."
The Israelites stood out among the other nations of the land because their trust was in God. Taking a stand for God takes courage. It’s a lot more comfortable to fit in, to blend in with society. In addition, it feels better to be in control. If God had said, “Grab your swords, put in some target practice, and plan some strategies,” it would have been more encouraging than, “Learn and obey my word.” If they could have leapt into chariots and followed a warrior king like other nations, their differences would have been less obvious. But they were scraggly group of nobodies trusting God.
The land the Israelites were meant to possess was inhabited land, land occupied in some places by giant-like peoples, land in which “people greater than you” lived in. Furthermore, Israel was a nomadic, non-fighting people. It seemed foolish to trust God. It looked foolish to walk silently around the Jericho walls. They had to feel like foolish odd-balls, but they were willing to be different. Inheriting their promise depended on it. Trusting in God's enduring word may not have been the popular thing to do. Following His instructions may have made them look like fools in the eyes of others, but doing so set them apart in the best possible way: They belonged to God, and He belonged to them. His presence and His blessings were different from what the inhabitants of the land experienced, and that was a kind of different that was worth standing out!
Tip/Tidbit: Don’t be afraid to stand on God’s word today. It may seem foolish to choose His word over what popular opinions may say, but know that He will be faithful to His word when everything else fails. Dare to be different! You can be God's and He can be yours!