May 1 | Waking with The Word | Joshua 1: 2,4,7
Joshua 1:2 Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel.
Joshua 1:4 From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast.
Joshua 1:7 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 whithersoever thou goest. :8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
Our verses today are the Words of God to Joshua. This is what God felt was absolutely crucial for Joshua and Israels' success. Joshua and Israel knew they were supposed to take Canaan land, they knew that God had promised this land to Abraham's children centuries ago but even though they knew where to go and what to do I'm glad to see that God showed up to speak with Joshua with special instruction and encouragement for the chapters ahead. Mind you this isn't the last time they'll hear from God either but at every turn God is speaking with them for further advancement. Our Christian life will be similar to this, not that God shows up and speaks in a audible voice any more, but if His Spirit is dwelling in you then he will lead us by the guidance of His Spirit. Let me pause and say that a lot of things get blamed on "God told me to" this should be passed through the filter of Scripture, God would never tell you to do something contrary to His Word.
In Our verses today are 3 different things that God is telling to Joshua
1. Words of Instruction
Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them,....
Even though Joshua knew this was the Lords plan all along God shewed up to confirm that this is what I want from you and Israel. God didn't leave them stumbling about to figure it out on their own and He doesn't leave us stumbling around in the dark about what we should do. God will show up in your life at the right time and let you know what the next step is. His 1st instruction to Joshua was "go over this Jordan". In the Christians life our 1st instruction is to cross over Jordan. Let's try to make an application to ourselves. There comes a time in a Christians life where we are standing at the banks of decision like the children of Israel. This wasn't the first time they had stood on the banks of the river Jordan. If you go back to Deuteronomy they were given the same instruction but chose to disobey God and His plan because of fear. Now God brings us to a point where His will is clear and plain and we are faced with the decision, do I go and live in the will of God or do I determine that my way and my thinking is best? Let me strongly encourage you to live in the book of Joshua so to speak and not in the book of Deuteronomy. Your life can be filled with victory and conquering and miracles from God(Book of Joshua) or if you rebel like they did in Deuteronomy your life can be filled with hunger and fighting and rebellion and wandering about in a dry and thirsty land. In Joshua they thrived, in Deuteronomy they survived. The instruction given to them is the instruction God gives to all His children. Leave the wilderness in the past cross over Jordan and live your life in His will.
2. Words of Inheritance
From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast.
God was letting them know that their fight wasn't going to be in vain, that they weren't fighting a losing battle. So He tells them of what the plans on giving them as a reward for their fight. They have for a long time been living in tents, passing trough a dry land as pilgrims. Never driving their tent s stakes to deep because they knew it wouldn't be long before they would be packing up and moving on. So the prospects of having a home with land and a place to rest for more than a few weeks or months was enough to keep them fighting. Dear reader, our christian life is not being lived in vain we are not fighting a losing battle, but rather our captain has already won the victory. Our lives here seem so short with constant change but i can fight another day because I know that my home isn't here. I have an inheritance, it's not treasure here where moth and rust corrupts but my treasure is laid up in heaven. Dear Christian don't invest all your life in the here in now, it will all pass away, but like the Savior instructed us lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven, that's the place of our inheritance. They were fighting for a land that was already promised to them and we are fighting for a land already promised to all who will believe.
3. Words of Inspiration.
Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law,
This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
God didn't leave them comfortless. He gave them something to inspire them to carry on. Two things in these verses.
Strengthwas what was going to be necessary for victory. This word strength here gives the idea of fortitude or resilience. It means to stand resolute having your mind made up that neither life nor death nor hell or high water will deter you from the objective at hand. Joshua was a man with made up mind and if we ever plan to accomplish anything for God we are going to have to be strong in the sense of unmovable in our determination to follow His lead an plan. throughout history it has been the people with made up minds that have made the biggest impact. Look to the Apostles their mind was so made up that they were willing to die for their beliefs, that is the real definition of strength, not putting on a show of power and letting everyone know how tough you are but being so determined that there is absolutely nothing that could separate you from doing His will. After all according to Romans 8 there is nothing that can separate us from the love of God,which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. If we cannot be separated from His love then why should we separate from His will.
Scripture was going to be necessary for their success. He was instructed to meditate therein day and night. Obviously this would require reading the Scriptures that they had at that time. The Torah or books of Moses, this was going to be there instruction manual and inspiration for operation. The command was to meditate. Meditating isn't reading, although reading is required, without reading it you'll have nothing to meditate on. Meditating is the process of thinking and considering. What you think about throughout your day matters. What fills your mind? Is it stress? Is it vanity? Is it money? Do you know what will bring you good success as a Christian? Fill your mind with the scripture that God has given us. Genesis to Revelation. His Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. When hidden in our hearts it keeps us from sin and we know that sin is the cause of death.
As Christians on our conquest of our Canaan God will not leave us without a word. He gives us words of Instruction, words of Inheritance and inspired words of inspiration.
Onward Christian Soldier!!