Joshua 1:1

 

 

The Bible says in Joshua 1:1-2, “Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' minister, saying,[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.” Moses’ time was over, and then the Lord had a replacement for him. No one is indispensable. The Lord can replace you whenever He wants. The opportunity to serve the Lord is a great privilege. Use it while you can. Moses got everything ready to enter into the Promised Land, which set everything up for Joshua to go over the Jordan River and finish the job. That is a good way to view every Christian ministry. It is not only what I do, but what I am setting up the next generation to be able to do. When I start a new church with the Lord’s blessing, I want the property and the building and the testimony in the community to be ready for the next preacher and the next generation of Christians to go forward with what I have been able to put together with the help of the other Christians who have joined the congregation. It is another way in which Christians work together: the older generation helps to prepare the next generation both spiritually and materially. The devil will try to destroy a Christian work in many ways: to ruin the  testimony through horrible immorality, and to destroy the work through debt and the inability to pay off the debts. Many Christian ministries have been destroyed because they over-extended themselves materially-speaking. People say when they take on debt, “God will provide.” But God has already provided by giving you a brain. Use your brain to understand the value of a dollar. Use your brain to prepare for the future when you might have less money coming into your ministry.

 

The Bible says in Joshua 1:3-4, “Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses.[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.” God promised that He would give this land to Abraham and his descendants. Moses was told about the promise of the land. And now Joshua is being reminded of the same promise. The same promise is in effect today, but the current Israel is much smaller than God intends it to be and that it will one day be. Notice in this description that the Promised Land boundaries go all the way to the Euphrates River, which would include part of Syria and Iraq.

 

The Bible says in Joshua 1:5-7, “There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.[6] Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them.[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.” Joshua had big shoes to fill. He was Moses’ replacement. Joshua had an important task to lead the children of Israel across Jordan and into the Promised Land. There was going to be difficulty. There was going to be trouble. There was going to be opposition. There was going to be war. But God promised that Joshua would have victory. God said to Joshua in verse five, “I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” What more do you want than the promise of Almighty God being with you every step of the way. We have the same promise from Jesus. Jesus said, “I am with you always even to the end of the world.” Inverse six God told Joshua, “Be strong and of a good courage.” In verse seven God told Joshua, “Only be thou strong and very courageous.” Faith in the Lord Jesus will give us strength and courage. In verse seven God told Joshua to “observe to do according to all the law.” We are not under law, but under grace; but the principle is the same. We have the Word of God which is our guide and our foundation for faith and practice. We must study it and put it into practice in our lives. If we do, then we also will “prosper whithersoever” we go. Wherever you go, make sure that you take the name of Jesus and the Word of God with you.   

 

The Bible says in Joshua 1:8, “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 Joshua was told to do three things, and if he did them, there would be three results. The first thing Joshua was told to do was, “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth.” Learn the Word of God, so that you can speak it. Memorize Bible verses so that you can speak them. Learn how to bring the Bible into your daily conversation. You will not only be helping others and putting things into the right perspective, but you will also be helping yourself. The things that you say will be the things that you believe. The things that you say will build up your own faith or tear it down.

 

The second thing that Joshua was told to do was to “meditate therein day and night.” We want to think about what the Bible says as often as we can. For example, there would be a lot fewer unwanted pregnancies and a lot fewer sexually transmitted disease if more people would think about this Bible verse: “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” More people would be happy and would be positive thinkers if they thought about this Bible verse in Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Once we believe on Jesus, we are called to live a life of faith. That is only possible to the degree that we think about the Word. “Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God

 

The third thing that Joshua was told to do in Joshua 1:8 was to “observe to do according to all that is written therein.” We do not read and study the Word of God just to learn it, we read it in order to put it into practice. It says in James 1:22, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves

 

If the three things are done: speaking the Word, meditating on the Word, and doing what the Word says, these are the two results that will surely follow: 1. Thy way shall be prosperous. 2. Thou shalt have good success. The world lies. It basically teaches that if you do these things, you will lose. The world teaches that is you do sinful things, you will gain. How wrong they are. They are wrong because God is holy and God is the Judge of the whole earth, and we reap what we sow.

 

The Bible says in Joshua 1:9, “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” Christians should be the bravest and the strongest of all people. Why? Because “the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” We have the invisible power always with us.

 

The Bible says in Joshua 1:10-11, “Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying,[11] Pass through the host, and command the people, saying, Prepare you victuals; for within three days ye shall pass over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land, which the LORD your God giveth you to possess it.” Joshua made the statement in verse eleven before the people crossed into the Promised Land, “Prepare you victuals.” Make sure your body is prepared, as well as your soul. Make sure you take care of practical needs as well as spiritual needs. That is an important detail. Many ministries have fallen apart for financial and material reasons. If you pay as you go, and if you avoid debt, and if you trust the Lord to give you the finances before you commit your ministry to some project, you just might be insuring the survivability of your ministry. The key word is “Prepare.” Prepare for the material and practical needs before you start a project. That is one reason that retired Christians are often well set up for ministry: God has given them many years to get their financial house in order so that they can be involved in a ministry or start a ministry with their own practical needs already met.

 

The Bible says in Joshua 1:12-15, “And to the Reubenites, and to the Gadites, and to half the tribe of Manasseh, spake Joshua, saying,[13] Remember the word which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, saying, The LORD your God hath given you rest, and hath given you this land.[14] Your wives, your little ones, and your cattle, shall remain in the land which Moses gave you on this side Jordan; but ye shall pass before your brethren armed, all the mighty men of valour, and help them;[15] Until the LORD have given your brethren rest, as he hath given you, and they also have possessed the land which the LORD your God giveth them: then ye shall return unto the land of your possession, and enjoy it, which Moses the LORD's servant gave you on this side Jordan toward the sunrising.” The first phrase of verse thirteen says, “Remember the word…” That is what every Christian needs to do. We need to read the Word of God, we need to study the Word of God, and then we need to “remember” the word of God. Some Christians do not read the Word of God enough. Some Christians do not study the Word of God enough. Some Christians do enough reading and studying, but they do not remember the Word of God when it is time to make a decision or when a crisis comes into their lives and they react the human way instead of the way they previously learned from the Word.

 

In the last part of verse fourteen Moses said, “ye shall pass before your brethren armed, all the mighty men of valour, and help them.” Everyone needs help. We are stronger when we work together. We are weaker when we work alone. We need to think about others and how we can help them.

 

One thing to notice about verse fifteen is that the sons of Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh were told not to return to their families until the other tribes had conquered their areas too. In other words: finish the job. If God calls you to start something, then He wants you to finish it too. Once their work was done God told them, “ye shall return unto the land of your possession, and enjoy it.” God wants us to enjoy life. If you are not enjoying life, there is something really wrong. Turn to Jesus, and find the abundant life that He alone can give.

 

The Bible says in Joshua 1:16-18, “And they answered Joshua, saying, All that thou commandest us we will do, and whithersoever thou sendest us, we will go.[17] According as we hearkened unto Moses in all things, so will we hearken unto thee: only the LORD thy God be with thee, as he was with Moses.[18] Whosoever he be that doth rebel against thy commandment, and will not hearken unto thy words in all that thou commandest him, he shall be put to death: only be strong and of a good courage.” We are not allowed to pick and choose which commandments of Christ that we will obey. The people of Israel had all the commandments of the law that they were required to obey. Christians have the teachings of Christ and the teachings of the New Testament. Notice that verse eighteen says about anyone who is rebellious: “he shall be put to death.” That is the difference between the Old Testament and the New Testament. The death penalty was given often and easily to anyone who failed at obeying any of the commandments of the law. It is not like that now because we are in the age of grace, and we benefit from the death of Christ. Jesus died so that we would not have to die.

 

In verse seventeen the children of Israel said to Joshua, “According as we hearkened unto Moses in all things, so will we hearken unto thee: only the LORD thy God be with thee, as he was with Moses.” The people at this point were good followers. God chose someone to lead them, and they knew that to serve God, they must follow this leader. God uses people, and He puts some people into positions of leadership. It says in Ephesians 4:11 that after Jesus ascended into heaven, “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers.” The apostles and prophets were only for the first century in order to get Christianity founded; and since then we have evangelists and pastor-teachers to be the leaders of the Christian people. Of course, the Israelites would only follow their leader as long as the leader followed God. With all of the corrupt seminaries and false teachings that are rampant today, Christian congregations should be very discerning, but once they have a good pastor to make sure that they support him in every way that they can: with prayers, attendance, fellowship, work, spiritual gifts, and being a witness in the community.        

                 

 

 

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Copyright; 2019 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
All Rights Reserved