Read: Joshua 1
Review: 4 From the wilderness and this Lebanon, even as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and as far as the Great Sea toward the setting of the sun will be your territory. 5 No man will be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you. 6 Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. 7 Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go. 8 This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
The book of Joshua opens with God speaking directly to Joshua. He lays out specific promises that he alone can fulfill.
v. 4 The land as far as the great sea towards the west will be the Israelites territory.
v. 5 No one will be able to stand before Joshua and the Israelite army for the duration of Joshua’s life. He would not need to fear the Israelites heading back into slavery.
v. 5 God promises not to fail Joshua
v. 6 The land promised to the Israelites would be given to them now.
v. 9. God is with Joshua wherever he goes.
Record: These are some big time promises here. The land from the wilderness to the river (where life and growth would exist) and everything in between was being promised to the Israelites again. This land was the original land God had set aside for his chosen people. Now occupied by those who worshipped other god’s it would soon be inhabited by it’s rightful owners. Still, there is a command in the middle of everything.
v. 8 you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success
For then you will make your way prosperous. There is an action required of God’s promises being fulfilled. God’s words and laws must stay at the forefront of the Israelites thoughts and actions. God must have his rightful place.
Reflect: The Israelites find themselves wandering in the wilderness many times over the old testament. It’s a pattern that goes back to Joshua 1:8. When God’s words and law are placed in the background the wilderness comes to the foreground.
Is it really that simple? Could the wilderness be kept at bay simply by keeping God’s words in the forefront of our minds?