Joshua 1

Joshua 1 has Moses death in the rear view mirror and a new leader at the helm.  “Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people”.  God doesn’t wait long to get the people ready to cross the Jordan once Moses has died.  In fact, they are told to be ready to go in three days time.  Joshua is prepared and ready to lead the charge into the new land.  And God gives him a promise to hang his hat on: “Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised to Moses”.

The truth is that leadership happens when God prepares the way.  For Joshua, God makes it clear that “no man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you”.  Walking with God makes it a pretty unfair situation for anyone else that gets in the way.  Joshua is given some powerful promises here.  “I will not leave you or forsake you….Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them”.  He has been equipped to do the work that God has set before him and is given a promise he knows he can depend on.  He’s seen Moses lead on that very same promise the past 40 years.  It will continue in his life.

There are a few requirements on his part though.  “Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success”.  Obedience is the key to turning that promise on.  God does require that we focus on His Word and walk in it.  And He tells Joshua the secret: “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”.  The truth of the matter is that we have to be focused on God’s Word – hearing, reading, studying, memorizing and meditating on it day and night.  If we don’t know it we can’t live it.

Why should we do that?  God is clear that obedience is the key to receiving His blessing.  “For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success”.  It is the same if/then reality God has given to all those who have led before Joshua.  Follow God’s direction and life goes well.  In fact, you can’t fail.  “Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go”.  Joshua knows his marching orders – they are to obey and walk with God.  And the rest of the people begin his leadership journey on board as they say “Just as we obeyed Moses in all things, so we will obey you”.  We’ll see how long that lasts……

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