Joshua 1: Advice to a New Leader
Welcome to Joshua. In chapter 1, Joshua had just been handed the power to lead Israel into the Promised Land. I have a feeling that he must have been a little bit nervous. After all, leading an entire nation involves a lot of responsibility.
However, it must’ve been good for him to hear God telling that everything would be all right. Literally hearing from God would do something for my confidence.
Jos 1:5 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.
Jos 1:6 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.
Jos 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.
Jos 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.
Jos 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.
I know there is a lot here, but let’s break it down by verse. Verse five guarantees military success. No one would be able to stand before him and the people of Israel. That was probably one of his biggest fears since the people of Israel trembled in fear last time they considered going into the Promised Land.
Verse six then guarantees this success one more time. He told Joshua that he would be the one to allocate the land to the tribes of Israel. He could only do that if he was able to conquer the entire land. That is one more assurance there would not be a problem.
Verse seven does add a condition to this success. He needed to continue following God. I would hope that this would be rather obvious given all that we have been talking about through Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. Particularly, everything at the end of Deuteronomy where you can receive blessings for following God and curses for not following Him should make this self-evident.
The same thought is kind of continued in verse eight. Joshua is instructed to learn the law. This is a lot like how we are assigned to learn the Bible. Obviously, it is a good thing to know the word of God so that you can follow Him. After all, how can you follow what you do not know?
Finally, verse nine wraps everything up with a summary of all that we have talked about. You do not need to fear because God is with you.
As much as this applied to Joshua, it applies to you and me as well. We have God dwelling in us, and we do not need to fear anything. I really liked this passage, and I’m sure that Joshua did too.