(Joshua 1:6-9 ESV) 6 Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. 7 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 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 good success. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.
From the very outset of the leadership transition from Moses to Joshua, God established His promises to Joshua, and the requirement to obey the Book of the Law that had been passed down by Moses. Notice the commandments of the Lord to Joshua…
- Be careful to do according to all the law.
- Do not turn from it.
- Don’t let it depart from your mouth.
- Meditate on it day and night.
Every promise was contingent upon Joshua’s willingness to prioritize the Word of the Lord as it was given by Moses. Twice, God instructs Joshua to “be careful to do according to all…” Not some. Not a modified, or personalized version. But, the exact interpretation of the law as it was passed down.
As a pastor, I can relate to the responsibility that was placed upon Joshua. God told him, “YOU shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them.” The level of Israel’s inheritance would be directly proportional to Joshua’s ability to effectively lead the people. He would have to find ways to clearly communicate all the Book of the Law.
Let’s be clear, Joshua could only teach and declare the content of the Book of the Law–he had no power to make them do it. Even when warned, Achan still disobeyed and brought judgment upon his family and the nation of Israel.
One of my great frustrations in ministry is when people live in open rebellion to Scripture. Or, they make up their own version of what they think Scripture means. By doing this, they forfeit divine blessings and open themselves to judgment.
While it is true that we are no longer obligated to keep the law, we are obligated to know and do the things that are required in Scripture. Here’s the kicker… When we realize that being obedient is beneficial, we will feel honored to obey rather than forced to obey.
PRAYER: I feel honored and blessed to be Your obedient servant. Help me to know and do what Your word commands so others may be blessed through my obedience and leadership. amen.