We are going to look at a few verses in the first chapter of Joshua. Joshua is the sixth book of the Old Testament. The first five books, the Pentateuch, were written by Moses, and what we have here is a change of command. Moses has died, and Joshua is going to lead the people in his place. They have reached the Jordan River and Joshua is going to lead them across the Jordan River into the land of Canaan, which to them was the Promise Land. Prophetically, it speaks of a promise land that we are to move into also. So, the things that God spoke to Joshua are most important to us today.
It has been coming to us for a few weeks. My wife and I both feel like we are entering a new life, and that involves a number of things. It involves the fact that change is coming to us. The Lord Himself is changing the way that He relates to us, in the way that He is leading us, and we find that same thing happening here. Changes are taking place for the children of Israel. Moses was a great man, but they will not be led by Moses from this point on. They will be led into the land of Canaan by Joshua, the son of Nun.
Hopefully, everyone who will be reading this message will find themselves moving into something new also; change is taking place in your life. The things that you have known are passing away and new things are coming to pass. The way the Lord has revealed Himself and ministered to you in the past is changing, and you will find rising up within you a change of leadership. The Lord Jesus Himself is the One who leads us and the name Joshua, in the Greek, is Jesus. Jesus is changing, too, at least changing in the way He is revealing Himself to us, in the way that He is leading us. Things that you have known in the past may not work as well as they once did. You may find yourself moving into new territory. So, let’s begin with the first verse. If you listen to this with your heart, more so than your ears, this could be a word that will change your life.
Joshua 1:1-2 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’
2 Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise…
Now therefore arise…. Lift yourself up, arise up from where you are and get ready to receive new instructions, new ways. Big changes have come, and more big changes are to take place. From this point on, you are not ministering unto Moses and being a helper to him, but Moses is dead. From this point on, you are the one who is going to lead the people into the Promise Land. So, arise!
Joshua 1:2 …now therefore arise, go over this Jordan…
The word “Jordan” means descender. It always points to the Lord Jesus Himself, because He is the One who descended in order to lead us.
Joshua 1:2 …go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel.
All the promises that the Lord has given for this next realm, Joshua is to lead us into that.
Joshua 1:3 Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses.
The things that God said unto Moses, the same things will also come to pass now with new leadership. Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you. God gives it unto you as you walk in it. The promises of God are yea and Amen, just as Paul had said (II Corinthians 1:20), but that doesn’t mean they come to pass with no effort on our part. If there is a Word from the Lord, you have to walk in it. It doesn’t come to pass except by walking in it, living in it. That’s what it means when it says, “The sole of your foot shall tread upon.” As you walk in it, the possessing of it is the Lord giving it to you. Does that sound like an oxymoron? He gives it, but we are taking it and if we’re not taking it, He is not giving it. That’s the way it is. Then God explains it a little further.
Joshua 1:4 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.
Now, if you want to do a little work, you can look all this up geographically and find all the boundaries given here, and you will know all the land that the Lord has given unto Israel. However, all these things more accurately point to something spiritually that has to do with our inheritance.
Joshua 1:5 There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life…
Can you accept that? That the Lord has given you a Word and said every promise that you walk in, it has been given to you? In fact, that is the reason you can walk in it, because it has been given. There shall not any man be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Listen to that. This Word comes after God has already said, “Every place that the sole of your foot treads and walks in it.” There is advancement here. “I have given it unto you as I said unto Moses.”
If you want to take this Word for yourself, “Oh, all that He has said unto Moses is mine now,” that sounds good, but it is not going to do you a whole bunch of good unless you go back and find out what God said to Moses. That to me says, “Get back into those five books of the Pentateuch and find out what God said to Moses because everything He said to Moses is now available to us.”
Jesus said the same thing in John 5: 46: For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed Me: for he wrote of Me. Everything that is there. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I have to go back and find out how God was with Moses, and He is going to be the same way with me. Can you believe that? We are so full of unbelief that we find it difficult to believe the simplest things that the Lord has done. He tells us, “All right, every place where the sole of your foot shall tread, I am giving it to you.” That’s the same thing as saying, “Listen, are you willing to walk in it? That’s how you’re going to get it. That’s how it is given to you, by your walking in it.”
Joshua 1:5 …as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
Look at that verse! As I was with Moses, so I will be with thee. Can you put yourself into Joshua’s place for a moment and accept this for yourself that as God was with Moses, so He will be with you? That He will not fail you? Nor forsake you?
Joshua 1:6 Be strong and of good courage…
Already, the Lord understands how we are going to stumble over these things that He has said about the walking and we can receive. Believing that He is with us as He was with Moses, be strong and of good courage. Now, the Lord tells us to be strong and of good courage simply because we are going to need to be strong and of good courage! You’re going to have to be brave. God said, There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life. Yet you are going to find yourself with opposition standing before you continuously unless you really believe the Word that the Lord has said. It’s like when the Israelites got to the Red Sea, closed in on both sides from the mountains and the sea in front of them, Pharaoh and his army coming up fast from behind, you’re going to feel closed in at times and the enemy rushing in on your blindside. Be strong and of good courage. You will need to be strong. You will need to be courageous because there is going to be opposition.
Joshua 1:6 Be strong and of good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them.
You not only have to be strong and courageous for yourself but for the people also that you are in charge of. “Well, I’m not a pastor. I’m not in charge of anyone.” Yes, you are. You are your brother’s keeper.
Joshua 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.
God says it again. When He speaks something twice, it is very, very important: Only be thou strong and very courageous. The first time He says it, it is because you have to divide the inheritance. The second time God says it, “That you may observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded you: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper whithersoever you go.” Verse 8 must go with that.
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 will need to be a very, very good general. He was going to be up against all kinds of opposition. He was going to lead the people in the wars of annihilation in the land of Canaan. One nation after another, they would have to war against. He had to be a very, very good general. There was no great military school to attend at that time, so Joshua was told to not let the Word depart from his mouth. Meditate in it day and night. To Joshua, all he had was the Word of the Pentateuch which Moses had written, that which Moses had spoken to him. That’s what he had. Today we have not only that, but we have all the rest of the Old Testament and the New Testament. This giving yourself to the Word, meditating in it day and night, that is what will make you a good general. That is what will make you a good Christian. That is what will make you a good pastor. Regardless of what area the Lord leads you into, if you want to be prosperous, if you want to be successful, this is the key: Give yourself to the Word, meditate in it day and night, day and night. Give yourself to the Word. In this way the Word becomes alive in you and you learn how to really walk with God.
Is it the will of God for you to operate a grocery store? Well, it could be, but if you want to be a good grocery store operator, you give yourself to the Word. Has God called you to be a school teacher? Give yourself to the Word. Meditate in it day and night. That’s what makes a good school teacher. That’s what makes a good politician. You want to be in politics?
“What should I do to be a good politician? Should I go to Harvard?"
You should give yourself to the Word, to the Scriptures. That’s what makes a good politician. Any career you can think of, makes no difference what it is, how great it seems to be, how menial it is, a street cleaner? You can become a great street cleaner just by giving yourself to the Word. It makes no difference! What in life does God have for you? What is your career, big or small? What is it? How can you be the best that you can be? That is the advertisement for the Army. How do you do that? By giving yourself to the Scriptures, meditating in them day and night.
Catch that day and night. It didn’t say, “Well, every morning you shall read a chapter or two.”
“But I have to meditate on these Scriptures? I’ve got other things I need to do.”
Meditate on them – day and night. In other words, give yourself to the Word until it becomes a living part of you, that you do not have to think, “Oh, let’s see. I need to meditate on some scriptures. Which ones? Where’s my little box of promises?” So, you pull out your promise card from your Promise Box and think, “Hmmm, this looks like a good scripture. No, let me find another one. This one I’ll meditate on day and night.”
Listen, meditate on the Scriptures continuously – day and night, night and day. Why? 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.
Your way will become prosperous and you will be successful when you give yourself to the Word. You can lay your life down on that one.
Joshua 1:9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage…
Has not God Himself spoken this to you? If it’s just me telling you, you can wonder about that. But when God Himself is telling you these things, you can lay your life on it. And there again, for the third time in verse 9 God says, “Be strong and of good courage,” because He knows there is going to be some opposition. He says you will be successful, and you will be prosperous. He did not say there would not be any opposition, but God does say, “Be strong and of good courage,” because you will need it.
Joshua 1:9 …be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
For the Lord thy God is with you, wherever you go. Wherever you go!
Joshua 1:10 Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people…
Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people. When you get all that done, then you can begin speaking the Word, making a decree here and a decree there. Then you realize, “I’m going to be the best grocery store operator there is,” and you can be strong and of good courage and go after it. Or you can be a great general in the army. You can be a great politician. Then you can make the commands upon all the things involved in your life.
Give yourself to the Word. Do not let it depart from your mouth. That is important – the speaking of it, the talking of it. That is the reason I try to get everyone to speak the Word, bring a message here. Do not let the Word depart from your mouth and meditate in it day and night that you may observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then that will make your way prosperous and you will have good success. Amen.
Copyright © 2010 by Henry DuBose