NLT Joshua 1:5-9 "No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you. 6 Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them. 7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. 8 Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. 9 This is my command-be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."
The Lord charged Joshua to take the Israelites into the land which was promised them. It was time. God told him to be "strong and courageous" three times in this passage. He also spoke the same thing in Deuteronomy 30 and said "be strong and courageous" twice.
There is so much in this passage! Here are a few things that will encourage you.
1. "For I will be with you." We see our loving, protective Father. He goes before us. He knows tomorrow. He sees down the road what we are going to deal with. And children of God will be protected, and covered. He has our backs, our fronts, and our sides. When it seems that you have been caught off guard, know that He is never caught off guard. He already knows, and it is already taken care of. He will not fail. He can't fail. So He alone is enough!
2. "Be strong and courageous." Five times God says this in these two passages. God is saying, "Because I see before you, and I stay right with you, the enemy will not stand. My purpose always prevails! If you are in Me, you are in my purpose! So no matter what you see going on around you, stay strong! Be brave knowing I have you!" That takes trust. That takes faith.
3. "Study this Book of Instruction continually." Verse 8 tells us to Meditate on it day and night.
Now bear with me because I want you to see a beautiful treasure I uncovered in this verse.
Let's look at this verse again in the NIV. Joshua 1:8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.
The word meditate in Hebrew means "hagah". It is pronounced "daw-gaw" It means to think about and ponder the word. To study and learn it. But another part of its definition is the sound of a harp when struck, the cooing of doves, the sound of low thunder, or the roar of a lion over its prey. Not only does "meditate" mean to ponder, but it has sound! Am I loosing you? Hang on.
Now if you go to the first part of the verse it says to not let the Word depart from your mouth. We live in a world where we tend to think that depart is like an airplane departing from the terminal, or our car departing from the garage. So, then we might think that we are not to let the Word leave out of our mouth like an airplane leaves the terminal. So is that verse contradictory to other parts of the Bible where we are to speak the Word of God? No. Depart in the Hebrew is the word mush. It is pronounced moosh. It means to cease, or remove. In other words, don't let the Word of God stop coming out of your mouth! Continue to speak the Word of God.
Lets put this together now. God wants us to ponder and study the Word daily. Get it deep in our hearts. "God's Word, like a lamp, illuminates. It helps us discern spiritual danger so we can avoid it, and it points us in the right direction to take our lives. It lights the path we take through life." Psalm 119:105
Ephesians says that the Bible is our Sword. I like to think of my sword differently than what you usually see, one long heavy blade and a handle. I envision a massive, and I do mean massive, Swiss Army Knife that has many blades. And depending on the situation, whether it is to encourage someone, or witness to the lost, or to fight a battle, if I have the word deep in my heart because I meditated/pondered it day and night, I can open my mouth for Word departure, and God will flick a switch and the right blade/verse will come to my memory, and it will either be cooing like doves or ROAR like a lion over its prey! Do you get that?!
We can speak scripture to a hurting widow and it be like striking a beautiful harp, or we can battle for breakthrough with scripture, and it send the enemy packing because he heard the roar of the Lion of Judah!
Be encouraged! He has already gone before you, be strong and brave in His presence and in His Word!