“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; 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.
9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Joshua 1, NIV
I remember taking a ride in a glass bottomed boat in the tropics. Such a deep and vivid display rolled out before me. It was beautifully complex, and my tiny view into the depths was quite exceptional. To think, this is all unfolding even when we aren’t looking. It is a world completely beyond our own. There are several valid and living principles embedded in these verses. As we gaze into these depths we are magnificently drawn to Him in many ways. These verses are sublime. Thinking such thoughts is one of reasons we were created for.
The promises of God are really not that hidden or secret. We only have to look into this “leather bound’ book. When we look to the point of exclusion of everything else, we are sure to see things that we never dreamed of. In Joshua, chapter 1, we get a deep view of how God starts touching a human soul. Certain issues get negotiated. Joshua is brought into compliance to God’s intention.
And us. What can we say? Some of us may hold that Joshua was the exception and substantially distinct. But I think, in a most sincere way possible, he was the norm. When God deals most exceptionally with our open hearts. He will always bring us to the compliance of Joshua. What Joshua did was quite exceptional, and yet it was very ordinary and only moderately intense. Faith translates and makes the transition.
These verses somehow magnetically draw us to obedience. The command is to courageous. Courage is definitely a very rare commodity for us. Joshua is brought to this point, and he must trust to the place of personal loss, or whatever it takes.
Success is being highlighted. And than the Word, and when you mix the two, it develops into something that is spiritually elegant and complete. Meditating, or the original Heb. which means to ruminate, brings us to the delightful moment of digestion. We can never just take in God’s Word. We must “process it.” That takes not just time, but chewing and swallowing. It is not gulped, but it has to be assimilated. It must be “intelligently chewed.” We must nibble, and never try to gulp, no matter how sweet it is.
Joshua was requested to keep the Word, completely and situational in front of him. Success would come, but only come if he would simply obey. Obedience seems like such a bitter truth. I must confess, I honestly hate obedience. Christianity can be terribly hard it seems, especially so when it is active, real and “in place.” I admit I’m not 100 per cent sure. But I know enough that I should trust, but although it took me fifty years.
One of the main themes found in these verses is the idea the idea that God’s presence is that it is specifically focused on me. When He concentrates on me, when He makes me His bullseye, it has a momentum to transform me. God’s rich presence starts to foment in me, I can transform into another person. Joshua was changed as he processed rightfully the nearness of his Father. Help me Lord, to follow you into this intimacy. Give me your understanding, inject yourself into here, in my feeble thought and understanding.