Theme: The Nature of God’s Commissioning of Joshua
This week’s lessons show why Joshua should be studied today, and what things God considers necessary for godly leadership.
Joshua 1:1-9
After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, “Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised to Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun shall be your territory. No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. 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. 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. 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.”


Yesterday we looked at the first two elements of Joshua’s commission. Today we look at the last two, and also conclude our study of Joshua 1:1-9. The third thing Joshua was told to do was to meditate upon them, also in verse 8: “Meditate on it day and night so that you may be careful to do everything written in it.” Meditation is a step beyond mere knowing or even speaking. Meditation implies reflection and thought. It has to do with application. Meditation is the kind of thing that says, “Now, this is the truth. How does it apply to my life? How does it apply to my society?” We need to be reminded of the need for that in our day because we live in a superficial age of quick remedies, where even in Christian churches the teaching is often so superficial that people think that to be a good Christian, all you have to do is go there once in a while, pay passable attention to the sermon and then go out and live very much the way you would otherwise. No wonder we fail to make a significant impact in the secular world. We need Christians who will meditate on these things, think about them, make it a part of their lives, and try to frame their thinking in all other areas around what they know to be true on the basis of the Word of God. That’s meditation. I don’t hesitate to say that it’s one of the greatest needs in the evangelical church today.
And then finally, fourth, Joshua was told–and this is undoubtedly the most important thing–that not only was he to know the law of God, and to speak about the law of God, and to meditate on the law of God. He was also to obey the law of God. In fact, he was to obey it in its entirety. And that was the great secret of Joshua’s success. I think that’s our problem. It’s not that we don’t know the Bible. We know the Bible passably well. At least we know enough to keep us busy obeying for a long, long time. The difficulty is that we don’t obey. And here, as we study this book, right at the beginning, we find that it’s what Joshua was instructed to do.
As we go on through the book, we find out that that is indeed what he did do and that he was prospered as a result. People today are very interested in success, and here is the divine formula for true success. God says, “Do this,” and then, in verse 8, “you will be prosperous and successful. And I will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua really did do that. In the twenty-seventh chapter of Deuteronomy, there are instructions as to what was to be done. When the people finally entered the land and got to the point of their conquest, when they were located in the valley between Mt. Ebal, on the one hand, and Mt. Gerizim, on the other, they were to divide into two camps. They were to build an altar. They were to write the law of God on the altar. And then they were to read it aloud in the company of the people. And they were all to respond to the teaching that was read. 
When Joshua got to Mt. Ebal and Mt. Gerizim, that is exactly what he did to the tiniest detail because he was determined, as God had said, not to depart from that law to the right hand or to the left. Moreover, when Joshua came to the very end of his life, just before he died when he was giving his final instruction to the people, what he had to say was almost verbatim what God had said to him way back in the beginning when he stood on the far side of the Jordan about to cross it and possess Canaan, “Be very strong. Be careful to obey all that is written in the book of the law, Moses, without turning aside to the right hand or to the left” (Josh. 23:6). And that’s why God blessed him. That’s why he’s such a hero of the faith. And that’s why we need to study this book in order that we might follow his example. May God give us grace to do that because we need men and women like that in our day. 


From the lesson, what does it mean to meditate on God’s Word? What are some ways you can put this Christian discipline into practice?
The concept of meditation is not an unfamiliar term outside the Christian church. How do non-Christians tend to think of it?
Of the list of elements in Joshua’s commissioning, which one does Dr. Boice say is the most important? Why does he make that conclusion?

Study Questions
Tagged under
More Resources from James Montgomery Boice

Subscribe to the Think & Act Biblically Devotional

Alliance of Confessional Evangelicals

About the Alliance

The Alliance is a coalition of believers who hold to the historic creeds and confessions of the Reformed faith and proclaim biblical doctrine in order to foster a Reformed awakening in today’s Church.

Canadian Donors

Canadian Committee of The Bible Study Hour
PO Box 24087, RPO Josephine
North Bay, ON, P1B 0C7