Joshuaby David Sanford
If the book of Joshua were a movie, the Lord God would be the executive producer, director, screenwriter, and lead actor. Without the Lord God, nothing happens.
This movie would probably be dedicated to the late Moses, who is named no less than 51 times. Joshua often describes Moses as ″servant of the Lord″ (for example, Joshua 1:13-15; 22:4-5). He also quotes from Moses repeatedly, directly or indirectly (for example, 1:12-15; 8:30-35; 13:8-33; 14:1-13; 22:1-5). This is not surprising, since Moses has left behind a number of sacred, inspired scrolls known as ″the Book of the Law of Moses″ (8:31; 23:6), or simply, ″the law of Moses″ (8:32; 22:5).
The best supporting actor? That would be Joshua (meaning ″the Lord saves″ in Hebrew), who is named 149 times. Assuming he was about the same age as Caleb when they were sent out to explore Canaan (Numbers 13:1-16), Joshua would be about 80 years old by the time we come to Joshua 1.
In these opening verses, the Lord God, Creator of heaven and earth, gives Joshua six specific orders (Joshua 1:7-9). This experience must have been awe-inspiring, for Joshua would remember them so well that near his death, he would reiterate some of them in his final exhortation to the Israelites (23:6-10).
The Lord God's six commands apply equally to us today. We know this because they reverberate through the rest of the Old Testament–and, more importantly, are echoed and exemplified by Jesus (which also means ″the Lord saves″ in Greek) and by His apostles. For example:
Some of the commands that Joshua receives come with promises. We sometimes see the Bible as a book of the Lord God's commands. But let's not forget that it's a book of God's rich promises, too. Not surprisingly, the word ″promise″ will show up a dozen more times in the rest of the book of Joshua. In today's reading, God gives Joshua several specific promises. As we'll see in the coming days and weeks, each comes true!
Do you focus more on God's commands, or on His promises? How can you meditate on both, without neglecting either one?
What is one specific command from God that you need to keep today? What is one specific promise that will encourage and strengthen you?