Joshua 1:8 – This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe 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.
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth. In this verse, God is speaking to Joshua after the death of Moses, Joshua is about to take his place as the new leader of the Israelites. God has an expectation of us to know His Word, but not just to know it, but also to speak it. When we speak, our words should have a foundation in the Word of God. Our confessions and prayers should be based on the Bible.
But you shall meditate in it day and night. As I read this verse recently, after reading it numerous times in the past, I just noticed that in the more “original” Bible translations, it says you shall meditate in it and not on it. I’m sure they essentially mean the same thing at the root. But, when I think of meditating in something as opposed to on it, I think of being surrounded by that thing. So, when we meditate in the Word, we are immersing ourselves in the Word. We don’t just think about it and move on, but our very beings should be rooted in the Word of God. When we wake up in the morning? The Word of God. When we’re going to sleep at night? The Word of God. It should be infused in every aspect of our lives and we should be thinking about it at all times, not just at a specific time of the day, or when we’re facing specific situations, but it says day and night. So when the sun is up and when it’s down, the Word of God should be in our minds and on our hearts.
That you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. The word observe in Hebrew means “to practice divination”. As children of the Most High Father, we need to practice the divine instruction that has been given to us in the Book of Law. When we live a life inspired by God and directed by the Holy Spirit, we are practicing all that is written in the Book. However, in order to be directed by the Holy Spirit, we have to be able to hear Him speak to us.
For then you will make your way prosperous. I found it interesting that God doesn’t say here that He will make our way prosperous. No. He says, we will make our own ways prosperous. This lets us know that it is not enough to just live a life directed by God and then wait for Him to come down and make things happen for us. He expects us to get down and dirty ourselves, we have to work hard for those things that we want. He already tells us the perquisite for prosperity. If you’re working hard without practicing what is written in the Book of Law, then your hard work is in vain. However, when we combine a life of practicing what is written in the Book with hard work, the result is prosperity.
And then you will have good success. In Hebrew, the word Prosper means success, however, the word success means wisdom. And the qualification “good” suggests that there is such a thing as bad success or bad wisdom. So, when we speak the Word and think about it constantly, not only will we be successful, but we will also be wise. And not just wise in a worldly sense, but wise like Solomon was; wisdom from God. This suggests though that hard work precedes wisdom also. From working hard, first we will gain success and then, that success is followed by wisdom.
Prayer: Father, help me develop the strength and self-control required to keep my mind on Your Word as opposed to the things of the world. Let everything I work for result in prosperity and success from You. Amen.
Here are some questions if you’re interested in studying further:
-Why is it important for us to continually speak from the Book of the Law (Bible)?
Ephesians 4:29, Ephesians 5:4, Colossians 3:8, 1 Thessalonians 5:11
-Why is it important for us to meditate on the Bok of the Law?
Psalms 1:2-3, Psalms 119:11, Psalms 37:31, Philippians 4:8,
-How do we know when our success is good?
Philippians 4:7, John 14:27, Colossians 3:15