Joshua and Judges: Crossing the Jordan - Be Strong and Courageous, part 3. Jos 1:1-15.

Class Outline:


Title: Joshua and Judges: Crossing the Jordan - Be Strong and Courageous, part 3. JOS 1:1-15.   


Announcements/opening prayer:



JOS 1:1 Now it came about after the death of Moses the servant of the Lord that the Lord spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' servant, saying,


JOS 1:2 "Moses My servant is dead; now therefore arise, cross this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them [I have given], to the sons of Israel.


JOS 1:3 Every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I have given it to you, just as I spoke to Moses.


JOS 1:4 From the wilderness and this Lebanon, even as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and as far as the Great Sea toward the setting of the sun, will be your territory.


JOS 1:5 No man will be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you.


JOS 1:6 Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.


JOS 1:7 Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go.


If Joshua is to be strong and courageous on the battlefield then he must be strong and very courageous to do according to all the Law.


To turn from it to the right or the left is to change our locality from standing with God to God standing opposed to us.


Divine gift has a human corollary, the call to obedience. The gifts - divine presence and providence, the word of Moses [Torah], the land, and the people.


Each member of the church has been given incredible gifts that God has intended for us to put into practice in our daily lives.


JOS 1:8 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 success.


The promise is followed by the condition upon which the Lord would fulfill His word. Joshua was to be firm and strong, i.e., well-assured, courageous, not alarmed. The promise of the land is unconditional but the promise to Joshua, if he is to be the leader and commander of the conquest, is to be careful to do according to all the Law and to trust God, being strong and courageous. Joshua was fully replaceable, as any of us are, but Joshua, because he fulfilled the conditions, did not have to be replaced.


Reference is to the instructions and commands of the Law that were for all the people, but here there is an even greater emphasis for Joshua upon the commands for the king.


DEU 17:18 "Now it shall come about when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself a copy of this law on a scroll in the presence of the Levitical priests.


DEU 17:19 And it shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, by carefully observing all the words of this law and these statutes,


DEU 17:20 that his heart may not be lifted up above his countrymen and that he may not turn aside from the commandment, to the right or the left; in order that he and his sons may continue long in his kingdom in the midst of Israel.


He is to write a copy for himself and not just command a priest to do it for him. He is to put the effort into doing so for himself that he may learn it all the more than that he may cherish the scroll that would have cost him hundreds of hours to transcribe (or so I estimate).


He is to do it in the presence of the priests, for he is accountable to God for its accuracy and precision.


Each of us are accountable for the accuracy of the truth. The pastor stands on the front lines against attacks of false doctrines, yet some pastors do not stand for truth alone, instead, they seek fame, wealth, approval, large congregations. The believers who find themselves under such pastors are responsible, as each is a believer priest, to discern false doctrine by searching the scripture under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. An apostate believer cannot place the blame of his apostasy upon the teacher. All believers should have a great relationship with the word of God. He can read the scripture and understand enough to be able to pinpoint major doctrines that are being taught in error.


He is to read from it every day so as never to forget, not for one day, to Whom he belongs and the truth that he is to walk in every day. This results in the fear of the Lord.


This is not being afraid of the Lord but to know that it is the Lord who will discipline or bless, and in being under the Law, who will curse and bless. He is to carefully observe all that is commanded with a reverent fear that he will reap what he sows.


If he does so he will remain humble in spite of his lofty position. If he does so he will not turn from the commandment to the right or left in which metaphorical directions are the false doctrines of the heathens. And with this comes the promise of prosperity to himself as king and to all his posterity.


PSA 1:1 How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!


PSA 1:2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord,

And in His law he meditates day and night.


PSA 1:3 And he will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season,

And its leaf does not wither;

And in whatever he does, he prospers.


He always prospers in his soul, but not always physically or materialistically.


JOS 1:8 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 success.


Meditate does not mean theoretical speculation about the law, such as the Pharisees indulged in, but a practical study of the law, for the purpose of observing it in thought and action, or carrying it out with the heart, the mouth, and the hand. Such a mode of employing it would be sure to be followed by blessings.


JOS 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."


In conclusion, the Lord not only repeats His exhortation to firmness, but the promise that He gave in vv. 5 and 6. "Have I not" is a rhetorical mode of saying, "Behold, I have," the assurance being clothed in the form of an affirmative question.


The final challenge to Joshua as a new leader is repetition. Joshua must never forget the earliest instructions from the Lord after he has received many, many more instructions.