BE SUCCESSFUL! Joshua was now the leader of a nation of people who had been following the great man Moses for forty years. But now Moses was dead and Joshua was eighty years old and quite different from Moses. I am sure Joshua wanted to hear great things from God like maybe God’s battle plan. But God’s message was quite different. His message was, “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. 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” (Joshua 1:7-8).
MacLaren in his commentary wrote, “This is the central portion of the charge given to the successor of Moses. Joshua was a very small man in comparison with his predecessor. He was no prophet nor constructive genius; he was not capable of the heights of communion and revelation which the lofty spirit of Moses was able to mount. He was only a plain, fiery soldier, with energy, swift decision, promptitude, self-command, and all the military virtues in the highest degree.” Maybe Joshua was no Moses but God always picks the right person for the right job. For forty years Moses had been training his successor for the trials and battles that lay before the nation of Israel in the future. God had used Moses to convey God’s spiritual message, laws, spiritual practices, and leadership that would be needed for this new nation of people to survive and honor God. Now God had trained and chosen Moses’ successor. Joshua was God’s man for this time in history.
As Christians we need to understand that the real keys for success in life are not all the physical or mental attributes or appearances that we may possess. God can train and use whomever He chooses. And God uses different people for different needs at different times in life. But training for “real” success in life starts with putting God first in our lives and reading, understanding and practicing what He has said to us in His written Word the bible. His message to Joshua is His message to us. Many years following Joshua the Psalmist said, “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night” (Psalm 1:1-2 NIV). If we want to be blessed, prosperous and successful in life then we need to follow God’s advice given to Joshua and in addition live the lifestyle outlined by the Psalmist.