Joshua Chapter 1

The first five books of the Old Testament (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy) are called the books of Moses. They tell the history of the prophets and people of God, from Adam and his family, down through Moses and the Israelites. The ending of these books, records that Moses was taken by the Lord and Joshua, who was previously called and set apart by Moses, becomes the new prophet and leader of the children of Israel. The book of Joshua begins with the following:

1 Now after the death of Moses the servant of the Lord it came to pass, that the Lord spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying,
2 Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel.
3 Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses.
4 From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast.
5 There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
6 Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them.
7 Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.
8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

The Lord speaks to his new prophet, Joshua. Joshua is commanded to take the people into the promised land. The Lord promised Joshua that no man would be able to stand before him, because the Lord would be with him for the rest of his life, just as he had been with Moses. The phrase “I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee” is quoted a lot, to show that the Lord does not desert those he has called to do his work. In modern revelation we read, “He that seeketh me early shall find me, and shall not be forsaken. (Doctrine and Covenants 88:83)” When we faithfully serve in our callings, the Lord sustains us and guides us.

The Lord tells Joshua to be strong and of good courage in his charge to give the people the land of their inheritance. He is told again to be strong and courageous in order to be strictly obedient to the law. It is not an easy thing, to keep the commandments of God in a world that seems to pull us every other direction. It takes a great deal of strength and courage to stand firm and remain faithful to the covenants made with the Lord. The faithful cannot be selective on the commandments they choose to obey, but must strive to keep all the commandments of the Lord. Joshua is also commanded to meditate on the law day and night. I think this is another way of saying that he needed to study it and then write it upon his heart, so that he would live the law with exactness. If he would do this, he would be successful and prosperous. When we, like Joshua, are strong in the faith and courageously do what is right, studying the scriptures and living the principles found in them, we will have no reason to fear either. The spirit of the Lord will strive with those who choose the right and do the will of the Lord.

10 Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying,
11 Pass through the host, and command the people, saying, Prepare you victuals; for within three days ye shall pass over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land, which the Lord your God giveth you to possess it.

Joshua began to prepare Israel to cross the Jordan into the land of their inheritance. He did this by giving commands to the tribe leaders, which they were then to give to all the people. They had three days to prepare themselves to travel again.

12 And to the Reubenites, and to the Gadites, and to half the tribe of Manasseh, spake Joshua, saying,
13 Remember the word which Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, saying, The Lord your God hath given you rest, and hath given you this land.
14 Your wives, your little ones, and your cattle, shall remain in the land which Moses gave you on this side Jordan; but ye shall pass before your brethren armed, all the mighty men of valour, and help them;
15 Until the Lord have given your brethren rest, as he hath given you, and they also have possessed the land which the Lord your God giveth them: then ye shall return unto the land of your possession, and enjoy it, which Moses the Lord’s servant gave you on this side Jordan toward the sunrising.

Joshua reminded the two and a half tribes who had already claimed their inheritances, that they promised Moses they would go with the rest of the host of Israel, to gain all the lands promised. After they served in the army of Israel, they would be able to return to their homes.

16 And they answered Joshua, saying, All that thou commandest us we will do, and whithersoever thou sendest us, we will go.
17 According as we hearkened unto Moses in all things, so will we hearken unto thee: only the Lord thy God be with thee, as he was with Moses.
18 Whosoever he be that doth rebel against thy commandment, and will not hearken unto thy words in all that thou commandest him, he shall be put to death: only be strong and of a good courage.

The men agreed to do follow the commands and leadership of Joshua, just as they had been willing to follow Moses, because they knew the Lord was with him. They also decided that those who were disobedient to Joshua, and therefore went against their earlier promise to Moses and the Lord, would be put to death.

“Be strong and of good courage”. There are many times in my life, when I have walked by faith alone and this is a motto that has been able to help me a great deal. Remembering that the Lord can be our strength during trials, is a huge help in these difficult times. I find great hope in the promised blessings of keeping the commandments, and cling to faith in Him and his help to overcome all that I face. We may not be going against men of great stature in battles or facing death, but our trials are our own for a reason and they are not easy. We can all grow from our trials when we face them with all the strength we can and with the courage to do what is right.

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About My Scripture Study Buddy

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love the scriptures, but I am not a scriptorian. I've been told that I'm too "deep" for some, but if you are willing, I'd love to have others join me in my quest for a greater understanding of the gospel. Please feel free to leave me comments and hopefully we can help each other to learn.

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