God, give me a love for your word. Help me recognize the life-changing potential of living out your word.
Read: Joshua 1:8 (NIV)
“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.”
The verse above is a command that God delivered to Joshua shortly before Joshua led the Israelites into the promised land after the death of Moses. God knew that his people, the Israelites, were entering into new territory where they would face enemies both external and internal. There would be physical confrontations as they subdued nations that were currently living in the land and there would be spiritual confrontations as they lived among the people of these subdued nations and their pagan religions. In verse 7, God’s advice to Joshua for success in this new land was to not depart from observing the Book of the Law. On the heels of verse 7, verse 8 seems redundant. However, I think God adds some much-needed additional instructions. God’s extra advice is to keep the Book of the Law always on your lips and to meditate on it day and night. Now, all of us understand that if we are going to do everything written in the Book of the Law, or for the modern believer, the Bible, we need to know what the scriptures say. However, many of us spend precious little time reading it. God knows that as humans we often have short memories and get easily distracted, as the history of the Old Testament can attest to. In order to stay on the right track in life and ultimately be prosperous and successful, we need to be reading the Bible and then spend time discussing and thinking about what we are reading.
The application of Joshua 1:8 is explicit. We should read, talk about and think about the Bible. Few of us need any pointers on doing any of the activities mentioned above if we engage in them on a daily basis. What we typically need help with is just the desire or motivation to apply these activities to the Bible. The Bible, for many of us, can seem outdated, boring, long, difficult, etc. We need to challenge our thoughts on reading the Bible. One of the ways I have characterized the Bible is a handbook or manual for successful living. The Bible contains instructions for mankind written by the creator of mankind and the instructions offer rest, life to the full, success, peace, and joy to mankind. Surely, the one who created us knows how we ought to operate. Who doesn’t want to experience what the Bible has to offer? With these things in mind, I hope you are excited to dive in! Regardless of whether you have never read the Bible or have read the entire thing, consistency, meditation, and discussion will be the keys to internalizing God’s word.
God, help me to reconsider or elevate what I think about reading your word. Give me a clear understanding of the purpose of your word and a strong desire to spend time in it.