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 good success.
As always, to rightly divide the Word of God we must understand the context. This verse, of all that we are memorizing in “MacArthur’s 52”, underlines with all capitals the significance of memorizing Scripture.
To understand the setting of Joshua 1 we see that Moses (more importantly God) has handed Joshua the baton to lead Israel. They have just come off of 40 years of wandering in the wilderness and appear ready to go in and occupy the land God has promised them. They are gathered on the plains of Moab east of the Jordan River awaiting instructions from God how to conquer the land before them.
In instructing Joshua, the Lord has explained that “every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon, I will give to you” (1:3). The directions that God gives Joshua are not only significant to Joshua, they are timeless and applicable to us. God has encouraged Joshua with the fact that no man shall be able to stand before him and that just as God was with Moses, so He will be with Joshua. God has promised not to leave or forsake him. This is where the instructions become clear as to Joshua’s culpability. God explains that Joshua is to be strong and courageous for he will cause this people to inherit the land that God swore to their fathers they could have (vs 6). Then the Lord explains how he will be courageous…by being careful to do according to all the law that Moses commanded him. “Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go.”(vs 7) Then he redefines this same statement complete with a conclusion. What does it look like for Joshua not to turn to the right hand or to the left that he may have good success wherever he goes… by not letting this Book of the law depart from his mouth, by meditating on it day and night. Why is this so important? “So that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it”(vs 8). “For then you will make your way prosperous and then you will have good success.”(vs 9)
If you were going to lead God’s chosen people into “the promised land” or let me personalize this for you, If you were going to live a life that is pleasing to God, how will you do it? Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 8:3 in Matthew 4:4 by stating “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” We have already memorized that we are sanctified by God’s Word (John 17:17). If you want to live a life pleasing to God, begin by taking in God’s Word and by meditating on it day and night, then you will be careful to do according to all that is written in it.
Do you want to live a life pleasing to God? Meditate on His Word, be careful to take it is so as to not turn to the left or right…then you will be careful to do according to all that is written in it.