Dave Burnette's Commentary

Joshua Chapter 1

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Joshua 
Date Penned: (1406-1370 BC)
Overview: A Record of Israel in the Promised Land (c 1-24)
Theme: Entering the Promised Land (c 1-5)
Message: Joshua Leads the Nation (v 1-18)

Joshua 1 Commentary

(1-1) Israel Mourns Moses - As the book of Joshua opens, the Israelites are camped along the east bank of the Jordan River at the very edge of the Promised Land, and they are completing the mourning period for Moses, who has just died (Deuteronomy 34:7-8). The Israelites had an opportunity to enter the Promised Land 39 years earlier (after spending a year at Mount Sinai receiving God's law), but they failed to trust God to give them victory. As a result, God did not allow them to enter the land but made them wander in the wilderness until that disobedient generation had all died. During their wilderness wanderings, the Israelites obeyed God's laws. They also taught the new generation to obey God's laws so that they might enter the Promised Land, which was also called Canaan. As the children grew, they were often reminded that faith and obedience to God brought victory, while unbelief and disobedience brought tragedy. When the last of the older generation had died and the new generation had become adults, the Israelites prepared to claim their long-awaited Promised Land.

(1:2) Joshua Qualification for Leadership - Joshua succeeded Moses as Israel's leader. What qualifications did he have to become the leader of a nation? (1) God appointed him (Numbers 27:18-23). (2) He was one of only two living adults who had witnessed the Egyptian plagues and the exodus from Egypt. (3) He had been Moses' personal aide for 40 years. (4) Of the 12 leaders sent to scout out the Promised Land, only he and Caleb showed complete confidence that God would help them conquer it (Numbers 13-14).
(1:3) A Smooth Transition - Because Joshua had assisted Moses for many years, he was well prepared to take over the leadership of the nation. Changes in leadership are common in many organizations. At such times, a smooth transition is essential for the successful establishment of the new administration. This doesn't happen unless new leaders are trained. If you are currently in a leadership position, begin mentoring someone who will be able to take your place. Then when you leave or are promoted, operations can continue to run efficiently. If you aspire to be a leader, learn from others so that you will be prepared when the opportunity comes.

(1:5) A Huge Challenge - Joshua's new job consisted of leading more than two million people into a strange new land and conquering it. What a challenge--even for a person of Joshua's caliber! Every new job is a challenge. Without God this experience can be frightening; with God it can be a great adventure. Just as God was with Joshua, he is with us as we face our new challenges. We may not conquer nations, but every day we face tough situations, setbacks, difficult people, and temptations. God promises, however, that he will never abandon us or fail to help us. When we ask God to direct us, we can be confident that he will walk with us through all of life's challenges.

(1:6-8) Joshua Follows the Lord - Many people think that prosperity and success come from having power, influential personal contacts, and a relentless desire to get ahead. But the strategy for gaining prosperity that God taught Joshua goes against such criteria. He said that, in order to succeed, Joshua must (1) be strong and courageous because the task ahead would not be easy, (2) obey God's law, and (2) constantly read and study the Book of the Law-God's Word. To be successful, follow God's words to Joshua. You may not succeed by the world's standards, but you will be a success in God's eyes- and his opinion and rewards are more important than anything the world can offer.

(1:7-8) God's Recipe for Success - How strange it sounds today to equate success with obedience. For many, success means controlling others; for Joshua, it meant being controlled by God. God told Joshua that to succeed he must obey the rules for living found in God's law. Often we can't see what the results or future benefits of following God will be. When we are not certain what to do, obedience to what God has revealed in the Scriptures is the only sure step we can take. Resolve to set aside time each day to read and think about God's Word. Remind yourself of God's words day and night.

Dave Burnette's Life Application

Meditate on the Word

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we Start in the book of Joshua with Chapter 1 and we see Now that Moses has passed away and it is Joshua who will lead Israel into Canaan, the Promise land. Joshua picks up right where Moses left off teaching Israel the importance of faith and courage. What catches my eye is verse 8 which states we are to meditate on the Word of the Lord day and night with the promise of success and prosperity. In making application we see the need to continually dwell on the Bible. When we dwell on His Word we see God's wisdom and the decisions we make can glean from God's perspective. It reminds me of being a young adult and not dwelling on the Word the way I should. I made decisions based on my own reasoning verses seeking the Lord. I bought things with credit instead of following Biblical principles that left my life in a poor financial standing with a large amount of debt. Fortunately, with the help of the Lord, I learned His Wisdom and now dwell on the Bible and apply the scriptures to my decisions. As a result the Lord has blessed me with wisdom in tough times. How about you? Do you meditate on His Word especially when it comes to decisions? Let us learn from Joshua and our text today to meditate on the Bible. 


Joshua 1

Joshua 1

 1Now 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,

 2Moses 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.

 3Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses.

 4From 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.

 5There 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.

 6Be 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.

 7Only 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 withersoever thou goest.

 8This 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.

 9Have 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.

 10Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying,

 11Pass 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.

 12And to the Reubenites, and to the Gadites, and to half the tribe of Manasseh, spake Joshua, saying,

 13Remember 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.

 14Your 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;

 15Until 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.

 16And they answered Joshua, saying, All that thou commandest us we will do, and whithersoever thou sendest us, we will go.

 17According 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.

 18Whosoever 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.