JOSHUA 1:1-9

Joshua 1:1-9 New King James Version (NKJV)

God’s Commission to Joshua

1 After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, it came to pass that the Lord spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying:

2 “Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them—the children of Israel.

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

4 From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the River Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your territory.

5 No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you.

6 Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.

7 Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go.

8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe 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.

9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Dr. Gough:

Success! Enjoyment. Prosperity. We all want it.

--Talk and read about it. How do we really get it?

In God's Book, a best seller, we learn how to get it.

--Most all have a copy of the Bible, God's Holy Word.

--In Joshua 1 are God's beatitudes for success.

--What we are to be, and the attitude we should have.

--Apply them, God says, "you will make your way prosperous .. and you will have good success" (1:8).

Anyone can succeed! With the Lord, with what you have.

--David had a sling and stones; defeated a giant.

--Dorcas had a needle - made many things for others.

--Rahab had a rope and faith - she saved her family.

--Moses had a rod, shepherd's staff - and the Lord.

--You see, what we have, with God, we can do a lot!

Would you like to be better off? My friend, you can!

--Depends on our attitude, our faith, in the Lord.

--To obey Him. Follow Jesus, in resurrection power.

--To seek the Holy Spirit's leading, step by step. --Jesus gives His Beatitudes in Matthew 5. --I find some "be-attitudes" to success in Joshua 1.

I. BE LISTENING TO GOD. We see it in Joshua 1:1-5.

--"The Lord spoke to Joshua" (v 1). Had a lot to say.

--"Go over this Jordan .. I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you." Joshua listened!

Joshua, born a slave in Egypt, had been Moses' helper.

--Now at 80, the age of Moses, Joshua called to lead.

--To continue Moses' work, as God's man, listening.

You say, "I'd listen if God talked to me like that!"

--My friend, He does - when we read God's Word.

--These are God's words to you and me, as well.

--Joshua had no Bible, as we. God had to speak so.

--"In these last days He has spoken by His Son" .. as well as His Holy Word" (Hebrews 1:2).

What we need from God is in His Word, and in Jesus.

--We need to listen, as He says, " This is the way..."

--Following .. obeying .. listening .. succeeding.

God could be speaking something special to you today.

--To start you in a successful life, home, and family.

--God says, "This is the way, walk in it. Follow Me."

--Let's not blame God, if you and I don't listen to Him.

II. BE STRONG IN THE LORD. Look at Joshua 1:6,7,9.

--Three times to Joshua, God stresses "Be strong."

--Not just physically fit as a fiddle, but in faith.

--"Be strong in the Lord." Walking close to Christ.

--Those trying times demanded one strong in the Lord.

--So do these trying times you and I are living in.

We are not all "strong in the Lord." Let's work at it.

--It takes dedication. It takes devotion. Each day.

--"Be strong" against the wrong. Against temptations.

--Temptations to break God's commands, marriage vows.

--Temptations to break family ties. Our promises.

--Temptations to deceive. Dishonesty. Or be mean.

--This old flesh fails us. The flesh is so weak.

--"Be strong in the Lord!" In His Spirit! In prayer.

I know a man, good job, but would not do wrongs his superior demanded - and lost his job. Lost, but gained!

--Gained self-respect of family, others, "in the Lord".

--In time God gave him a job - better, more satisfying and more pay - for God does that for faithful folk!

--He didn't lose, you see! He succeeded in the Lord!

III. BE COURAGEOUS - "BE OF GOOD COURAGE" (Joshua 1:6f). --What was God saying? It is not easy! To him, to us.

--We've got a war to win! Within, and without.

--Do your job well - whatever it is - as to the Lord.

--Takes courage to get to work each day, at our best.

--To face all the flack. Speak encouraging words.

--To be courageous even when it is costly, and hard.

--That's character back-bone that takes years to build.

--It is said, "Keep your fears; show your courage."

"Be of good courage" means be a good, willing worker.

--The dictionary is the only place where success comes before work. Success is never on silver platters.

--Joshua still had his best work ahead. So do we!

--Others labored so we enjoy. Let's all do our part.

--Our children used to sing, "We each have work for Jesus .. look around, you'll find it."

IV. BE CAREFUL - "OBSERVE TO DO" (Joshua 1:7).

--Be careful is the idea behind this verse, ".. observe to do according to all (God's commands) which are commanded you." "Observe to do." Be careful.

--Careful what we say, what we do, where we go.

--That takes care .. and prayer, to be careful.

In Scripture, they got success by being careful.

--When not careful, or neglectful, usually they paid.

--But got up, admitted their mistakes, learned from it.

--Went on to carefully climb higher to success in God!

Abraham was careful, rose up to meet the Lord (Genesis, 19:27). Jacob was careful, to worship the Lord.

--Moses was careful to build an altar to God (Ex. 24:4).

--Joshua was careful, led Israel over Jordan (3:1).

--These and others, successful in keeping with God.

--I want to be careful, and "observe to do" His will.


--Joshua 1:7 ends by a call to obedience, "that you may prosper wherever you go."

--It's God's will that we do well. "Walk in His steps."

--What a blessing is ours when we trust and obey.

To know God's will is a great treasure; to do His will should be our great pleasure.

--Better to obey than preach. Or do whatever.

--God says, "To obey is better than sacrifice" (I Sam. 15:22). Lord, help us to remember .. and obey.

In our own strength we may fail, but we "can do all things through Christ Who strengthens us" (Phil. 4:13).

--My friend, we must aim to win, or choose, to lose.

--We win by having a goal to please God by obeying Him.


--Sometimes we are afraid, aren't we? God knows that.

--That's why there are so many "fear nots" in His Word.

--God knew life can be frightening. Fears to face.

--Battles to be fought. Hardships, sorrows, endured.

--If not Canaanites, maybe cancer. Old age. Ills.

--Terrorists can be anywhere .. anything .. we fear.

--In difficulty, disaster, hear His voice, "Fear not."

--"Be not afraid, nor dismayed .. God is with you."

With jobs uncertain or lost, world in turmoil, cost of living increasing daily, people do get afraid.

--Have fears today .. and about tomorrow. Joshua did.

--But God said, "Be not afraid. The Lord is with you".

--We need only to "fear God," and we fear no other.

--Bring all your fears to Jesus Who said, "Fear not."

--It isn't the size of the dog in the fight; it is the size of the fight in the dog! The faith, in us!

--Even small faith in a great God will bring success!


--God removes fear. He can dissolve discouragement!

--He says, "Be not dismayed (discouraged) for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go" (v 9).

--We may get down. Ask the Lord to pick you up!

--Look upon discouragement as an enemy, a devil's tool.

Joshua could find reason to be discouraged.

--To possess the promised land was not a picnic.

--They faced real enemies. Walled cities. Hard times.

--Were defeated when there was "sin in the camp," as at the town of Ai Joshua cried unto the Lord, "help!"

--Israel was so ill-prepared. Sins caused failures.

--Their real ability lay with the Lord's enablement.

--That came by their godliness, and obedience. So they, as we, faced some defeats, discouragements.

--My friend, success comes by hard steps, hard work.

--It also comes by prayer.. patience, perseverance.

--God reminded them of "This Book (the Bible), meditatate in it day and night .. to do .. then you will make your way prosperous .. and have good success."

--What God said to Joshua, He says to us today.

--Our gracious God desires all to succeed! His way!

--May I share one more be-atitude?


--This is the beatitude to begin and empower the rest.

--To be a disciple of the Lord of life, Jesus Christ!

--Sinless. Virgin born. Works miracles. Died for us.

--Arose, and seen by many for 40 days. Ascended.

--Able "to save to the uttermost all who come to Him."

--My friend, have you come? Been "Born again?"

--Why not now, make sure? He's my Savior! My joy!

--Gives any. His success!

Wilbert D. Gough, ThD., DD. 857