Old Testament Passages Good for Everyone to Know, Part 9
Continuing the series by Doug Jacoby
O.T. Passages Good for Everyone to Know, No. 9
Our next passage is familiar to most Christians. Moses has died, Joshua is now leading God's people, and the Promised Land lies before them. The Lord charges Joshua:
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 (Josh 1:8).
• The command entails learning, memorizing, meditating, and obeying.
• At his high level of leadership, it is crucial that Joshua spend time in the Word, since he influences others spiritually.
• Meditation means filling one's mind—not emptying it, as in Eastern religions and philosophies. (That only opens us up to pernicious influences.) More on meditation: Psalms 119:15, 23, 27, 48, 78, 97, 99. See also Col 3:16.
• "Day and night" suggests consistency. Further, we may be vulnerable to various temptations around the clock. Stay connected to God 24/7.
• Spiritual thriving is linked to internalizing the Word of God. This keeps us on the path.
How Joshua 1:8 ties together the O.T.
The Hebrew O.T. is arranged in three parts: Law, Prophets, and Writings. (Most English Bibles follow the Greek order, which has the O.T. scriptures, in a slightly different order, in four sections: Law, History, Writings, Prophets.)
• The Law (1st section) consists of the books from Genesis to Deuteronomy.
• The Prophets (2nd section) were reckoned to begin with Joshua, and ended with The Twelve (the Minor Prophets).
• And the Writings (3rd section) begin with Psalms.
The Torah (first section) was God's guidance for his people. The first book of the Prophets (second section) again stresses the importance of internalizing God's Word (Joshua 1:8). Likewise, the first book of the Writings (third section) does the same (Psalm 1:1-2). It's all about God's Word!
Finally, consider how crucial it is to meditate on God's law for those in positions of leadership and influence. Certainly all God's people need to be devoted to the Word, yet note that for the king of Israel (see Deut 17:18-20) this was extra important.
So, are we giving the Word the priority it deserves? Here are some ways we can all grow in the Scriptures.
1. Read the Bible daily
2. Write out salient scriptures
3. Outline the passages you're studying
4. Sing the scriptures
5. Share with others
6. Test yourself
7. Ponder. Meditate. Be curious. Be a lifelong learner.
Next week: Joshua 24:14-15