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.
My Dad passed away in 1994 when I was 23 years old. It amazes to think that was 16 years ago. There have been many times as I have grown older I would have loved to reach out and asked him about something going on in my life. Recently, my brother found a video of my Dad and it has become a treasured possession because on the tape I can hear my Dad’s voice and see his face. The drawback is I can’t actively engage the video or ask my Dad anything. The tape is just a recorded moment in time that like my father has passed away from this life. I think one of the reasons I write this blog and journal is that so when I am gone my children will have something that will help them understand me. While the value of the video of my Dad and the value of my blog is analogous to the value of the Bible, they pale in importance. Let’s look at today’s verse to flesh it out.
In Joshua 1:8 we find Joshua being prepared to enter into the land that God had promised Israel when He lead them out of Egypt under the guidance of Moses. In context, Moses has passed away and now God is speaking to Joshua giving him the plans of what he must do to successfully overtake the people living in the land that God is giving them. It is encouraging to see that before God tells Joshua to raise an army He reminds him that to be truly successful in his endeavors that he must always be mindful to do what God has commanded in the scripture first and foremost. And really that is the key for all of us. To be successful in what God is calling us to do we must be rooted in His truth and in His commandments, yet I know many Christians who struggle to read the scriptures at all.
So what’s the application? Why does the Bible have value? The Bible has value because it is the instrument that God has chosen to reveal things about Himself to us. There is value in the Bible because God uses it to show us that the circumstances in our lives are not that much different than the lives of others and that even in the most challenging times God is with us. It is the vehicle that God has chosen to tell us about our salvation. There is no other book that tells what we must do to be saved. Finally, the value of the Bible for the Christian is that the author resides in us. This same Holy Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead and inspired the writers of scripture to record God’s story, has taken residence in us to guide and lead us. What an amazing thing! Could you imagine having William Shakespeare sitting next to you explaining what he was thinking when writing “Romeo and Juliet”, or Plato explaining “The Republic” to you, or C.S. Lewis helping you through “Mere Christianity”? Sometimes when I watch the video of my Dad, I long for him to pop out of the tape and just let me know what he was thinking in that moment. To me that is that value of the Bible. I am allowed to seek the mind of God and find it because He reveals Himself to me in His written word. The Great Author of scripture provides commentary and revelation to my spirit because through Jesus he lives in me.
Hear God’s exhortation to Joshua and apply it.
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.
Heavenly Father, thank you God that you have not left us to wander in the desert of this life. Thank you God that you have allowed us to enter into the rest and promise land of your salvation. Thank you Lord that in your divine goodness you have left us the guideposts to living in the Scripture. Holy Spirit thank you for your indwelling and your guidance. Help us today to hear your voice and heed your commands. We love and bless you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.