But subject to …

Fear and worry dominate many people’s lives. Some are concerned about their financial security, others worry about their children’s well-being and many worry about their health. And the list goes on ….

For Christians, Joshua 1:1-9 addresses the issue of worrying in a welcoming manner. Verse 9 states, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Unfortunately, this verse has been misused by some people. They use it to justify whatever actions they do on the basis that God will always support them. Some of these actions may even be ungodly.

The background of this verse is that Moses, the leader God had appointed to lead the Israelites, had died and Joshua was appointed to take his place. This happened when the Israelites were commanded to take the promised land. But there was one major problem! The promised land was replete with pagan nations and many had superior armies. Joshua therefore faced a daunting task as a new leader and this was the context in which the assurance in verse 9 was given to Joshua.

And it should be noted that verse 9 is not a standalone verse. It must be read in conjunction with the rest of the verses. In verse 8 God commanded 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.” Therefore, verse 8 qualifies verse 9.

How then, do verses 8 and 9 apply to us? Well, we must diligently study the word of God and apply it in our lives. Whatever we do must be godly by being in accordance with scripture. And if this is the case, God will be with us.

To conclude, I would like us to answer the following questions:

  1. How important is studying and applying scripture in my life?
  2. Is God’s word my spiritual and moral compass?

If the answers to the above questions are not satisfactory, how will you make changes with God’s guidance?