Today’s Reading: DEUTERONOMY 33:1-34:12, JOSHUA 1:1-2:24
Note: I just finished this blog and reread it, I think I may have wandered a bit when writing it. I suppose I can call it my Israelite in the Desert memorial blog. 😉 Anyways, here we go…
I am a capitalist, having studied economics as a part of Masters of Business Administration and then as a bit of a hobby. Strange hobby, I know. I truly believe it is the best means to provide justice to people and the greatest opportunity for people to be rewarded for hard work and great ideas. But, one of the negative aspects of capitalism mixed with our sinful human nature is the desire to gain excessive success and prosperity. From my point of view capitalism mixed with a Christian perspective is what is needed. But I digress.
In our culture there is a keen desire for us to be prosperous and successful. Everywhere we look there are signs of telling us that we need to have the best of everything. We need to be prosperous and successful. We reward people with the most education. We fawn over the famous people. We idolize the wealthy. We even judge people by the size of their homes or the make and model of car they are driving. Even British prog rockers, Pink Floyd wrote about it, here’s a bit off of Dark Side of the Moon,:
Money, get away
Get a good job with more pay
And your O.K.
Money, it’s a gas
Grab that cash with both hands
And make a stash
New car, caviar, four star daydream
Think I’ll buy me a football team
Money get back
I’m all right Jack
Keep your hands off my stack
Instead of taking Pink Floyd’s advice today we will read a verse about God’s recipe for prosperity and success.
Today we finish the book of Deuteronomy and start the book of Joshua. For me this is a special milestone. Today we leave the Pentateuch. Today we switch to a new author and really begin the story of the Nation of Israel. Today, we start one of my favorite Old Testament books.
So far we do not know much about Joshua. We do know he was one of the 12 spies. Thankfully, he along with Caleb were the two spies that wanted to claim God’s promised land. Unfortunately, the people listened to the 10 doubting spies and the Israelites ended up wandering 40 more years. We also know he was chosen to lead the people. We can guess he was at least 60 when we start in Joshua chapter 1.
When I was a brand new Christian, I got involved with the Navigators at Bradley University. For me it was a match made in Heaven (which I believe it was). The Navigators were very committed to the study of the Word of God. The also heavily encouraged Scripture memory. Their reasoning to do is based on what they called the Hand illustration. This illustration is done by trying to hold your Bible in your hand. But you start with trying to hold it with just one finger, not possible. Then you try to hold it with two, and then three and then four fingers. Finally, you get to try to hold your Bible with all four fingers and your thumb. Now you can hold your Bible firmly and no one can take it away. The illustration used a different aspect of how you interact with the Bible for each finger and thumb.
1st finger = hearing the Word
2nd finger = reading the Word
3rd finger = studying the Word
4th finger = memorize the Word
5th finger = meditate on the Word
To this day, verses that I learned nearly 30 years ago come flooding back to my mind. They are anchors to my faith and they tie me to the Word. They help me through trials and tribulations. They help me as I try to tell others about my relationship with Jesus Christ. They help me be an encouragement to others. The help me defend my faith. When I read Joshua 1:8 I immediately flash back to my Navigator days. Joshua 1:8 was one of the first verses I ever memorized. I have included three versions, NASB (is what I memorized the verse in), NIV (I use this for Bible study), and NLT (for my daily reading).
Joshua 1:8 (NASB)
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 success
Joshua 1:8 (NIV)
8Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; 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.
Joshua 1:8 (NLT)
8Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.
Of course, God’s recipe for success is going to be different than man’s. Did you ever doubt that? God’s success plan is that we hear, read, study, memorize and meditate on His Word! By taking the truths of God and putting into the deep crevices of brain we are bringing His Word into our lives to stay. We can draw upon them when needed. God and prompt you to remember them when you need them most. You can draw upon them when those around you need them.
If you have not memorized Joshua 1:8, consider storing it away for yourself for use later instead of storing up the things of the world. Then you will find true prosperity and success.