“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. 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.” — Joshua 1:8-9
Part of Ezra’s commitment to God’s Word was to “do it” — he obeyed it (Ezra 7:10, ESV). God’s Word teaches us not only what to believe but how to behave. The two cannot be separated. Jesus stated it clearly when He said, “If you love me, keep my commands” (John 14:15).
But this doesn’t mean just following a list of do’s and don’ts. It is living a life that finds its purpose and passion in God’s Word.
In Joshua 1:6-9, three times God told Joshua to “be strong and courageous” as he led the people of Israel into their promised land. At the center of the passage, Joshua was directed to allow God’s Word to permeate his life. He was to meditate on it. It was to be a part of his daily life (v. 8).
In 1996, golfer Steve Jones won the U.S. Open at Oakland Hills Country Club outside of Detroit. On the last day, Jones was in the final pairing with a fellow Christian, Tom Lehman. As they walked off the first tee, Lehman, who held a one-shot lead, quoted Joshua 1:9 to his friend and fellow competitor. Again, toward the end of the round, which Jones would win by one shot, Lehman quoted the verse again. Lehman picked a Bible verse to be a focus for him each year, and that year it was Joshua 1:9.
For the winner — and the runner-up — God’s Word gave guidance in the midst of the highest level of competition.
— Jeff Totten, Detroit Tigers chaplain
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