There are dangers in neglecting God’s Word
“Moses my servant is dead. Get ready!” the LORD said to Joshua. Have you ever wondered what it must have felt like to be the new leader of God’s people, Israel? That’s the situation Joshua embraced as he obeyed God’s Word to lead His people to the promised land.
For those who’ve lead others, you know the difficulty of guiding people. Joshua would have faced this challenge while leading the Israelites. Remember, the Israelites descended from Jacob—the heel-grabber who deceived his father Isaac and stole his brother Esau’s birthright (Gen 27). It’s no wonder why Jacob, later named Israel, fathered a people (i.e. the Israelites) the Bible describes as stiff-necked (Exo 32:9).
Neglecting the LORD’s commandments (Exo 20), the Israelites fashioned a golden idol at Mount Sinai. They disobeyed God’s very first command: “You shall have no other gods before me.” Instead of listening to God, the Israelites used their gold earrings to mold a calf. “These are your gods, O Israel…” they said.
So when Moses died, Joshua found himself in charge of leading these stiff-necked Israelites. “How am I gonna get these stubborn people to listen to me?” Joshua likely said to himself. “C’mon God, give me some help here!”
Ever felt like Joshua? “C’mon God, these people won’t listen!” “They won’t do what I say!” Every leader has shrugged these same thoughts while encountering opposition. People, like you and me, are stiff-necked. We neglect what God says. We neglect God’s Word.
It’s no wonder why the LORD provides Joshua a little tip:
Make sure you are very strong and brave! Carefully obey all the law my servant Moses charged you to keep! Do not swerve from it to the right or to the left, so that you may be successful in all you do. This law scroll must not leave your lips! You must memorize it day and night so you can carefully obey all that is written in it. Then you will prosper and be successful. (Joshua 1:7, 8 NET)
Joshua was to treasure God’s Word, if he wanted to be successful.
Do you also want success? Do you want to lead others with wisdom? Do you find yourself questioning whether you have what it takes? If so, you are in familiar company. We all need help. We all need His help.
Rather than neglecting the Bible, consider treasuring God’s Word like Joshua. Obey it, don’t swerve from it, memorize it. Then you will prosper and be successful in carrying out God’s will for your life.
Scripture and/or notes quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NET) are from the NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://bible.org All rights reserved.