An electric toothbrush ... a toaster ... a weed whacker ... a jack hammer... They all come with instructions! And they all say the same thing. IMPORTANT: Before you plug it in, turn it on, or take it out the box, read the instructions!
“After the death of Moses, the Lord’s servant, the Lord spoke to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’s assistant: ‘Moses my servant is dead. Now you and all the people prepare to cross over the Jordan to the land I am giving the Israelites ... Be strong and very courageous to observe carefully the whole instruction my servant Moses commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right or the left, so that you will have success wherever you go. This book of instructionmust not depart from your mouth; you are to meditate on it day and night so that you may carefully observe everything written in it. For then you will prosper and succeed in whatever you do ... Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go’ ” (Joshua 1:1–9, CSB).
God directed Joshua, the nation’s new leader, to “observe carefully” the “Book of Instruction.”
“The Lord would speak with Moses face to face, just as a man speaks with his friend” (Exodus 33:11, CSB). When God revealed Himself to Moses, he faithfully assembled a record. When they were compiled, they were called the Pentateuch (five books), or the Torah, meaning the Instructions. No kidding! The Bible is the Instruction Manual.
“The Lord said to Moses, ‘Write down these words, for I have made a covenant with you and with Israel based on these words’ ” (Exodus 34:27, CSB). “Moses wrote down all the words of the Lord ...” (Exodus 24:4, CSB). “Moses wrote down this law...” (Deuteronomy 31:9, CSB).
Yes! The Instruction Manual was written for the Hebrew nation... and for us. It is the road map for living. The book was also written for Joshua.
The first mention of Joshua occurs when he led the battle against the Amalekites. When the battle was won, “The Lord then said to Moses, “Write this down on a scroll as a reminder and recite it to Joshua...’ ” (Exodus 17:14, CSB). God wanted a written record for Joshua, a reminder that would be a guiding presence in Joshua’s life.
God spoke to Moses, “face to face” but God directed Joshua by His authoritative, written Word. Joshua was a man of the Book. We can be people of the Book too.
(I admit it. My not-so-secret motivation for writing these blogs is to help us all fall more deeply in love with the Bible and its Author... to help us become people of the Book.)
“For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12, CSB).
“This book of instruction must not depart from your mouth; you are to meditate on it day and night so that you may carefully observe everything written in it ... Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go’ ” (Joshua 1:8–9, CSB).
Before you do anything else, read the Instructions!