“A TEXT WITHOUT A CONTEXT IS A PRETEXT!” - 2009-04-25
It is easy to quote a Bible Verse with little regard to contexts, and hopefully prove a point. The “Jehovah's Witnesses” love to do this. But if you encourage them to look at the context of the verse they are quoting before they quickly go on to another verse, they will easily see that their application has little validity in the light of the context. A converted Jehovah's Witness successfully wins many of his former friends with this method!
In the light of this, let us look at the context for Joshua 1:8; 1 Timothy 4:15 James 1:25 and selected portions from Jeremiah. Verses from these 4 texts only strengthen the applications. When these are studied with regard to Hebrew and Greek Word Studies, this even more confirms the applications.
I once called the “Word Study Method” that of a rifle shot; and the “context method”, that of buck shot. A newspaper cartoonist felt I would do better by seeing the result of a “Telescope” as the “Context” method; and a “Microscope” as portraying the “Word Study” method. I will let you choose. Maybe some will see it as “both/and” - not “either/or!”
Let's look at Joshua 1:8 (1:1-9) first: “GOD REPLACES MOSES WITH JOSHUA”
1. 1:1-2 (ASV '01). GOD COMMISSIONS JOSHUA. “Now it came to pass after the death of Moses the servant of Jehovah, that Jehovah spoke unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' minister, saying, 2Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel.” Note that God gave this land to the people of Israel as an everlasting inheritance, whether they always deserved it or not. God is God! He can do as He wishes with His own. No other people have lived continuously in this land for 3400 years! Not the Palestinian people, who have no continuous history in this area; nor any other people.
2. 1:3 HOW TO POSSESS THE LAND. “Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, to you have I given it, as I spoke unto Moses.” Joshua did so, leading Israel of some 2-3 million people against 7 nations each greater than her, and in 7 years conquered the land of Canaan under God, and divided it among 9 ½ tribes, 2 ½ already having their inheritance East of Jordan under Moses. Churchill gave this latter part to the Kingdom of Jordan, but it was originally designated for Israel! Oil talks!
3. 1:4 GOD LAYS OUT ISRAEL'S BORDER. “From the wilderness, and this Lebanon, even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea (Mediterranean) toward the going down of the sun, shall be your border.” Under King David and King Solomon his son, 3000 years ago this was literally fulfilled. And at the return of Jesus Christ in the very near future, it shall be established once again. And, Jesus after the flesh is a Jew! And, at that time, every nation, tribe, tongue and people will bow to him and confess that He is Lord of lords and King of kings to God the Father's glory!
4. 1:5 AS GOD WITH MOSES - SO HE WILL BE WITH JOSHUA. “There shall not be any man be able to stand before you all the days of your life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will not fail you, nor forsake you.” What a promise! And God completely fulfilled it in the next 30 years, before Joshua died at 110. He started this conquest at the age of 80. Jesus (YeSHUa in Hebrew), is the antitype or fulfillment of Joshua, and will complete in the Kingdom of God what Joshua started.
5. 1:6 CONDITIONS FOR JOSHUA'S LEADERSHIP. “Be strong, and of good courage; for you shall cause this people to inherit the land which I swore unto their fathers to give them.” Hitler believed that if you repeat a lie often enough, it will be believed. Ahmandinejad the Iranian, who thinks himself to be a second Hitler, repeats the lie continually of no Holocaust! He faces the same humiliation of Hitler for his lies. Unfortunately the world leaders of today refuse to effectively deal with this liar, just as they refused to deal with Hitler!
6. 1:7 GOD REMINDS JOSHUA OF MOSES' COMMANDMENTS. “Only be strong and very courageous, to observe to doaccording to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded you; turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go.” This is a goodword!
7. 1:8 ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT COMMANDMENTS IN THE BIBLE. “This book of the law (teaching) shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe to doaccording to allthat is written in it: for thenyou shall make your way prosperous, and thenyou shall have good success.” If we like Joshua memorize this, and practice it, we too can have like results. Hebrew parallelism appears in the OT Poetic books. A second phrase or clause makes clearer the preceding one! Note the first clause of the law in your mouth!The Hebrew word “hahGAH” (meditate) follows in the next clause, and then carries with it the thought of vocal meditation. Look at Jews “davening” at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, and vocally reading their Siddur (Prayer Book) or Scriptures while doing so, as an example. Something is released in our brain that only takes place when we pray or meditate vocally. It builds our “immune system”, contributing to health for body, soul and spirit! Joshua apparently walked in this word from God. I seek to do so also. Why not all of us join Joshua?
8. 1:9 GOD PROMISES HIS PRESENCE FOR JOSHUA'S ENABLEMENT. “Have not I commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid, neither be dismayed: for Jehovah your Godis with you wherever you go.” I lovethis word! I scripturally meditate upon it everymorning. It works. It did for Joshua, and God being no respecter of persons, it will for you and me. In Christ, we can claim all these promises.
NOTE: The above is so good, that I am going to let it stand alone as it is, and send it out to you. - Jim Watt