1:1 After the death of Moses [cf. Deut. 34; leaders do not lead forever; Moses mentioned 57 times in Joshua; “God buries His workmen, but His work goes on.”] the servant of the LORD [title of honor and authority; this title used more often to refer to Moses than to any other individual in OT], the LORD said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide [an assistant; one who gives personal service to a leader]:
1:2 “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give [the promised land was a “gift” from God] to them—to the Israelites.
1:3 I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses [cf. Deut. 11:24-25a].
1:4 Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Great Sea on the west.
1:5 No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life [assurance of victory]. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you [assurance of God’s presence is still essential to spiritual success (cf. Matt. 28:19-20)]; I will never leave [Heb. verb can also mean “fail”] you nor forsake you [cf. Heb. 13:5].
1:6 “Be strong and courageous [Joshua faced an awesome task], because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them.
Note: Why is courage essential to leadership?
1:7 Be strong and very courageous [always good to repeat encouragement]. Be careful to obey [necessary for victory] all [not some; you cannot pick and choose which portions you want to obey] the law [probably some or all of Deuteronomy (cf. Deut. 1:5 re: “this law”)] my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from [deviate] it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.
Note: Why is obedience to God’s Word essential to leadership?
1:8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate [Heb. word means “mutter” and was usually done aloud] on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do [knowing is not enough] everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful [the by-products of a life devoted to God and His Word (Wiersbe); emphasize wise and prudent behavior rather than “financial success”].
1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you [God’s presence is the best antidote to fear] wherever you go.”
1:16 Then they answered Joshua, “Whatever you have commanded us we will do, and [expanded their affirmation] wherever you send us we will go [new leaders need encouragement more than advice].
1:17 Just as we fully obeyed Moses, so we will obey you. Only may the LORD your God be with you as he was with Moses [new leaders need prayer].