Always remember what is written in that book of law. Speak about that book and study it day and night. Then you can be sure to obey what is written there. If you do this, you will be wise and successful in everything you do. Joshua 1:8 (Easy to Read Version).
These words (in Hebrew) were originally spoken to Joshua, shortly after Moses died. They were included in the instructions God gave Joshua as he assumed leadership of Israel. Christians generally take Biblical statements like this as principles that can be applied to anyone, even though this statement was given to a particular individual at a particular time as preparation for a particular task.
One reason these words can be taken as a principle with broader application is simply that similar statements are given throughout the Bible to many different people and at various times. Sometimes, similar statements are actually stated as a principle. For example:
Great blessings belong to those who don't listen to evil advice, who don't live like sinners, and who don't join those who make fun of God. Instead, they love the LORD'S teachings and think about them day and night. So they grow strong, like a tree planted by a stream-- a tree that produces fruit when it should and has leaves that never fall. Everything they do is successful. Psalm 1:1-3 (Easy to Read Version)
As given here in Psalm 1, this principle is stated in the broadest terms; the promises are made to anyone at any time who meets the conditions. The conditions are essentially the same as required of Joshua, though the instruction to Joshua was a little clearer as to the obedience or adherence to God’s Word that was necessary. This obedience is implicit in Psalm 1; loving the LORD’S teachings certainly includes a genuine desire to do those teachings.
The theological question is, “Is God’s instruction to Joshua a principle that applies to others?” If the answer to that question is “Yes,” –and I believe it is—then the principle can be directly applied to you and I like this:
“If I (or you) think about, study, talk about, and obey God’s Word, I (or you) will be wise and successful in all that I (or you) do.”
With the principle stated, shown to be applicable to each of us, and with the promised wisdom and success clearly available to all, the more pointed question for us individually becomes, “Will I live my life, from this day forward, as a practical test and demonstration of this principle from God’s Word?”
Will you join me, starting today, in reading God’s Word daily, with a commitment to think about, study, talk about and obey it in each area of life? Together, let’s take God at His Word, and put Him to the test.