This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth (1); but thou shalt meditate therein day and night (2), that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein (3): for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous (4), and then thou shalt have good success (5).
The following numbers correspond to those inserted into the above verse:
Scripture should always be in our mouths, for as Jesus tells us, our words are evidence of what is in our hearts: “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh,” (Luke 6:45).
Scripture should always be in our mind and heart. We should study it continuously: “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth,” (2 Timothy 2:15). The connotation of “meditate” in Joshua 1:8 suggests a prayerful contemplation and a continual seeking of the Lord’s will in our hearts as we read, implying that we must wait upon God to receive understanding. David wrote, “The heart of the righteous studieth to answer …” (Proverbs 15:28). Solomon echoed, “For all this I considered in my heart …” (Ecclesiastes 1:9).
There is a supernatural benefit to meditating upon the word of God: it produces the fruit of righteousness [love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control].
The word “prosperous” means all of the following: to overcome adversities, to be anointed by the Holy Spirit, to be empowered for a task, to be made complete and achieve an expected end, and to be used as a vessel of the Holy Spirit. This is why Paul writes to Timothy with these words: “But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works,” (2 Timothy 3:14-17).
The “success” spoken of here is that which is the product of spiritual understanding, knowledge, and wisdom. These are the true riches of God that guide us in our natural lives and make strait our paths [lead us to right ways of living and practicing our faith in this world]. As we meditate upon His words, the wisdom of God is written on our hearts, illuminating our way: for which cause we read, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path,” (Psalm 119:105).
We see all of the above truths at work in the three verses that follow our original text:
Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying, Pass through the host, and command the people, saying, Prepare you victuals; for within three days ye shall pass over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land, which the LORD your God giveth you to possess it.
How can we gain the courage necessary to follow the vision that God has given us for our lives? Where will we find the power to accomplish these things?
Any time God reveals something to us, He imparts a portion of His supernatural ability within us. As we meditate upon the words of God and He grants us understanding, we receive the power to walk out His vision for our lives, as vessels fully able, authorized, and commissioned by God to achieve all these things (John 1:1).