I started reading Joshua yesterday. I felt the Holy Spirit stopped me at these words ‘observe to do’ in verse 7. It says, “Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go.”
Notice that the ability to observe came from being strong and very courageous. As I thought about this my mind went back to fear. Fear can capture our senses and cause our thoughts to go out of kilter. Moses is a great example for us. Exodus 3:3 says, “…I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.” It was a normal occurrence for Moses to see a bush combust, but this bush was different. It was not consumed by the fire. Moses saw beyond the visual and the obvious.
I am a fast reader. Therefore when I read through my Bible, I have to slow down so I can read with understanding. It is so easy to skip through familiar passages. Remember the tortoise and the hare race? We need to plod along and allow the Holy Spirit to stop us along the way. Joshua was instructed to observe the law so that he would not turn from it. His path would not deviate from what God had spoken.
Joshua heard Moses’ words in Deuteronomy 28:13. God set forth a condition. It said that the Lord would make them the head and not the tail, and they would be above and not beneath, “…IF you heed the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you this day to observe them.” Verse 14 explained the result of their observing to do. “So you shall not turn aside from any of the words which I command you this day, to the right or the left, to go after other gods to serve them.” Proverbs 4:27 says that when we don’t turn aside we will be kept from evil.
1 Samuel 12:21 says that when we turn aside, it will lead us into empty pursuits. Our one and only true pursuit is the Lord. However, satan and his minions are always on the prowl to lead us aside God’s chosen path through temptations to be afraid, to rush ahead of God, serve the idols in our heart, or distractions to pull us off course. Beware.