This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.
Joshua 1:8 (NASB)
I remember my dad was an avid reader of non-fiction educational books. The pursuit of knowledge was common amongst working class miners of that era, keen to prove that they had brains as well as muscle. One of dad’s collections was a series of small red hardback books on how to achieve success in various aspects of business and personal life. In the 21st Century success is still a recurring search term in bookshops (High Street and online stores too), people are forever seeking the elusive secrets to success. The increasing sales of biographies of the rich and famous are testament to this. Sadly Christians are not immune to the hunt for success, falling victim not just to worldly sources but also unscrupulous ministries touting their latest discoveries and programs. The reality is that none of these books, programs or DVDs are any good. Lasting success can only be found in one book – The Good Book, the Holy Bible.
The root of the word ‘success‘ in the text is the Hebrew word “sakal” which relates to being wise, understanding, skillful, prudent, intelligent, and prosperous. Sakal is used 63 times in the Bible; 25 times in the psalms and proverbs. It is only once attributed to the broad word success in Joshua 1:8.
A careful reading of the verse makes it clear that success for Joshua was conditional, he would only succeed by obeying and applying the Word of God to his life. In our chosen verse Joshua is not just receiving instruction from God but also the formula for future Godly success. There is no money or riches involved in Godly success; it deals in Eternal riches which hold their value. The foundation stone of success for the child of God is the same today as it was for Joshua – the Word of God. It is only through regular meditation and deep study of our Bible that we will find the rewards of true success.
Dear reader, are you seeking success in life? Save yourself a trip to the book store, and open your Bible. Read it, meditate on it, ask your Father God to guide you in it each time you open it. It is only in it’s living pages that you will find the true key to success, for your whole life.