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Weekly Bible Challenge

Hello to all,

This week we will focus on the meaning of one word. The text is Joshua 3:5 which states: “Then Joshua said to the people; “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.” This order is given by Joshua as we follow the nation of Israel into the Promised Land. They are about to cross the Jordan River into Canaan, where the Lord will work miracles in their presence. The word that we are to study is translated here as consecrate. What does this mean? This isn’t a word that you hear in any other place other than a rare usage in church. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary says that it means “dedicate to a sacred purpose,” but what did that mean to an ancient Hebrew listening to these words from the mouth of Joshua? The word evaluated is qodesh, and it is a word that is used to denote the holiness of God. We observe the Law of God in Leviticus 11:45 which reads: “For I am the Lord who brought you up out of the land of Egypt to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.” In this text the same word to denote holiness is used in describing what the Lord is commanding the people to be, and used describing the Lord Himself. The word as it is used back in Joshua can mean “cause yourself to be holy.”

I think we have a degraded view of consecration in the Christian church at times. This idea caused the Israelites to take good drinking water and bathe in it. It caused them to intentionally and deliberately seek after cleanliness of the heart, soul, and body. Hopefully, we all take showers or bathe at least daily, but how often do we intentionally clean out hearts and souls? This isn’t a Bible study on what God’s Word says is right or wrong. It is a study on the action of cleaning out what we already know is wrong. It is an intentional search of our inner thoughts, and placing them next to Scripture to see where they fall. It is an exhortation to seek God’s holiness in our hearts, souls, and bodies. It is not looking around and saying confidently that we are better than that guy over there. After all, in our line of work there is no shortage of people to compare ourselves to that make us look great. There is a higher standard that we are to seek after. It is God’s standard.

I wonder how many plans God has for our lives that He won’t start because of our lack of action in this area. I wonder if the Lord wants to do wonders among us as He did for the Nation of Israel so many years ago, but He has not because of our lack of intentionally consecrating ourselves towards His principles. It should also be noted that Jeremiah uses this word nine times in his book, and four of the uses are translated with the idea of preparation. These two ideas are linked. We are to consecrate ourselves as holy; this sets us apart, and prepares us for His service.

Please accept this encouragement this week. Let us consecrate ourselves towards the Lord. Let us clean not only our bodies, but our hearts, souls, and our minds. Let us be intentional in this area of our faith in and with our God.

Joshua 3:5 – “Then Joshua said to the people; “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.”

Thanks,

Marc

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