Just one verse this morning, Joshua 3:5, where God’s people were commanded: “And Joshua said unto the people, Sanctify yourselves: for to morrow the LORD will do wonders among you.”
And of course, we now know that among those “wonders” was the miraculous crossing of the Jordan River, by a whole nation, into the Promised Land. The last verse in Joshua 3 reports: “And the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the midst of (the river) Jordan, and all the Israelites passed over ON DRY GROUND, until all the people were passed clean over Jordan.” I believe it!
The noun used for “wonders” (things like that “crossing”) is “pala” in Hebrew, meaning something like “marvelous, extraordinary, surpassing!” It can even mean “hard,” five times in the Bible anyway.
Yes, our God is THAT great!
But back to my thought (our verse) today … “Sanctify yourselves: for to morrow the LORD will do wonders among you.”
God will do something great, in fact it’s plural, “wonders.” (Sounds like a Promise, doesn’t it? From our faithful, never-failing God!)
But … nonetheless … the people still were required a bit of effort!
The verb here is “qadash,” meaning “dedicate, purify, prepare,” and is grammatically a “Hithpael imperative!” That’s the Hebrew “reflexive” form, something the Jews had to do for themselves! The “imperative” qualification means a “command” has been given, a “mandate” from the Lord.
Once more now, but this time applying it to our lives here and now. “Sanctify yourselves: for to morrow the LORD will do wonders among you.”
God is still a wonder-working Heavenly Father!
He just might do “wonders” in our future days, according to his Grace and Mercy and Faithfulness! (Jeremiah writes of the Lord’s Mercy … “His compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:23)
God can do it!
Question is … will we sanctify ourselves?
Will I live a “clean life” … thus expediting God’s Wonders?
Will I “dedicate” myself to Jesus … in order to better enjoy those “Wonders?”
Will I “separate myself” from some (however small) iniquity or sin … to better appreciate God’s Wonders? Maybe even to discern them!
“And Joshua said unto the people, Sanctify yourselves: for to morrow the LORD will do wonders among you.”
Maybe we as Preachers should ask our people again and again to so “Sanctify themselves!”
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1st John 1:9
James is a “rough” Preacher, but still tells the truth. “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.” Then he adds, still speaking to Christians: “Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” James 4:8, one single verse.
Jesus was aware of this Bible Principle. He stayed clean so His people would be able to stay clean! Here’s our Lord praying to His Father: “And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.”
I feel like I should give an “invitation” after all that!
— Dr. Mike Bagwell
“Sanctify yourselves: for to morrow the LORD will do wonders among you.”