The command to consecrate is found throughout the Old Testament and the Bible in general. The priests are to be consecrated, the place of worship and all its artefacts are to be consecrated. However, the command ‘consecrate yourself’ found in Joshua 3:5 carries a special significance. ‘Then Joshua said to the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.”’
It is a consecration for a special purpose. The reason for this consecration is that tomorrow they are going to see great miracle that God is going to do for them. They are going to cross over to the land that was promised to their ancestors centuries ago. Moreover, they are going to cross over the turbulant waters of Jordan that is overflowing over its banks.
The people whom Joshua addresses are the new generation of Exodus group who are born in the desert, except for Joshua and Caleb. Their parents who left with the hope of reaching the promised land perished in the wilderness unable to see the fulfillment of the promise. That promise was made by God to Abraham almost 500 years ago. God had promised Abraham that he will give his descendants the land of Canaan.
However, about five centuries have elapsed. Now they are at the verge of the fulfilment of that promise. It was 500 years away from Abraham, forty years away for Moses and the original group left Egypt, but for this new group it is less than 24 hours away.
But life has taught all of us that many things could be missed at the last point. In the finals of the sprint event, though we were in the lead all throughout, it was the feet of the person just behind us that touched the line first. We were pushed to second place at that crucial last split second.
However old be the promise, it can be missed even in the last few hours. These less than 24 hours are crucial. They are going to cross over. Joshua instructs the people, ‘consecrate yourself.’ That is how we prepare ourselves for new beginnings. Another year is almost over, a few more hours remain. These are the hours to consecrate ourselves in order to see the miracles that the Lord is going to showcase before us in the New Year!