And Joshua said to the people, “Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you” (Joshua 3:5).
People are expecting miracles from God. But God expects people to cleanse themselves and become holy. People say that if God does a particular miracle they would undergo Baptism as a family. But what God says is “I will do a miracle but before that get sanctified and present as a holy vessel.”
God expected the children of Israel to get sanctified before crossing Jordan (Joshua 3:5). Accordingly, they got sanctified and when the priests placed their feet on Jordan, the river turned and gave them the way. Following this victory, the children of Israel went around the walls of Jericho shouting aloud and the wall fell down.
After the walls of Jericho fell down, the Israelites celebrated the victory. But in the midst of the victory celebration, Achan who was one among them took an accursed thing of Jericho and hid it in his tent. God wanted him to confess that sin and to forsake it.
Joshua was not aware of this and when he went to Ai city with the children of Israel for a battle, they were miserably defeated. Thirty-six persons were slaughtered in Israel and the opponents won the battle. They realised that the wrath of God fell on the congregation of Israel because of this sin.
“Then Joshua tore his clothes, and fell to the earth on his face before the ark of the Lord until evening, he and the elders of Israel; and they put dust on their heads” (Joshua 7:6). They killed Achan and his family members by stoning as a process of sanctifying themselves.
Are there defeats and problems in your family? Is there no peace between husband and wife? Assemble as a family and evaluate yourself. Analyse whether you have ever saddened God or you have ever disobeyed His words and initiate now to set things right in every possibility.
After getting sanctified, it was easy for the children of Israel to destroy the city of Ai. God gave them victory after victory as they went with purified hearts. One may be a prominent saint or one may be an ordinary believer, it is highly essential for them to pray to confess their sins. It is a duty fallen on them. God who is Holy should be got nearer to and hastened with holiness and purified heart.
To meditate: “Against you, you only, have I sinned, and done this evil in your sight— that you may be found just when you speak and blameless when you judge” (Psalms 51:4).