THROUGH THE DALETH – SANCTIFY YOURSELF
Judges 3:5; And Joshua said unto the people, Sanctify yourselves for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.”
Every modern translation renders this: “For tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.” A few translations will say: “I will do wonders in our midst.” This could also be rendered as: “I will do wonders deep with inside of you.” Ok, I know the context clearly shows that God is going to do a wonderful miracle for the people the next day and thus within the context you would render this as among you as this miracle is not within the people but among the people, ie., the crossing and drying up the Jordan River. But when you look at the Semitic root of the word used for among you beqirebekem from the root word qarav which literally means inside of you or your inward parts. Actually, its origins lie in an old Akkadian word for entrails. There may be a miracle that will take place on the outside, but God is really talking about a miracle that will take place within the people themselves when this outside miracle does takes place.
Why is it that when we pray for a miracle it often does not come? I suppose one reason is that we don’t understand what a miracle is all about. We pray for a miracle of healing for some illness but we do not get better. Did God refuse to answer that prayer or is it because we are not ready for the real miracle. The healing is just a sign, the miracle is what happens in your life, the renewed love for God, dedication for God, the discovery of God’s love. These are the miracles, but if all we are looking for is just a healing, well, then maybe the healing will not accomplish the real miracle and that is the realization of God’s love. God to us is just some celestial genie who gives us what we want and we just say thank you and move on. Many of us make a lot of promises, we will tithe, go to church, pray more, study the Bible more, witness, etc. if God will just heal us. But God knows our hearts and He knows that if he gives us our sign we will not keep those promises which are really the miracle that God wants to give to us.
God is also telling the people to hithekadashu or to sanctify themselves. This comes from the root word kodesh which means to be holy but is found in a Hithpael form or reflexive and should be rendered as to make yourself holy. How does one make himself holy and why should they be made holy to witness a miracle?
Well tonight I certainly don’t feel very holy and as I sit at my desk I find myself dropping off to sleep. I really don’t want to go to sleep until I figured out this making yourself holy so I find myself taking a glance at my looking glass hanging from my Daleth. Well, why not, maybe my friends the Hebrew letters have some clue about this.
So I grab my back pack that I always keep handy for my journeys through my Daleth and I pass passed through the Looking Glass. I find I am in an old Vaudeville theater and on stage were the letters Qop, Daleth and Shin which spelled out Kodesh Holy, sanctification. Qop, Daleth and Shin were dressed in formal outfits and with a cane in hand did a little tap dance with Qop stepping to the front and saying: “I am Qop and I represent holiness and sanctification. Daleth stepped forward and said; “I represent a doorway to…” Shin eagerly stepped forward and finished “to me, the power and wonders of God.” They then joined hands and shouted “Ta Ta!!!” to the applauding and standing audience of Hebrew letters. Then still holding hands Qop, Daleth and Shin started to do a soft shoe when I stop them and say: “Wait one minute, for one thing that is Ta Da and I don’t know what you are Ta Taing – er Ta Daing about because you have just told me nothing more than I already know. Everyone knows holiness is the doorway to God’s power. I am tired of this old song and dance act, I want to know how you make yourself holy. Qop, Daleth and Shin looked at each other and Qop asked: “Do you know where you are?” I replied I was in some theater.” Qop replied: “You are in the performing arts center of the University of Hebrew Land.” Go across campus to the Gematria research lab where Dr. Lamed is just about to give his Lecture on Kodesh.” Gematria is the study of numbers, particularly Hebrew numbers. So, I hurriedly ran across campus to the Gematria building and into Dr. Lamed’s class just as he was beginning his lecture.
“Class, today I want to show you Qop, Daleth and Shin. These three letters together form the word Kodesh. Each letter will tell you how you can become holy. First the Qop, is the number 100. The 100 represents a new beginning this involved leaving behind the old and making peace with the change in your new beginning. The next letter” continued Dr. Lamed “Is the Daleth. The Daleth is the number four. Four represents creation. Dr. Lamed continued and showed that the Shin was the number 300 which represents our separation. Dr. Lamed then said that the total value of Kodesh was 404 and our assignment was to determine what the total value of Kodesh 400 meant.
I thought about this and considered that to make myself holy I needed to make peace with the changes God has brought into my life like the letter Qop to allow God to create something new in my life like the Daleth and then to allow this new change and new creation in my life to separate me from the cares of this world as instructed by the Shin. Basically I need to make myself holy by letting Jesus do his finished work in me and allowing God to do what he wants to do in my life, even if it is going through these trials that will strip me of all the trust in myself. All these trials in my life are making me holy. I just need to allow God to continue this wonder within me so he can perform the wonder of bringing me, like the children of Israel into the promise land.
Still as I make my way back through my Looking Glass I am pondering what the blazes does what does 404 have to do with all this? So I pick up my Hebrew vocabulary guide and I run across the word vabahanasim which means to carry me and hafashim which means to strip away. I quickly add up the numerical value of both words and find that each equals 404. Therein lays the key to being made holy. We must allow God to strip away (hafashim) all that extra weight of guilt and sin so he can carry us (vaahanasim) into the promise land.