it is the Hebrew term that refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the LORD, often by totally destroying them. whenever we see ‘destroy or devoted’ in the book of Joshua, it comes from the word ‘kherem‘.
there are so many different hebrew words to point out about being holy, set apart and distinct for the Lord. but ‘kherem‘ points out to ‘often by totally destroying them’. totally destroying our sins and unholiness to be consecrated for the Lord!
everything good and bad comes from the Lord, and it is not ours to keep. whatever good belongs to God, and whatever unholy, we have to destroy to show our devotion to God.
sometimes, i feel like Achan in the book of Joshua, who steals what belongs to God. i wanna steal the glory. it results to stumbling my other brothers and sisters or the community to death (spiritually).
sometimes, i am like the israelites who did not want to destroy everything as God commanded. not obeying to God by leaving all the unclean cities leads to my own destruction and pull me even further apart from Him.
i am love with this word ‘kherem‘ now. to destroy and be devoted for the Lord. God knew the israelites could not do it themselves, so He helped them when they come before Him. if the prostitute Rahab were saved because she was in fear of the Lord and obey to Him by helping the two spies, God can help me through this too. so that i may be left out from the destruction and made alive to be set apart for Him.
‘kherem‘ also can be used as an analogy to the end of the world, i think. it would be the time where God will come down and destroy things that are wicked to Him because He is too holy. when the new heaven is built, this earth shall dissolve like snow and the sun will forbear to shine. Only through Jesus Christ, the promise to israelites, that we may escape from ‘kherem‘, and only through the Holy Spirit that we may be able to ‘kherem’ all our unholiness.
but let us take heart, “Joshua 1:9 have I not commanded you? be strong and courageous. do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”