For the next few blog posts, I feel like God wants me to focus on holiness. I know this is not a hot cool topic and don’t expect a bunch of shares. But I feel so convicted about this that I believe I would be in disobedience if I didn’t write about holiness. So buckle your seat because this is going to be a bumpy ride. Every post will be fresh from my time with God and I’m learning this with you.
“For I am Yahweh your God, so you must consecrate yourselves and be holy because I am holy. You must not defile yourselves by any swarming creature that crawls on the ground. For I am Yahweh, who brought you up from the land of Egypt to be your God, so you must be holy because I am holy.” (Leviticus 11:44-45, Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
The essence of God is holiness. This foundation of our faith is lost in the faddish, me-centered, humanistic form of Americanized Christianity. We forget that the roots of our faith were born out of separation from a pagan culture that threatened the extinction of the people of Yahweh.
Even today, the Jews live under the shadow of annihilation. We’re so busy trying to be like the world and assimilate into the dominant culture that I believe we’ve forgotten the roots of our faith. God is taking me back to those roots to remind me of the value of holiness.
For I am Yahweh
The Hebrew definition of Yahweh which originally was YHWH is “He causes to be” or “He creates.” Other definitions include “to be” or “to become.” In other words, He declares that He causes and He creates everything. Because of who He is, He is holy. His holiness, His consecration causes Him to be who He is as a Creator.
Because of who He is, we are to imitate Him by valuing holiness and consecration. For years the Lord watches over the nations that are barbaric in their worship by sacrificing their children, worshipping multiple gods and committing sexual perversion. He separates Himself by who He is which is holy.
Out of Egypt
The definition of “holy” is: 1. specially recognized as or declared sacred by religious use or authority; consecrated: holy ground. 2. dedicated or devoted to the service of God, the church, or religion: a holy man. 3. saintly; godly; pious; devout: a holy life. 4. having a spiritually pure quality: a holy love. 5. entitled to worship or veneration as or as if sacred: a holy relic.
Let’s take a look at how God consecrates His people in Leviticus 11:44-45. God miraculously delivers a nation from slavery to worship Him. With signs and wonders, the Hebrews are thrust into freedom that has never been seen on the face of the earth. God marks the memory of the Egyptians and every pagan nation in the world that this is how He acts.
The purpose of the freedom and deliverance was to worship Him. It wasn’t to bring comfort and riches, although that was certainly a byproduct of God’s deliverance. After all, the Egyptians gave their treasures to the Hebrews as they were leaving. The purpose of the deliverance was to worship Him and make a statement to every nation worshipping multiple gods that He alone is powerful, He alone is God and He alone is worth our worship.
Worship is War on the gods of Egypt
The acts of deliverance so the people of God could worship Yahweh were intentional. When Moses turned the river into blood, God made a statement that He ruled over the river god. When God sent locusts to attack the Egyptians, He decreed that the locust god that the Egyptians worshipped were in His hand. With every plague, God made war on the gods of the most powerful nation on the planet. Calling His people to worship was an act of war on the gods of Egypt. He sent a message that He was God and there would be no other gods before Him.
God scarred the Egyptians with a message that His people were to be holy and He forever engraved in the memory of His people. To be holy is a fearful, wonderful, great act that only God can perform within us. It is a call to be separate from Egypt, from the world system, from the world’s influence.
To be holy is to show the world the rare treasure of a life based on worshipping Him alone. This is a life under His system of justice, goodness, faith hope and love. The Hebrews were called to be a model of God’s system to the world. And that calling is still on His people. We are to be an example of how God operates in government, the justice system, economy, and much more.
The foundation of God’s activity is holiness. He is motivated by holiness alone. May this bedrock of our faith be restored to the Church. We need holiness more then ever!