(Leviticus 19:1-2 ESV) 1 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them, You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy.
The Book of Leviticus details the revelation of God’s holiness and the desire for his people to be holy as well. Even a cursory reading of Chapter 19 is enough to enlighten us to the detailed restrictions placed upon those who would dare enter the holy place.
At first reading, it would seem that God is being trite and uncaring. In our modern culture, He would be accused of being politically insensitive. Although they were allowed to participate in some of the activities outside the holy place, anyone who possessed a special need or handicap was not allowed to enter.
I would not dare attempt to defend God’s reasons for disincluding the individuals who were victims of birth defects or injuries. With that said, in light of God’s ultimate desire for His people to see Him in His perfection, He could not be represented by anyone who would have been considered defective by the culture of the day.
Having read these extremely detailed restrictions, I began to think about the externals that define us as Holy people. In my short life, I have observed the shift in the culture of the contemporary church that, in my opinion, has seen a move away from an evidence of godly holiness.
I’m not an old fuddy-duddy. Nor, am I a prude. However, I do think that our attitudes and actions should always reflect the divine nature of God that is resident in us. There should be something about us that sets us apart. God expected His people to be different; to be holy. We must ask ourselves if that is still true? Does God expect us to be holy? If so, what does holiness look like? What is the evidence of holiness? Is it external, internal, or both.
We can make the argument that holiness is an internal attribute. I would agree wholeheartedly. But, it is obvious from various passages of Scripture that God does expect our internal holiness to be externally visible.
In closing, I will make two observations. (1) I’m thankful that we live in a dispensation of grace which includes everyone regardless of race, gender, age, or physical limitations. (2) I’m thankful that the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit consistantly points us toward a personal holiness that allows us to represent Christ effectively to our circle of influence.
Holiness is not a dirty word. Nor, is it a friendly suggestion. It is commanded by God for our good and for His glory. So, let’s rediscover holiness.
PRAYER: Father, it is my desire to represent you with a lifestyle of holiness. Allow your divine presence to guide me and guard me as I walk daily in personal relationship with You. Amen.