Wednesday - September 2nd
Scripture to Read Today: Leviticus 20:1-8
Jehovah-M'kaddesh - "The God Who sanctifies"
Day 2 of 30 Days of the Names and Attributes of God
So set yourselves apart to be
holy, for I am the Lord your God.
Keep all my decrees by putting
them into practice, for I am the
Lord who makes you holy.
Leviticus 20:7-8 (NLT)
The word "Holy" can intimidate people. It can also become so familiar to others that it loses its distinction. Even the secular world understands that the word engenders a sense of respect, awe, and even fear. Terms like "Holy Bible," "Holy matrimony," and "Holy Church," are common when referencing religion or Christianity. This term is not intended to be solely used with inanimate objects and institutions. We can forget that God calls us to be holy as He is holy. So, while ”holy” seems like an abstract concept to describe things related to Christianity or religion, it is also practical in our walk with God and how we live our lives.
In the "30 Days of Praying the Name and Attributes of God," the Navigators ministry provides daily resources to understand God more. I am using this resource as the basis upon which I am writing the daily Take5s for September's 30-day month. Yesterday we explored how the name "Jehovah" speaks of the eternal, transcendent nature of God. He is the One who was, is, and always will be.
Today we build on Jehovah as we unpack what a compound name of God means. Jehovah-M'Kaddesh builds on God's eternal, transcendent being and speaks of how distinct His character is from all evil and immorality. This added word "M'kaddesh" in Hebrew means "holy, set apart, sanctified, distinctly different, wholly holy." When this word is combined with "Jehovah," the attribute is that our God is "the God who sanctifies." He is the God who sets things and people apart from the wickedness and evil in this world. He separates those who follow Him from the sin and impurity of life and calls them to righteousness and purity.
As we walk with Jesus, we are to become more and more sanctified. We are to separate from the sin and evil of this world and to reflect the purity and goodness of God. This process of being separated from the world and separated unto God is the process of sanctification. Through sanctification we can grow spiritually toward living and loving like Jesus more and more every day.
We cannot merely embrace the idea that God is holy and distinct, but that we are being separated more and more unto God. This process is personal. It is not simply some sort of rule keeping endeavor, but a daily choice to know and follow Jesus. The more we know and follow Jesus, the more we cling to His goodness and grace. The more we cling to Him, the less our beliefs, attitudes, behaviors, and relationships reflect the world's values.
The first eight verses of Leviticus chapter twenty show how critical God believes our being set apart unto Him is for our lives. If you read this passage you will see the warning to stay away from anything demonic or sinful. This does not mean we never relate to the world around us and the people around us in it. It does mean that we must know Him and reflect Him.
Finally, it is essential to note that it is God who does the sanctifying. After all, He is Jehovah-M'kaddesh, the God who sanctifies. We surrender our lives to Him. His Spirit within us shows us areas of our lives that are more tightly clinging to this world. He is the one who makes us more like Jesus. As we yield to Him, trust Him, and obey Him, He transforms our lives.
Maybe the Holy Spirit has pointed out an area or two in your life where you reflect this world's values and morality more than you reflect God and His Kingdom. If so, confess the sin and impurity to the Lord and experience His forgiving grace as you become more distinct from the world and more like Jesus.
Jehovah-M'kaddesh - the God who sanctifies us by setting us apart from the world and making us more like Jesus!