from the devotional book, PICTURES OF GOD
Leviticus 20:7-8, 22-26; Joshua 24:15-21
God is holy—transcendent…high above us…separate…pure. We were sinful…contaminated…corrupt. Yet instead of pushing us away, the holy God drew us toward Himself and into His holiness. By His own choice and doing, He separated us unto Himself. He made us His holy, separate people. What a privilege to be the holy, chosen people of holy, sovereign, Creator God!
But privileges carry responsibilities. We must live lives that are holy, separated entirely to our holy God. Moses warned the people:
“You shall consecrate yourselves therefore and be holy, for I am the LORD your God. You shall keep My statutes and practice them…so that the land to which I am bringing you to live will not spew you out. Moreover, you shall not follow the customs of the nation which I will drive out before you…You are to be holy to Me, for I the LORD am holy; and I have set you apart from the peoples to be Mine.” (Leviticus 20:7-8, 22-23, 26, NASB)
Later Joshua similarly warned the people that the holy God would not overlook their sin.
“If you forsake the LORD and serve foreign gods, then He will turn and do you harm and consume you after He has done good to you.” (Joshua 24:19, NASB)
God will eagerly forgive sin if we confess and repent – that is, turn away from it. But He is holy, and He will not simply overlook sin. As with the children of Israel, we cannot live like the people around us. We are the holy people of a holy God, separated entirely to Him as His own.
However, we cannot and will not be holy in our own strength. God has not abandoned us to the weakness of our own willpower. As we will see in the New Testament, in Jesus Christ God has offered to us the beautiful gift of holiness by faith. We can be holy as He is holy, by His holy Spirit within, as we simply trust Him.