God summarizes what He has already said in Exodus and Leviticus so far in today's two chapters--along with pausing every few verses to remind us why we should obey. Each reason is repeated at least once:
- Be holy because I, your God, am holy.
- Fear your God. I am God.
- I am God, your God.
These reasons remind of the answers God gives when we ask Him "why does evil flourish?" (Job are Habakkuk are good examples.) Because I am God and You are not.
Except God points out--I am your God. We are holy in terms of our standing; we have been set apart by God as His children.
In Facebook speak, our status would read that we are "in a relationship."
So instead of seeing a stern God as judge He says, "Fear me. Be holy as I am. I am your God and you'll get in trouble if you disobey me," He wants me to hear, "Fear me. I have called You to be separate, part of My family. Revel in it. Learn the kingdom rules and enjoy all of its benefits."
In my prayer journal today, I wrote my motivations for obedience.
Father, it is my delight and joy to serve You. But Your commands to obey You because You are my God leave me. . . unmotivated.
Or is it ultimately why I do obey You? Because You are my God. Because we are in relationship? If you were not my God, my very personal God, would I even care?
I am holy because You have set me apart, but you want me to do holy. This is a case where actions are meant to reflect the truth.
As I follow You, stumbling along the road some times, but seeking to go where You lead--I am living a holy life, because I am living the life You have called me to.
Holiness includes the lists of dos and don'ts. But there is so much more.
Being holy as You are holy also means I treat others the way I want to be treated. Holiness is not a solitary act; it is a way of life that measures everything and every person I touch.
May Your light, love, truth, burn away the dross in me, that others will see more and more of Your reflected glory.