The Holy God
"For I am the Lord your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy."
- Leviticus 11:44
The book of Leviticus finds the people of Israel having just been redeemed from slavery in Egypt and now discovering what it means to have a relationship with the Lord their Redeemer. The big idea of the entire book is that Israel is unholy and must learn how to become holy in order to relate to the Holy God: through sacrificial offerings, the priesthood, personal practices, festivals, and more. To say that God is holy, is to say, as theologian Stephen R. Holmes says, "God's actions are perfect in ethical and intentional ways as in all other ways, and so God is good, holy, righteous, pure, upright, and faithful." In other words, the Lord is in a class all by himself as the embodiment of perfection. In a word, he is holy.
So what does this mean for you today? The book of Leviticus ultimately points to Jesus. Today, we're under no obligation to make sacrificial offerings to God because Jesus himself is our priest and the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (Hebrews 9:1-14; 24-28; 10:1-14). And those of us who trust in him should make it our ambition to live morally holy lives, set apart for the use of our Redeemer. We do this not because we seek to be redeemed but because we have already been redeemed. God still calls us to live for his glory and so conduct ourselves differently than those who don't trust in him. And while we'll never be fully holy in this life, the Holy Spirit who is sent by the Father and the Son, progressively makes us more and more holy as we follow Jesus. So are you imaging God today? Do you want to grow in holiness? The Spirit is willing and able to help. Be holy as he is holy.