I am the Lord your God;consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy. – Leviticus 11:44a
God commanded the Hebrews to abstain from eating specific groups of animals because He’d declared them unclean for them to eat. He went through an exhaustive list, so that the people would be able to identify what He didn’t want them to eat. Among those instructions was the above-referenced passage. In it He said to separate themselves and be holy, as He is holy. God wanted His inheritance to be distinguished from the rest of the world because they belonged to him.
We are no different from the ancient Hebrews because we, the Gentile believers, have been circumcised of the heart not in the flesh. We are identified as the children of God because God the Spirit has sealed us and marked us as his until the day of redemption. Since God, YHWH, was not just God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Israel) but God of all who trust in Him, he expects his children to consecrate (separate) themselves from the “unclean” things of the world and not to be “defiled” by them. God is still the same today as He was then. He hasn’t changed. The ceremonial portions of the Law were completed in the death of Jesus. We have a new found liberty in Christ that was not present under the Law but only by grace through faith. Our liberty in grace, however, doesn’t give us the right to abandon God’s ways and live sinfully and in rebellion to Him. No, we are to continue observing the heart of God’s Law through our love for him not out of strict adherence to a codified standard for living. God loves a cheerful giver and a willingly obedient child. Think on this, the tree of Life and the tree of Death (Knowledge of Good and Evil) were presented to us to give us a choice and show that we love God out of choice. He doesn’t want to be “loved” by robotic creations. Therefore, choose you this day to be holy as your God is holy. Separate yourself from the sinful ways of the world. Show the world what it truly means to be a child of God by loving your neighbor as yourself.
Father, help me to love my neighbor as myself. I have a hard time loving myself let alone everyone else. I love you with all my being. I don’t want to live as the world lives. They offer a life of sin that looks lucrative and enticing, but I know that its end leads to death. Sin is really nothing more than choosing to and then living my life independent of you. Continue to teach me how to be holy and to walk humbly before you. I need you, God the Holy Spirit, to teach me and guide me into all truth. Without you, kind Sir, I can do nothing. With you, ALL things are possible. May your will be done, and not mine. In Jesus’ name, Amen.